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U.S. Supreme Court

Buckstaff Bath House Co. v. McKinley, 308 U.S. 358 (1939)

Buckstaff Bath House Co. v. McKinley

No. 201

Submitted December 4, 1939

Decided December 18, 1939

308 U.S. 358


An Arkansas corporation, organized for profit and having its only place of business within the Government Reservation known as Hot Springs National Park, maintained and operated, under a long-term lease from the Secretary of the Interior, a bath house which it erected and equipped. The operation and use of the bath house facilities were subject to regulations promulgated by the Department of the Interior. The corporation had more than eight persons in its employ.


1. The corporation was not an "instrumentality of the United States" within the meaning of the federal Social Security Act,

Page 308 U. S. 359

and was not, under § 907, exempt from the tax imposed by that Act. P. 308 U. S. 362.

2. The corporation was subject to the tax imposed by the Arkansas Unemployment Compensation Law -- a law reciprocal to, and integrated with, the federal Social Security Act. P. 308 U. S. 363.

3. That Arkansas was authorized by Congress to impose the tax is implied from the fact that the corporation is subject to the federal tax and from the design of the federal Act to provide a cooperative system of state and federal taxation for social security in which the States were in effect invited to tax the same classes of employers as are taxed under the federal Act. P. 308 U. S. 364.

In the absence of any declaration to the contrary, it is a fair presumption semble that the purpose of Congress was to have the state law closely coterminous with its own.

4. The authority of Arkansas to impose the tax in question is merely an extension of the power to tax as personal property all structures and other property in private ownership on the Reservation, conferred by the Act of March 3, 1891. Pp. 308 U. S. 364-365.

198 Ark. 91, 127 S.W.2d 802, affirmed.

Certiorari, post, p. 508, to review the affirmance by the State Supreme Court of a decree of the lower state court which sustained a demurrer to and dismissed a bill to enjoin the collection of a tax imposed under the Arkansas Unemployment Compensation Law.

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