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regulation of commerce, the power over which is exclusively vested in Congress by the Federal Constitution. 1 N. Y. R. S. 445, title 4, § 7held void; Passenger Cases, 7 How. (U. S.) 283 (1849). If the object of the statute, as determined by its natural and reasonable effect, is to compel owners of vessels to pay a sum of money for every foreign passenger landed at New York, such statute is unconstitutional. Henderson v. Mayor of New York, 92 U. S. 259 (1875).
State statutes regulating commerce cannot be held valid simply because they are called "inspection laws," and a State cannot vote a law designed to raise money to support paupers, to detect or prevent crime, to guard against disease, to cure the sick, so as to make it an inspection law, within the constitutional meaning of that word, by calling it so in the title of the act. People v. Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, 107 U. S. 59 (1882); People v. Edye, 11 Daly, 132 (1882).
A duty imposed by an act of Congress upon the owners of vessels for every passenger not a citizen of the United States is not an exercise of the taxing power, but a mere incident of the regulation of commerce. Head Money Cases, 112 U. S. 594 (1884).
While a statute of a State imposing a tax upon freight taken up within the State and carried out of it, or taken up without the State and carried into it, is repugnant to the provision of the Federal Constitution which vests the control of foreign and interstate commerce in Congress, a statute imposing a tax upon the gross receipts of railroad companies is not thus repugnant, though the gross receipts are in part made up from freights received for transportation of merchandise from one State to another. The court makes the distinction, that in the latter case the receipts at the time of the tax have lost their character as freight earned, and become incorporated in the general mass of the company's property. State Tax on Gross Railway Receipts, Reading Ry. Co. v. Pennsylvania, 15 Wall. 284 (1872).
The taxation of the capital stock of a steamship company which is invested in vessels employed in foreign commerce is not a regulation of commerce. People ex rel. U. S. & Brazil S. S. Co. v. Commrs. of Taxes of New York, 48 Barb. 157 (1866).
A duty or tax imposed by a State statute on brokers' sales of imported merchandise - held unconstitutional. People v. Moring, 3 Abb. Ct. App. Dec. 539 (1867); affirming 47 Barb. 642. A tax upon sales made by an auctioneer, when applied to imported goods sold for the importer in the original packages, is void, as being a duty on imports and a regulation of commerce, the tax on the amount of sales being equivalent to a tax on the goods sold. Cook v. Pennsylvania, 97 U. S. 566 (1878).
Where the relator claimed that an assessment upon his personal estate consisting of money continuously employed in the business of exporting cotton to foreign countries, and continuously invested in cotton on shipboard, violated the constitutional provisions against any tax on articles exported, and against a State tax on imports or exports, and that the
imposition of the tax was & State regulation of commerce; the court held that the tax as assessed upon his capital, simply as personal estate, and without regard to his use of it, was lawful. People ex rel. Haneman v. Tax Commissioners, 10 Hun, 255; affirmed in 73 N. Y. 607 (1878). This case was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court on the ground that it did not distinctly appear that the capital was not in money at the time the assessment was first made, and that if it was in money at that time it did not escape taxation even if at the time the assessment was finally confirmed, the capital was invested in goods for export. People v. Commissioners, 104 U. S. 466 (1881).
A State tax on premiums for insurance of imported goods in bonded warehouses is not a tax on imports or an interference with foreign commerce. People v. National Fire Ins. Co., 27 Hun, 188 (1882).
A municipal license fee which is a charge explicitly made as the price of the privilege of navigating the Mississippi river between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico in the coast-wise trade is void as a regulation of commerce. Moran v. New Orleans, 112 U. S. 69 (1884).
Where a general tax is laid on all property alike, it cannot be construed as a duty on exports when falling upon goods not then intended for exportation though they should happen to be exported afterward. The taxing of goods coming from other States, as such, or by reason of their so coming, would be a regulation of interstate commerce; but if after their arrival they are subjected to a general tax on all property alike, this does not constitute such a regulation. Brown v. Houston, 114 U. S. 633 (1885).
Certain State quarantine fees - held, not a tonnage tax, but a compensation for services rendered, and not void as regulations of commerce. Morgan S. S. Co. v. Louisiana, 118 U. S. 455 (1886).
