Bingaman v. Golden Eagle Western Lines, Inc.
297 U.S. 626 (1936)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Bingaman v. Golden Eagle Western Lines, Inc., 297 U.S. 626 (1936)

Bingaman v. Golden Eagle Western Lines, Inc.

No. 520

Argued March 5, 1936

Decided March 30, 1936

297 U.S. 626

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO

Syllabus

1. Upon the question whether a state gasoline tax is exacted as compensation for use of the highways or is a general excise on the use of gasoline, the construction by the state supreme court controls in a federal court. P. 297 U. S. 628.

2. Statutory provisions carried forward without material change into a new statute are continuations, and not new enactments. Posadas v. National City Bank,296 U. S. 497. P. 297 U. S. 628.

3. As respects a carrier by motor vehicle engaged exclusively in interstate commerce, a State has no power to license and tax the importation and use of gasoline for operating the motors. P. 297 U. S. 629.

14 F.Supp. 17 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the three-judge District Court which enjoined appellants, state officers, from enforcing certain gasoline taxes and attendant penalties.

MR. JUSTICE SUTHERLAND delivered the opinion of the Court.

Appellee, a corporation organized under the laws of Delaware, is a common carrier operating a line of busses over the public highways of several states, including New Mexico, its business being limited to interstate transportation. It does no intrastate business in New Mexico, and expressly disclaims any intention of doing any such

Page 297 U. S. 627

business in the future. The busses are propelled by gasoline, which, so far as this case is concerned, is purchased in another state, placed in tanks attached to the busses, and transported and used exclusively in interstate commerce.

A statute of the state (Chapter 176, § 2, Session Laws of 1933) imposes "an excise tax of five cents (5

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