Bromley v. McCaughn,
Annotate this Case
280 U.S. 124 (1929)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Bromley v. McCaughn, 280 U.S. 124 (1929)
Bromley v. McCaughn
Argued October 31, 1929
Decided November 25, 1929
280 U.S. 124
1. The tax imposed by Revenue Act of 1924, §§ 319-324, as amended by Revenue Act of 1926, § 324, upon transfers of property by gift, is not a direct tax within the meaning of the Constitution, but an excise on the exercise of one of the powers incident to ownership, and need not be apportioned.Const., Art. I, §§ 2, 8, 9. P. 280 U. S. 135.
2. The uniformity of taxation throughout the United States enjoined by Art. I, § 8, is geographic, not intrinsic. P. 280 U. S. 138.
3. The graduations of the tax, and the exemption of gifts aggregating $50,000, gifts to any one person that do not exceed $500, and certain gifts for religious, charitable, educational, scientific, and like purposes, are consistent with the uniformity clause, and with the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. Id.
4. The schemes of graduation and exemption in the statute, by which the tax levied upon donors of the same total amounts may be affected by the size of the gifts to individual donees, are not so arbitrary and unreasonable as to deprive the taxpayer of property without due process. P. 280 U. S. 139.
Answers to questions certified by the circuit court of appeals upon review of a judgment for the Collector in a suit by Bromley, a resident of the United States, to recover a tax alleged to have been illegally levied upon gifts made by him.