Bothwell v. Bingham County,
237 U.S. 642 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bothwell v. Bingham County, 237 U.S. 642 (1915)

Bothwell v. Bingham County

No. 266

Argued May 6, 1915

Decided June 1, 1915

237 U.S. 642


The determinative fact of whether property formerly part of the public domain of the United States is subject to taxation by the state is the absence of any beneficial interest in the land on the part of the United States at the time of the assessment.

Neither the Carey Act of August 18, 1894, nor the agreement thereunder with the State of Idaho in regard to irrigation of arid lands segregated from the public domain purports to exempt the lands from taxation or take them out of the settled rule respecting taxation by the lands acquired under public land laws.

Where proceedings to acquire title to public land have reached the point where nothing remains to be done by the entryman, and the United States has no beneficial interest therein and does not exclude the entryman from the use thereof, the entryman is regarded as the beneficial owner, and the land is subject to taxation, even though the legal title may not have been passed to him, and in this respect it is immaterial whether the title passes direct from the government or through the state, under provisions of the Carey Act.

24 Idaho 125 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of the Carey Act of August 18, 1894, and the right of the state to tax

Page 237 U. S. 643

property taken up thereunder by an entryman after he had become entitled to the patent, but before the patent was issues, are stated in the opinion.

Page 237 U. S. 644

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