Memphis Nat. Gas Co. v. Beeler
315 U.S. 649 (1942)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Memphis Nat. Gas Co. v. Beeler, 315 U.S. 649 (1942)

Memphis Natural Gas Co. v. Beeler

No. 499

Argued March 6, 1942

Decided March 30, 1942

315 U.S. 649

Syllabus

1. An attack upon a state tax upon the ground that it infringes a taxpayer's federal rights, privileges, and immunities, but without drawing in question the validity of a state statute, will not sustain an appeal under Jud.Code § 237(a). P. 315 U. S. 650.

2. A challenge of the validity of a state statute, first made in a brief filed in the highest state court and certified to this Court as part of the record, will not support an appeal to this Court from a judgment of the state court upholding the statute if the appellant fails to show that, under the state practice, such a contention can be availed of when advanced for the first time in the appellate court. P. 315 U. S. 651.

3. A corporation is subject to be taxed on its intangible property by a State, not of its origin, in which it has its commercial domicile if the tax does not infringe the commerce clause. P. 315 U. S. 652.

4. A decision of the state supreme court based upon a nonfederal ground is reexaminable by this Court only to make certain that the ground is not so colorable or unsubstantial as to be in effect an evasion of a constitutional issue. P. 315 U. S. 655.

5. Natural gas was piped into a State by a pipeline corporation, delivered to a local distributing corporation, and sold by the latter to local consumers under an arrangement making the two companies partners or joint enterprises sharing the profits. Held, that it was competent for the state to levy a tax on the pipeline company measured by the net profits it so derived. P. 315 U. S. 655.

6. A nondiscriminatory state tax upon the net income of a foreign corporation engaged solely in interstate commerce is not forbidden by the commerce clause when the corporation is commercially domiciled in the taxing State and the income is derived from within the State and attributable to business done there. P. 315 U. S. 656.

Affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, which sustained a tax and reversed a decree of the Tennessee Chancery Court enjoining its collection. The appeal was dismissed for want of jurisdiction, but the writ of certiorari was granted.

Page 315 U. S. 650

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