Youngstown Co. v. Bowers - 358 U.S. 534 (1959)
U.S. Supreme Court
Youngstown Co. v. Bowers, 358 U.S. 534 (1959)
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Bowers
Argued November 12, 1958
Decided February 24, 1959
358 U.S. 534
1. On the records in these two cases, held that manufacturing corporations which imported materials for their own use in their current manufacturing operations had so acted upon them as to cause them to lose their distinctive character as "imports" within the meaning of that term as used in the Import-Export Clause of the Constitution, and that, therefore, the materials had become subject to state taxation. Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt, 324 U. S. 652, distinguished. Pp. 358 U. S. 536-550.
2. In the Youngstown case, a manufacturer of iron and steel imported iron ore for use in its own manufacturing process. Upon arrival at destination, these ores were stored in "ore yards" adjacent to the furnaces. The daily ore needs of the plant were taken from those "ore yards" and conveyed to "stock bins," from which the ores were fed into the furnaces. Ohio assessed an ad valorem tax based on the average value of the ore in these "ore yards" during the tax year. Held: since these ores were not only needed, imported, and irrevocably committed to supply, but were actually being used to supply, the daily requirements of the manufacturing plant, they had lost their distinctive character as "imports," and all tax immunity as such. Pp. 358 U. S. 536-538, 358 U. S. 545-547.
3. In the Plywood case, a manufacturer of veneered wood products imported "green" lumber "in bulk" and veneers "in bundles" for use in its own manufacturing process. Upon arrival at destination, the lumber was stacked in yards "adjacent" to its manufacturing plant in such a way as to facilitate air-drying. From time to time, so much of the lumber as was about to be put into veneered products was taken from the stacks and placed in a kiln, where
the drying was completed. The imported veneers were received "in bundles," and kept in that form in piles, separated as to specie, in the manufacturer's plant for use as needed in the day-to-day operations of the plant. The City assessed a tax against petitioner based upon the value of one-half of the imported lumber and veneers then on hand. Held: the lumber and veneers that were taxed were not only needed, imported, and irrevocably committed to supply, but actually were being used to supply, the daily requirements of the manufacturing plant, and they had lost their distinctive character as "imports," and all tax immunity as such. Pp. 358 U. S. 538-540, 358 U. S. 547-548.
4. In the Plywood case, the fact that the veneers were received in "bundles" which were not opened until the veneers were put into the daily manufacturing operations of the plant does not require a different result. Pp. 358 U. S. 548-549.
5. In the Youngstown case, the fact that a tax was levied by Ohio on domestic ores stored on public docks in Ohio, whereas merchandise belonging to a nonresident when "held in a storage warehouse for storage only" was exempted from taxation, did not deny to appellant, a resident of Ohio, the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Allied Stores v. Bowers, ante, p. 358 U. S. 522. Pp. 358 U. S. 550-551.
166 Ohio St. 122, 140 N.E.2d 313, affirmed. 2 Wis.2d 567, 87 N.W.2d 481, affirmed.