National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue,
386 U.S. 753 (1967)

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U.S. Supreme Court

National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue, 386 U.S. 753 (1967)

National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue

No. 241

Argued February 23, 1967

Decided May 8, 1967

386 U.S. 753


Appellant is a mail order house with its principal place of business in Missouri. It owns no tangible property in Illinois, has no sales outlets, representatives, telephone listing, or solicitors in that State, and does not advertise there by radio, television, billboards, or newspapers. It mails catalogues twice a year to customers throughout the United States, including Illinois, supplemented by occasional "flyers." Orders for merchandise are mailed to appellant's Missouri plant, and goods are sent to customers by mail or common carrier. Appellee obtained a judgment from the Illinois Supreme Court requiring appellant to collect and pay to the State the use tax imposed by Illinois upon consumers who purchase appellant's goods for use within the State.

Held: The Commerce Clause prohibits a State from imposing the duty of use tax collection and payment upon a seller whose only connection with customers in the State is by common carrier or by mail. Pp. 386 U. S. 756-760.

34 Ill.2d 164, 214 N.E.2d 755, reversed.

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