Baltic Mining Co. v. Massachusetts,
231 U.S. 68 (1913)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Baltic Mining Co. v. Massachusetts, 231 U.S. 68 (1913)

Baltic Mining Company v. Massachusetts

Nos. 30, 353

Argued April 29, 30, 1913

Decided November 3, 1913

231 U.S. 68


While a state may not burden interstate commerce or tax the carrying on of such commerce, the mere fact that a corporation is engaged in interstate commerce does not exempt its property from state taxation.

While interstate commerce itself cannot be taxed, the receipts of property or capital employed therein may be taken as a measure of a lawful state tax.

A state may, so long as it does not violate any principle of the federal Constitution, exclude from its border a foreign corporation or prescribe the conditions upon which it may do business therein.

Where a foreign corporation carries on a purely local business separate from its interstate business, the state may impose an excise tax upon it for the privilege of carrying on such business and measure the same by the authorized capital of the corporation.

The excise tax, imposed by Part III of c. 490 of the Statutes of Massachusetts of 1909 on certain classes of foreign corporations, which excise is measured by the authorized capital of such corporations but limited to a specified sum, is not an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce, nor does it deprive such corporations of their property without due process of law or deny them the equal protection of the law. Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Kansas, 216 U. S. 1; Southern Railway Co. v. Green, 216 U. S. 400, distinguished.

207 Mass. 381, 212 Mass. 35, affirmed.

The facts, which involve the validity under the commerce, due process, and equal protection clauses of the federal Constitution of an act of the Commonwealth of

Page 231 U. S. 69

Massachusetts imposing a tax on foreign corporations within the Commonwealth, are stated in the opinion.

Page 231 U. S. 78

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