BOYER V. BOYER, 113 U. S. 689 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Boyer v. Boyer, 113 U.S. 689 (1885)

Boyer v. Boyer

Submitted January 9, 1885

Decided March 2, 1885

113 U.S. 689


The laws of Pennsylvania exempted from local taxation for county purposes railroad securities, shares of stock held by stockholders in corporations which were liable to pay certain taxes to the state, mortgages, judgments, recognizances, moneys due on contracts for sale of real estate, and loans by corporations which were taxable for state purposes when the state tax should be paid. The pleadings in this case admitted in detail large amounts of exempted property under these heads in the state. Held that under these circumstances, this constituted a discrimination in favor

Page 113 U. S. 690

of other moneyed capital against capital invested in shares in national banks, which was inconsistent with the provision in § 5219 Rev.Stat., that the taxation by state authority of national bank shares shall not be at a greater rate than is assessed upon other moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens of such state.

The previous decisions of this Court respecting state and local taxation of shares in national banks considered and reviewed.

The former decisions of this Court do not sustain the proposition that national bank shares may be subjected, under the authority of the state, to local taxation where a very material part, relatively, of other moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens within the same jurisdiction or taxing district is exempted from such taxation.

While exact uniformity or equality of taxation cannot be expected under any system, capital invested in national bank shares was intended by Congress to be placed upon the came footing of substantial equality in respect of taxation by state authority as the state establishes for other moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens, however invested, whether in state bank shares or otherwise.

Bill in equity commenced and tried in the state courts of Pennsylvania to prevent the collection of a tax levied under an assessment alleged to be in violation of the statutes of the United States. The facts which raise the federal question are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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