Transportation implies the taking up of persons or property at one point and putting them down at another. A tax, therefore, upon such receiving and landing of passengers and freight is a tax upon their transportation, that is, upon the commerce between the two States involved in such transportation, and is invalid. Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U. S. 196 (1885).
A tax or duty on persons who, not having their principal place of business within the State, engage in the business of selling or of soliciting the sale of certain described liquors, to be shipped into the State, is a regulation in restraint of commerce and void. The police power cannot be set up to control the inhibition of the Federal Constitution, or the power of the United States government created thereby. Walling v. Michigan, 116 U. S. 446 (1886).
The products of a State, though intended for exportation to another State, and partially prepared for that purpose by being deposited at a place or port of shipment within the State, are liable to taxation, and the constitutional provision as to the regulation of commerce is not applicable. Coe v. Errol, 116 U. S. 517 (1886).
A privilege tax imposed as a condition precedent to the right of a company to run and use sleeping cars for the transportation of passengers in their transit into, or through, or out of the State - held void. Pickard v. Pullman Southern Car Co., 117 U. S. 34 (1886). See, also, Tennessee v. Pullman Southern Car Co., id. 51 (1886).
State legislation which seeks to impose a direct burden, whether by tax or otherwise, upon interstate commerce, or to interfere directly with its freedom, encroaches upon the exclusive power of Congress. Wabash, etc., Ry. Co. v. Illinois, 118 U. S. 557 (1886). See, also, Philadelphia Fire Association v. New York, 119 U. S. 110. Ses Ex parte Hanson, 28 Fed.
Repr. 127 (1886).
Drummers' tax held unconstitutional. Corson v. Maryland, 120 U. S. 502 (1887); Robbins v. Shelby County Taxing District, id. 489 (1887); Ex parte Stockton, 33 Fed. Repr. 95 (1887). See Ex parte Hanson, 28 id. 127.
A statute imposing a tax upon the receipts of a transportation company for the transportation of freight through the State, and from points without to points within the same, and from points within to points without, is void as a regulation of commerce between the States. Fargo v. Michigan, 121 U. S. 230 (1887).
Tax on "sewing machine companies" held to embrace all manufacturers of sewing machines, and not to contravene the prohibition of the regulation of commerce by the State, nor the guaranty of equal privileges to all citizens. Singer Manufacturing Co. v. Wright, 33 Fed. Repr. 121 (1887).
A tax levied directly upon the receipts derived by a steamship company from its fares and freights for the transportation of persons and goods between different States, and between the States and foreign countries, and from the charter for its vessels for the same purpose, is in conflict with the exclusive powers of Congress under the Constitution. Philadelphia S. S. Co. v. Pennsylvania, 122 U. S. 326 (1887).
A State tax on interstate commerce distinguishable from the tax on domestie commerce, will alone be restrained by Federal courts. Ratterman v. W. Tel. Co., 127 U. S. 411.
A State has power to tax all property having a situs within its limits, whether employed in interstate commerce or not. Ficklen v. Taxing District, 145 U. S. 1.
There is nothing in the United States Constitution which prevents a State from taxing personal property within its jurisdiction employed in interstate or foreign commerce. Palace Car Co. v. Pennsylvania, 141 U. S. 18.
A tax levied only upon the franchise or business of a foreign corporation is not a tax on interstate commerce. Mining Co. v. New York, 143 U. S. 305.
A tax upon the business of an express company done within the State is not a tax upon interstate commerce, although the company is also engaged in business between the States. Pacific Express Co. v. Seibert, 142 U. S. 339.
That cars of a company within a State are employed in interstate commerce does not exempt them from taxation by the State. Palace Car Co. v. Pennsylvania, 141 U. S. 18.
A tax on the capital of a corporation engaged in interstate commerce on account of its property within the State, is, in substance and effect, a tax on that property. Palace Car Co. v. Pennsylvania, 141 U. S. 18. A tax not upon the property employed in the business of interstate commerce, but upon the right to carry on the business at all, imposes a direct burden upon the commerce itself. Id.
