Texas Co. v. Brown,
258 U.S. 466 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Texas Co. v. Brown, 258 U.S. 466 (1922)

Texas Company v. Brown

No. 126

Argued October 13, 14, 1921

Decided April 17, 1922

258 U.S. 466


1. The Georgia laws (Civil Code § 1800-1814 as amended; Penal Code §§ 639, 642) providing for inspection of oil and gasoline and collection of inspection fees are to be construed as remaining applicable to products stored within the state or sold in internal commerce, even if invalid as applied to interstate commerce, in view of the declaration to that effect in the Act of August 17, 1920 (Ga.Laws 1920, No. 800). P. 258 U. S. 473.

2. A statute bearing on the right to an injunction must be given effect by an appellate court though enacted pending the appeal. P. 258 U. S. 474.

3. As applied to oil and gasoline in interstate commerce, state inspection fees imposed without the consent of Congress and so clearly exceeding the cost of inspection as to amount to a revenue tariff, are unconstitutional. P. 258 U. S. 475.

4. Goods imported into one state from another, which have reached their destination and are held in storage in the original packages awaiting sale, are subject to nondiscriminatory state taxation. P. 258 U. S. 475.

5. A tax levied in respect of goods of a particular kind is not to be held a discrimination against interstate commerce merely because goods of that kind are not produced locally, but are all imported from other states. P. 258 U. S. 476. Askren v. Continental Oil Co., 252 U. S. 444.

6. Oil and gasoline imported from another state in tank cars not used for indefinite storage or as distributing tanks for local sales remain in interstate commerce, and not subject without the owner's consent to local inspection fees amounting to taxation until unloaded. P. 258 U. S. 477.

7. The Georgia laws, supra, provide for inspection of illuminating oil and gasoline and for inspection fees, yielding revenue in excess of inspection cost, fixed at higher rates per gallon for small quantities than for large, and imposed once only, in connection with the

Page 258 U. S. 467

inspection, viz., upon dealers at the time of first domestic sale or during storage preliminary to such sale, and upon persons who buy or bring in these products for their own local consumption, the latter enjoying an exemption from paying more than a specified total annually which does not apply to dealers. Held that the charge, as applied to local transactions, is an excise, and is

(a) Not arbitrary or unreasonable, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 258 U. S. 479.

(b) Nor contrary to Art. 7, § 2, par. 1, of the Georgia Constitution, which requires uniform valuation of all property subject to be taxed and that all taxation shall be uniform on the same class of subjects and levied and collected under general laws. P. 258 U. S. 480.

266 F. 577 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the district court refusing, in part, an application for an interlocutory injunction in a suit brought by the appellant to restrain the appellees, officials of Georgia, from enforcing laws of that state imposing inspection fees in respect of oil and gasoline brought in by the appellant from other states.

Page 258 U. S. 470

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