American Mfg Co v. City of St Louis, No. 365

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPITNEY
Citation39 S.Ct. 522,250 U.S. 459,63 L.Ed. 1084
PartiesAMERICAN MFG. CO. v. CITY OF ST. LOUIS. *
Decision Date09 June 1919
Docket NumberNo. 365

250 U.S. 459
39 S.Ct. 522
63 L.Ed. 1084
AMERICAN MFG. CO.

v.

CITY OF ST. LOUIS.*

No. 365.
Argued April 30, 1919.
Decided June 9, 1919.

Page 460

Messrs. S. Mayner Wallace and Shepard Barclay, both of St. Louis, Mo., for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. Everett Paul Griffin and Charles H. Daues, both of St. Louis, Mo., for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice PITNEY delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question is whether an ordinance of the city of St. Louis levying against manufacturers, especially as against plaintiff in error, a West Virginia corporation, a tax imposed as a condition of the grant of a license to carry on a manufacturing business in that city, but the amount of which is ascertained by and proportioned to the amount of sales of the manufactured goods, whether sold within or without the state, and whether in domestic or interstate commerce, is void as amounting to a regulation of commerce among the states and thus entrenching upon the power of the national Congress under article 1, § 8, of the Constitution, or as amounting to a taking of plaintiff's property without due process of law, in contravention of the Fourteenth Amendment.

A statute of the state (Rev. Stat. Mo. 1909, § 9857) authorizes cities to license, tax and regulate for local purposes the occupations of merchants and manufacturers and to graduate the amount of annual license imposed upon them in proportion to the sales made by such merchant or manufacturer during the year next preceding any fixed date. Pursuant to this authority the city, by the ordinance in question, in addition to an ad valorem property tax, requires every manufacturer in the city before doing or offering to do business as such to take out a license, and at a specified time to render a sworn statement of the aggregate amount of sales made by him during

Page 461

the year next preceding the first Monday of June, and within a short time thereafter to pay a license tax of $1 on each $1,000 of sales made. Failure or refusal to deliver the required statement or to pay the license tax within the time specified is made a misdemeanor punishable by fine and false statement under oath is made punishable false statement under oath is made punishable by forfeiture of the license in addition to a fine.

In a previous case (Manufacturing Co. v. St. Louis, 238 Mo. 267, 278, 142 S. W. 297), the Supreme Court of the state held that this tax did not apply to sales made of goods shipped from plaintiff's factory in the state of New York directly to purchasers in Texas, but only to sales from its St. Louis factory.

Int he present case, which was a suit brought in a state court by plaintiff in error against the city to recover so much of a disputed tax as is measured by sales of goods manufactured by plaintiff in the city, afterwards removed to storage warehouses outside of the state, and later sold from these warehouses to purchasers in states other than Missouri, the trial court at first gave judgment in favor of plaintiff on this item, and this having been reversed by the Supreme Court of the state (270 Mo. 40, 192 S. W. 402), a new trial resulting in favor of the city, and the second judgment having been affirmed (Mo., 198 S. W. 1183), the case comes here on writ of error.

In construing the statute and ordinance and defining the nature and effect of the tax, the Supreme Court expressed itself as follows (270 Mo. p. 45, 192 S. W. 403):

'It is not disputed that under the broad provision of its charter the city of St. Louis has the power to license and tax manufacturers within its limits; nor that the power includes the right to impose a tax upon the transaction of their business. Adopting...

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127 practice notes
  • Goldrick v. Coal Mining Co, BERWIND-WHITE
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • January 29, 1940
    ...support such a tax, and that it could fairly be measured by the sales price of the goods. Compare American Manufacturing Co. v. St. Louis, 250 U.S. 459, 39 S.Ct. 522, 63 L.Ed. 1084 with Crew Levick Co. v. Pennsylvania, 245 U.S. 292, 38 S.Ct. 126, 62 L.Ed. 295. See Western Live Stock v. Bure......
  • Duluth, S.S. & A.R. Co. v. Michigan Corp. and Securities Commission, No. 45
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • September 10, 1958
    ...622; Underwood Typewriter Co. v. Chamberlain, 254 U.S. 113, 41 S.Ct. 45, 65 L.Ed. 165; American Mfg. Co. v. City of St. Louis, supra [250 U.S. 459, 39 S.Ct. 522, 63 L.Ed. 1084]; International Shoe Co. v. Shartel, 279 U.S. 429, 433, 49 S.Ct. 380, 382, 73 S.Ct. 781; Western Cartridge Co. v. E......
  • Southern Package Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 31888
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • November 11, 1935
    ...The tax levied by chapter 119, Laws of 1934, is a privilege tax or excise tax and not a property tax. American Mfg. Co. v. St. Louis, 63 L.Ed. 1084; State v. G. M. & N. Ry. Co., 138 Miss. 70; Knisely v. Cotterel, 196 Pa. 614; Banker Bros. v. Commonwealth, 38 Pa. S.Ct. 101, 56 L.Ed. 168; Com......
  • State ex rel Battle v. B. D. Bailey & Sons, Inc., No. 12447
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • February 23, 1966
    ...East Ohio Gas Company v. Tax Commissioner, 283 U.S. 465, 51 S.Ct. 499, 75 L.Ed. 1171; American Manufacturing Company v. City of St. Louis, 250 U.S. 459, 39 S.Ct. 522, 63 L.Ed. 1084; Crew-Levick Company v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 245 U.S. 292, 38 S.Ct. 126, 62 L.Ed. 295. It is true tha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
127 cases
  • Goldrick v. Coal Mining Co, BERWIND-WHITE
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • January 29, 1940
    ...support such a tax, and that it could fairly be measured by the sales price of the goods. Compare American Manufacturing Co. v. St. Louis, 250 U.S. 459, 39 S.Ct. 522, 63 L.Ed. 1084 with Crew Levick Co. v. Pennsylvania, 245 U.S. 292, 38 S.Ct. 126, 62 L.Ed. 295. See Western Live Stock v. Bure......
  • Duluth, S.S. & A.R. Co. v. Michigan Corp. and Securities Commission, No. 45
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • September 10, 1958
    ...622; Underwood Typewriter Co. v. Chamberlain, 254 U.S. 113, 41 S.Ct. 45, 65 L.Ed. 165; American Mfg. Co. v. City of St. Louis, supra [250 U.S. 459, 39 S.Ct. 522, 63 L.Ed. 1084]; International Shoe Co. v. Shartel, 279 U.S. 429, 433, 49 S.Ct. 380, 382, 73 S.Ct. 781; Western Cartridge Co. v. E......
  • Southern Package Corporation v. State Tax Commission, 31888
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • November 11, 1935
    ...The tax levied by chapter 119, Laws of 1934, is a privilege tax or excise tax and not a property tax. American Mfg. Co. v. St. Louis, 63 L.Ed. 1084; State v. G. M. & N. Ry. Co., 138 Miss. 70; Knisely v. Cotterel, 196 Pa. 614; Banker Bros. v. Commonwealth, 38 Pa. S.Ct. 101, 56 L.Ed. 168; Com......
  • State ex rel Battle v. B. D. Bailey & Sons, Inc., No. 12447
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • February 23, 1966
    ...East Ohio Gas Company v. Tax Commissioner, 283 U.S. 465, 51 S.Ct. 499, 75 L.Ed. 1171; American Manufacturing Company v. City of St. Louis, 250 U.S. 459, 39 S.Ct. 522, 63 L.Ed. 1084; Crew-Levick Company v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 245 U.S. 292, 38 S.Ct. 126, 62 L.Ed. 295. It is true tha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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