The exaction of a charge by a State for the filing of articles of consolidation of several railroad companies forming a connecting line, only one of which is a corporation of the State, as a condition imposed by the State upon the taking of corporate being or the exercise of corporate franchises, constitutes no tax upon interstate commerce for the right to carry on the same or the instruments thereof, and its enforcement involves no attempt on the part of the State to extend its taxing power beyond its territorial limits. Ashley v. Ryan, 153 U. S. 436.
A State cannot tax a corporation upon its gross receipts, from transportation of persons and property between different States and to and from foreign countries. Steamship Co. v. Pennsylvania, 122 U. S. 326; Cargo v. Stevens, 121 id. 230.
No burden is placed upon interstate commerce by valuing that part of an interstate railroad which is within the State according to a mileage basis as the proportionate share of the value of the entire road in operation, although this may be greater than the sum of the values of the two pats not thus used together. Railroad Co. v. Backus, 154 U. S. 439.
The cars of a car company let to railroad corporations, and employed exclusively in interstate commerce, may be taxed in a State, and the tax apportioned among the counties of the State, according to mileage of the railroad in each county, and levied in those counties. Palace Car Co. v. Hayward, 141 U. S. 36.
The taxation by a city of a bridge across a river between two States, is not a regulation of commerce, or a taxation of an agency of the Federal government. Bridge Co. v. Henderson, 141 U. S. 679.
Although the property of a telegraph company situated within a State, may be taxed therein, as all other property is taxed, its business of an interstate character cannot be taxed. Leloup v. Mobile, 127 U. S. 640.
Telegraph companies, which have accepted the provisions of United States Revised Statutes, §§ 5263-5268, cannot be taxed by a State for any messages, or receipts arising from messages, from points within the State to points without, or from points without the State to points within, but such taxes may be levied upon all messages carried and delivered exclusively within the State. W. U. Tel. Co. v. Casey, 132 U. S. 472; Leloup v. Mobile, 127 id. 640; W. U. Tel. Co. v. Pennsylvania, 128 id. 38.
A single tax, assessed under a State statute upon the receipts of a telegraph company, derived from interstate and domestic commerce, and
returned and assessed without separation and apportionment, is invalid only in proportion to the extent that such receipts were derived from interstate commerce. Ratterman v. W. U. Tel. Co., 127 U. S. 411.
A tax, though nominally upon shares of the stock of a telegraph company, is, in effect, a tax upon it on account of its property owned and used in the State, where the proportion of the length of its lines in the State to their entire length is the basis for ascertaining the value of the property; and such tax is not forbidden by United States Revised Statutes, § 5263, giving it the right to maintain its lines over the United States post roads, etc., or by the commerce clause of the Constitution. Attorney-General v. W. U. Tel.
Co., 141 U. S. 40; W. U. Tel. Co. v. Attorney-General, 125 id. 530.
Art. I, 9: "The migration or importation of such persons § as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importations, not exceeding ten dollars for each person."
See Passenger Cases, 7 How. (U. S.) 453 (1849). This clause has exclusive reference to persons of the African race. People v. Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, 107 U. S. 59 (1882).
Art. I, 10: "No State shall ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of con
Laws of 1846, chap. 327, p. 466, being an act to equalize taxation, is not void as an ex post facto law, since it imposes no burden on rents paid or payable before its passage. Le Couteulx v. Supervisors of Erie, 7 Barb. 249 (1849). This decision was approved in City of Buffalo v. Le Couteulx 15 N. Y. 451 (1857).
Laws of 1846, chap. 327, above, imposing a tax upon rents reserved upon leases, does not interfere with the contract between the landlord and his tenant, but leaves the obligation to pay taxes, if there be any, in full force according to the contract between them. Livingston v. Hollenbeck, 4 Barb. 9 (1847). And see 3 How. Pr. 343. To the same effect, Le Couteulx v. Supervisors of Erie, above, and City of Buffalo v. Le Couteulx, above.
The provision of the Laws of 1854 (chap. 398, § 15, p. 1044), that service in the militia should forever exempt from taxation to the amount of $500, ́ did not constitute a contract within the Federal Constitution, and a repeal of the statute took away the privilege, though the service had at the time been completed. People ex rel. Cunningham v. Roper, 35 N. Y. 629 (1866).
Laws of 1822 (chap. 257) enacted that no property of the Society of the New York Hospital should be subject to be taxed by virtue of any law of the State.