Carpenter v. Shaw, No. 50

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSTONE
Citation74 L.Ed. 478,280 U.S. 363,50 S.Ct. 121
PartiesCARPENTER et al. v. SHAW, State Auditor of Oklahoma
Docket NumberNo. 50
Decision Date06 January 1930

280 U.S. 363
50 S.Ct. 121
74 L.Ed. 478
CARPENTER et al.

v.

SHAW, State Auditor of Oklahoma.

No. 50.
Argued and Submitted Dec. 5, 1929.
Decided Jan. 6, 1930.

Page 364

Messrs. Stephen A. George and J. B. Moore, both of Ardmore, Okl., for petitioners.

Messrs. J. Berry King, of Oklahoma City, Okl., and V. P. Crowe, of Enid, Okl., for respondent.

[Argument of Counsel from page 364 intentionally omitted]

Page 365

Mr. Justice STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case comes here on writ of certiorari, 279 U. S. 830, 49 S. Ct. 349, 73 L. Ed. 980, to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma to review its judgment upholding a tax imposed under section 9814, Compiled Oklahoma Statutes of 1921, upon 'the owner of any royalty interest' in petroleum and natural gas, to the extent of 3 per cent. of the gross value of the royalty.

The petitioners are enrolled Choctaw Indians of less than half blood who, by virtue of their membership in the tribe, have received allotments of lands within the state of Oklahoma, under the Atoka Agreement with the Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribes, embodied in section 29 of the Act of June 28, 1898, ratified August 24, 1898 (30 Stat. 495). By this section it is provided that 'all the lands allotted shall be notaxable while the title remains in the original allottee, but not to exceed twenty-one years from date of patent, * * *' which period had not expired with respect to the lands of petitioners at any of the times material to the present case. All restrictions on alienation affecting the allotments of these petitioners were removed by Act of Congress of May 27, 1908 (35 Stat. 312).

The petitioners, who have leased their allotments for the production of oil and gas, reserving a royalty of one-eighth of the value of the gross production, have paid the tax assessed for 1926 and 1927 under protest, and brought the present suit to recover it as exacted contrary to the exemption. The state court denied recovery on the ground that the tax is imposed only on the oil and gas when severed from the land, and so is a tax upon personalty not embraced within the exemption. 134 Okl. 35, 272 P. 393.

In Choate v. Trapp, 224 U. S. 665, 32 S. Ct. 565, 56 L. Ed. 941, the history of the Atoka Agreement was reviewed by this court. It was there held that the provision for the exemption conferred, upon the allottees, property rights which were within

Page 366

the protection of the Fifth Amendment, and hence it was not subject to repeal by later Congressional legislation; that the restriction, being one imposed in the exercise of the plenary power of Congress over the Indian tribes and tribal lands and in the performance of its duty as the guardian of its Indian wards, see Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, 187 U. S. 553, 565, 23 S. Ct. 216, 47 L. Ed. 299, and having been accepted by the state of Oklahoma in its constitution upon admission to statehood, was a limitation upon the taxing power of the state. See, also, Ward v. Board of Com'rs of Love County, 253 U. S. 17, 40 S. Ct. 419, 64 L. Ed. 751.

Until the removal by the act of May 27, 1908, of existing restrictions on alienation of the allotted lands, state taxation even more remotely affecting the interests of allottees than the present tax would concededly have been forbidden as a tax upon an instrumentality of the national government. See Choctaw, O. & Gulf R. R. v. Harrison, 235 U. S. 292, 35 S. Ct. 27, 59 L. Ed. 234; Jaybird Mining Co. v. Weir, 271 U. S. 609, 46 S. Ct. 592, 70 L. Ed. 1112; Gillespie v. Oklahoma, 257 U. S. 501, 42 S. Ct. 171, 66 L. Ed. 338; Howard v. Gipsy Oil Company, 247 U. S. 503, 38 S. Ct. 426, 62 L. Ed. 1239; Large Oil Company v. Howard, 248 U. S. 549, 39 S. Ct. 183, 63 L. Ed. 416. But it is urged that, as the restrictions have now been removed, Congress, by its attempted repeal of the exemption and by later legislation of May 10, 1928 (45 Stat. 496), subjecting oil and gas, produced from restricted allotted lands of members of the five civilized tribes, to state and federal taxes, has evidenced an intention to subject the Indians to all taxes imposed upon citizens of Oklahoma. From this it is concluded that the exemption in section 29 must be narrowly construed to effect the Congressional purpose. See Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corp., 276 U. S. 575, 46 S. Ct. 333, 72 L. Ed. 709.

