Wheeling Steel Corp. v. Glander
337 U.S. 562 (1949)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wheeling Steel Corp. v. Glander, 337 U.S. 562 (1949)

Wheeling Steel Corp. v. Glander

No. 447

Argued March 29, 1949

Decided June 20, 1949*

337 U.S. 562

Syllabus

Certain foreign corporations which had been authorized to do business in Ohio and which operated manufacturing plants there had their principal places of business in other states, where all orders were accepted, credits extended, books kept, and where all accounts receivable were payable. The corporations had paid all franchise taxes and all taxes on real and personal property located within Ohio. In addition, the State levied an ad valorem tax on their accounts receivable derived from sales of goods manufactured within the State. The accounts receivable were not used in the conduct of the business of the corporations in Ohio, but in their general business. Accounts receivable of identical nature which were owned by residents and domestic corporations were exempt from the tax.

Held:

1. The tax denied the foreign corporations the equal protection of the laws, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution. Pp. 337 U. S. 563-574.

(a) After a state has chosen to admit foreign corporations to do business within it, they are entitled to equal protection with domestic corporations at least to the extent that their property is entitled to an equally favorable ad valorem tax basis. Pp. 337 U. S. 571-572.

(b) The inequality to which the foreign corporations are subjected is not based on Ohio's relation to the decisive transaction, but solely on difference in residence of the owner of the accounts receivable. P. 337 U. S. 572.

2. The tax was not saved from constitutional invalidity by the "reciprocity" provisions of the statute imposing it, since the plan of reciprocity is not one which, by credits or otherwise, protects the nonresident or foreign corporation against the discriminations apparent in the Ohio statute. Pp. 337 U. S. 572-574.

150 Ohio St. 229, 80 N.E.2d 863, reversed.

Page 337 U. S. 563

An Ohio ad valorem tax on foreign corporations, challenged as violating the Federal Constitution, was sustained by the State Supreme Court. 150 Ohio St. 229, 80 N.E.2d 863. On appeals to this Court, reversed, p. 337 U. S. 574.

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