The statutes of Indiana taxing all shares in foreign
corporations except national banks owned by inhabitants of the
state, and all shares in domestic corporations the property whereof
is not exempt or taxable to the corporation itself, are not
unconstitutional as contrary to the commerce clause of the federal
whether such statutes deny equal protection of
the law by discriminating against stock in corporations of other
states, especially as to those having property taxed within the
One not within the class claimed to be discriminated against
cannot raise the question of constitutionality of a statute on the
ground that it denies equal protection by such discrimination.
Hatch v. Reardon; 204 U. S. 152
followed, and Spraigue v. Thompson, 118 U. S.
A state may tax the property of domestic corporations and the
stock of foreign ones in similar cases. Kidd v. Alabama,
188 U. S. 730
174 Ind. 143 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the constitutionality under the
commerce clause of certain sections of the tax statutes of Indiana,
are stated in the opinion.
Page 226 U. S. 397
MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.
This is an action brought by the State of Indiana for taxes on
stock of a Tennessee corporation owned by the principal defendant.
The Indiana statutes purport to tax all shares in foreign
corporations except national banks, owned by inhabitants of the
state, and all shares in domestic corporations when the property of
such corporations is not exempt or is not taxable to the
corporation itself. If the value of the stock exceeds that of the
tangible taxable property, this excess also is taxed. Burns'
Indiana State., 1908, §§ 10,143, 10,233, 10,234. The declaration
was demurred to on the ground that the statutes were contrary to
the commerce clause, Art. I, § 8, and
Page 226 U. S. 398
the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United
States. Judgment was entered for the plaintiff, 174 Ind. 143, and a
writ of error was allowed.
The case is pretty nearly disposed of by Kidd v.
Alabama, 188 U. S. 730
where the real matter of complaint, that the property of the
corporation presumably is taxed in Tennessee, is answered. See
also Wright v. Louisville & Nashville R. Co., 195 U.
, 195 U. S. 222
But it is said that the former decision does not deal with the
objection that the statutes work a discrimination against stock in
corporations of other states, contrary to principles often
recognized. I. M. Darnell & Son. Co. v. Memphis,
208 U. S. 113
most serious aspect of this objection is that the statutes of
Indiana do not make allowance if a foreign corporation has property
taxed within the state. But as to this it is enough to say that,
however the statutes may be construed in a case of that sort, the
plaintiffs in error do not show that it is theirs, and that, as
they do not belong to the class for whose sake the constitutional
protection would be given, if it would, they cannot complain on
that ground. Smiley v. Kansas, 196 U.
, 196 U. S. 457
Hatch v. Reardon, 204 U. S. 152
204 U. S. 160
If Spraigue v. Thompson, 118 U. S. 90
contains an intimation contrary to this rule, the decision was
supported on other grounds, and the rule no longer is open to
dispute. Lee v. New Jersey, 207 U. S.
, 207 U. S. 70
Southern R. Co. v. King, 217 U. S. 524
217 U. S. 534
Lindsley v. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U. S.
, 220 U. S. 77
Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R. Co. v. Jackson Vinegar Co.,
p. 226 U. S. 217
The only difference of treatment disclosed by the record that
concerns the defendants is that the state taxes the property of
domestic corporations and the stock of foreign ones in similar
cases. That this is consistent with substantial equality
notwithstanding the technical differences was decided in Kidd
v. Alabama, 188 U. S. 730
188 U. S.