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U.S. Supreme Court

Southeastern Express Co. v. Robertson, 264 U.S. 535 (1924)

Southeastern Express Company v. Robertson

No. 201

Argued March 5, 1924

Decided April 21, 1924

264 U.S. 535


1. An objection that a state taxing statute violated due process of law because of its vagueness held to have been obviated by elucidation of the statute by the state court in this case. P. 264 U. S. 539.

2. A state constitutionally may condition the right of an express company to enter upon and transact intrastate business by requiring antecedent payment of a tax based on the number of miles of railroad tracks in the state over which the business is to be operated, and varied according to a classification of the tracks made for the purposes of railroad taxation and as to which neither notice nor opportunity to be heard is vouchsafed the express company. P. 264 U. S. 539.

3. Because of the differences between express and railroad companies, the former are not denied the equal protection of the laws by refusing to them, while allowing to the latter, the right to be heard concerning a classification of railroad tracks upon which the calculation of the privilege taxes of each in part depends. P. 264 U. S. 540.

4. Nor is the Equal Protection Clause violated by a penalty provision applicable to a newcomer who does not pay his license tax before beginning the express business, but inapplicable to those already in the business who pay and renew within thirty days after their taxes accrue each year. P. 264 U. S. 540.

130 Miss. 305 affirmed.

Error to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Mississippi holding the express company liable for a license tax and for a like amount as damages for not having paid the license tax before beginning business in the state, as required by §§ 21, 73, c. 104, Miss.Laws 1920. See also the next following case. Mr. Miller, successor in office to Mr. Robertson, was substituted in this Court.

Page 264 U. S. 536

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