Geo. B. Wallace, Inc. v. Pfost, 6367

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtBUDGE, J.
Citation65 P.2d 725,57 Idaho 279
PartiesGEO. B. WALLACE, INC., a Corporation, WENTWORTH & IRWIN, INC., a Corporation, RAYMER MOTOR COMPANY, a Corporation, D. E. WALLACE, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of WALLACE BROTHERS, COHEN-ANDERSON MOTOR CO., INC., a Corporation, LAMPING MOTORS, INC., a Corporation, LEWIS & CULBERSON, INC., a Corporation, TRANSPORT CORPORATION, a Corporation, W. R. PADDOCK, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of PADDOCK MOTORS CO., ALLEN MOTOR COMPANY, a Corporation, LINEHAM MOTOR CORPORATION, a Corporation, CHARLES NELSON, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of CHARLES NELSON COMPANY, J. T. DAVIS, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of TWIN FALLS MOTOR COMPANY, MID-COLUMBIA GARAGE, INC., a Corporation, WILLIAM H. MCLOUGHLIN, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of MCLOUGHLIN AUTO COMPANY, M. J. GOSS, FOSTER MOTOR CO., INC., a Corporation, BOISE MOTOR CAR COMPANY, a Corporation, for and in Behalf of Themselves and All Others Similarly Situated, Respondents, v. EMMITT PFOST, as Commissioner of Law Enforcement of the State of Idaho, Appellant, and R. M. LOGSDON, Doing Business Under the Firm Name and Style of SUNSET MOTOR COMPANY, Intervenor and Respondent
Decision Date18 January 1937
Docket Number6367

65 P.2d 725

57 Idaho 279

GEO. B. WALLACE, INC., a Corporation, WENTWORTH & IRWIN, INC., a Corporation, RAYMER MOTOR COMPANY, a Corporation, D. E. WALLACE, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of WALLACE BROTHERS, COHEN-ANDERSON MOTOR CO., INC., a Corporation, LAMPING MOTORS, INC., a Corporation, LEWIS & CULBERSON, INC., a Corporation, TRANSPORT CORPORATION, a Corporation, W. R. PADDOCK, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of PADDOCK MOTORS CO., ALLEN MOTOR COMPANY, a Corporation, LINEHAM MOTOR CORPORATION, a Corporation, CHARLES NELSON, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of CHARLES NELSON COMPANY, J. T. DAVIS, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of TWIN FALLS MOTOR COMPANY, MID-COLUMBIA GARAGE, INC., a Corporation, WILLIAM H. MCLOUGHLIN, Doing Business Under the Trade Name and Style of MCLOUGHLIN AUTO COMPANY, M. J. GOSS, FOSTER MOTOR CO., INC., a Corporation, BOISE MOTOR CAR COMPANY, a Corporation, for and in Behalf of Themselves and All Others Similarly Situated, Respondents,
v.

EMMITT PFOST, as Commissioner of Law Enforcement of the State of Idaho, Appellant, and R. M. LOGSDON, Doing Business Under the Firm Name and Style of SUNSET MOTOR COMPANY, Intervenor and Respondent

No. 6367

Supreme Court of Idaho

January 18, 1937


"CARAVAN ACT"-CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-EQUAL PROTECTION-DUE PROCESS-LICENSE TAX-DUAL TAXATION.

1. State may impose on those using motor vehicles in state, though engaged in interstate commerce, a charge, registration, or license fee which is a fair contribution to the cost of constructing and maintaining highways and regulating traffic thereon.

2. Statute taxing transportation of automobiles into state in caravans held not "to" unconstitutionally discriminate against interstate commerce or to deny nonresidents engaged in caravaning automobiles due process of law, or equal protection of laws, abridge their privileges and immunities, or deprive them of privileges and immunities enjoyed by citizens of state, in view of license taxes imposed on resident dealers.

3. Burden is on those attacking the tax on transportation of automobiles in caravans as discriminating against interstate commerce to plead and prove, not only that the tax is inapplicable to interstate commerce, but that in actual practice it falls upon interstate commerce with economic weight disproportionate to burden of taxation imposed on interstate commerce.