While in general tax exemptions...

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221 practice notes
  • United States v. Cleveland, No. CR 17-0965 JB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • November 21, 2018
    ...have understood them."). Any ambiguity in an agreement is to be resolved in the American Indians' favor. See, e.g., Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363, 367, 50 S.Ct. 121, 74 L.Ed. 478 (1930).6 The Indian canon sometimes can come into conflict with other canons of statutory interpretation. When......
  • Akins v. Saxbe, Civ. No. 2031 N. D.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Court (Maine)
    • June 20, 1974
    ...862, 86 L.Ed. 1115 (1942); United States v. Shoshone Tribe, 304 U.S. 111, 116, 58 S.Ct. 794, 82 L.Ed. 1213 (1938); Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363, 367, 50 S.Ct. 121, 74 L.Ed. 478 (1930); United States v. Payne, 264 U.S. 446, 448-449, 44 S.Ct. 352, 68 L.Ed. 782 (1924); Winters v. United Sta......
  • City of Huntington v. Bacon, Nos. 23067
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 14, 1996
    ...tax and its effect on the federal right asserted." Harford County, 572 F.Supp. at 242[196 W.Va. 465] Page 751 (citing Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363, 367-68, 50 S.Ct. 121, 122-23, 74 L.Ed. 478, 482 (1930); United States v. Allegheny, 322 U.S. 174, 184, 64 S.Ct. 908, 914, 88 L.Ed. 1209, 121......
  • United States v. Sullivan, Civ. No. 11928.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • June 28, 1967
    ...United States.7 A particularly favorable construction is to be accorded tax exemptions secured to the Indian people. Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363, 366-367, 50 S.Ct. 121, 74 L.Ed. 478 (1930). But, although a state cannot invalidate a federally created right, state law may implement its ex......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
221 cases
  • United States v. Cleveland, No. CR 17-0965 JB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • November 21, 2018
    ...have understood them."). Any ambiguity in an agreement is to be resolved in the American Indians' favor. See, e.g., Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363, 367, 50 S.Ct. 121, 74 L.Ed. 478 (1930).6 The Indian canon sometimes can come into conflict with other canons of statutory interpretation. When......
  • Akins v. Saxbe, Civ. No. 2031 N. D.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Court (Maine)
    • June 20, 1974
    ...862, 86 L.Ed. 1115 (1942); United States v. Shoshone Tribe, 304 U.S. 111, 116, 58 S.Ct. 794, 82 L.Ed. 1213 (1938); Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363, 367, 50 S.Ct. 121, 74 L.Ed. 478 (1930); United States v. Payne, 264 U.S. 446, 448-449, 44 S.Ct. 352, 68 L.Ed. 782 (1924); Winters v. United Sta......
  • City of Huntington v. Bacon, Nos. 23067
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 14, 1996
    ...tax and its effect on the federal right asserted." Harford County, 572 F.Supp. at 242[196 W.Va. 465] Page 751 (citing Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363, 367-68, 50 S.Ct. 121, 122-23, 74 L.Ed. 478, 482 (1930); United States v. Allegheny, 322 U.S. 174, 184, 64 S.Ct. 908, 914, 88 L.Ed. 1209, 121......
  • United States v. Sullivan, Civ. No. 11928.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • June 28, 1967
    ...United States.7 A particularly favorable construction is to be accorded tax exemptions secured to the Indian people. Carpenter v. Shaw, 280 U.S. 363, 366-367, 50 S.Ct. 121, 74 L.Ed. 478 (1930). But, although a state cannot invalidate a federally created right, state law may implement its ex......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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