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U.S. Supreme Court

Liverpool etc. Ins. Co. v. Orleans Assessors, 221 U.S. 346 (1911)

Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company v.

Board of Assessors for Parish of Orleans

No. 92

Argued April 18, 19, 1911

Decided May 15, 1911

221 U.S. 346


Credits on open account are incorporeal and have no actual situs, but they constitute property and as such are taxable by the power having jurisdiction.

The maxim of mobilia sequuntur personam yields to the fact of actual control, and jurisdiction to tax intangible credits exists in the sovereignty of the debtor's domicile, such credits being of value to the creditor because of the power given by such sovereignty to enforce the debt. Blackstone v. Miller, 188 U. S. 205. Such taxation does not deny due process of law.

The jurisdiction of the the domicile over the creditor's person does not exclude the power of another state in which he transacts his business to tax credits there accruing to him from resident debtors, and thus, without denying due process of law, to enforce contribution to support the government under whose protection his affairs are conducted.

Page 221 U. S. 347

Credits need not be evidenced in any particular manner in order to render them subject to taxation.

Premiums due by residents to a nonresident insurance company and which have been extended, but for which no written obligations have been given, are credits subject to taxation by the state where the debtor is domiciled, and so held that the statute of Louisiana to that effect is not unconstitutional as denying due process of law.

In a suit for cancellation of an entire assessment as unconstitutional, the plaintiff cannot ask for a reduction of amount if there is a proceeding under the state statute for that purpose and which he has not availed of.

122 La. 98 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the power of a state to tax premiums of insurance due by residents to a nonresident insurance company which have been extended but not evidenced by written instrument, and the constitutionality of a statute of Louisiana to that effect, are stated in the opinion.

Page 221 U. S. 349

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