4. Statute imposes tax on transportation of automobiles in caravans by both interstate automobile dealers and resident dealers engaged in same traffic.

5. Constitutional prohibition of dual taxation of property relates only to ad valorem taxes.

6. Tax on transportation of automobiles in caravans is excise or license tax not within constitutional prohibition of dual taxation.

7. Statute taxing transportation of automobiles in caravans does not unconstitutionally discriminate against resident dealers paying also a dealers' license tax.

8. Court takes judicial notice that there are no manufacturing plants in the state for the building of automobiles and transporting them from within to without state.

[57 Idaho 281]

9. Such construction of statute as will sustain constitutionality if reasonably possible must be adopted.

APPEAL from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, for Ada County. Hon. Charles E. Winstead, Judge.

Suit to obtain an injunction. Judgment for plaintiffs. Reversed.

Reversed and remanded with instructions. Petition for rehearing denied.

Bert H. Miller, Attorney General, Ariel L. Crowley, Assistant Attorney General, and Lawrence B. Quinn, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellant.

The right of the state to classify motor vehicles for taxation and fix the amount of tax is settled; the propriety of classification is fundamentally a legislative matter, not judicial, and judicial interference is permissible only in case there exists no reasonable ground for classification. ( Curtis v. Post, 53 Idaho 1, 21 P.2d 73; 42 C. J. 666, sec. 81; Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, 140 P. 529; In re Kessler, 26 Idaho 764, 146 P. 113, Ann. Cas. 1917A, 228, L. R. A., 1915D, 322; J. C. Penney Co. v. Diefendorf, 54 Idaho 374, 32 P.2d 784; Stebbins v. Riley, 268 U.S. 137, 45 S.Ct. 424, 69 L.Ed. 884, 44 A. L. R. 1454; Consolidated Freight Lines v. Pfost, 7 F.Supp. 629.)

It is within the legislative right to make a compensatory highway use excise tax inapplicable to intrastate business which already bears ad valorem taxation and other impositions for the same or similar purposes, and there is no unlawful discrimination against interstate commerce in so doing. ( Vaughan v. City of Richmond, 165 Va. 145, 181 S.E. 372; Hinson v. Lott, 8 Wall. (U.S.) 148, 19 L.Ed. 387; Doscher v. Query, 21 F.2d 521, 525; State Tax Commrs. v. Jackson, 283 U.S. 527, 51 S.Ct. 540, 75 L.Ed. 1248, 73 A. L. R. 1464.)

The state may levy a different tax on the same general character of business when conducted in essentially different modes. ( Greenleaf & Crosby Co. v. Coleman, 117 Fla. 723, 158 So. 421 (427); Singer Sewing Mach. Co. v. Brickell, 233 U.S. 304, 34 S.Ct. 493, 58 L.Ed. 974; Emert v. Missouri, 156 U.S. 296, 15 S.Ct. 367, 39 L.Ed. 430; Borough of Warren v. Geer, 117 Pa. 207, 11 A. 415.)

In Idaho all motor vehicles moving in interstate or intrastate commerce prior to enactment of the Caravan Act were subjected to taxes except caravaned cars. The Caravan Act eliminated existing discrimination arising upon what will be judicially noticed to be a new type of interstate commerce.

Taxation of other classes (Smallwood v. Jeter, 42 Idaho 169, 244 P. 149; Curtis v. Pfost, 53 Idaho 1, 21 P.2d 73; Garrett Trans. & Stor. Co. v. Pfost, 54 Idaho 576, 33 P.2d 743; Consolidated Freight Lines v. Pfost, supra.)

The right of this state to impose a compensating excise on vehicles moving in interstate commerce to defray maintenance, police supervision, construction and similar expenses and to afford a reasonable return upon the value of such use is unquestionable, being a settled rule of law in this jurisdiction, federal and state. (Garrett Trans. & Stor. Co. v. Pfost, supra; Consolidated Freight Lines v. Pfost, supra; Sanger v. Lukens, 24 F.2d 226.)

Dean Driscoll, for Respondents.

This act is void because the actual subject is not included in the Governor's proclamation convening the special session. (Article 4, sec. 9, Const.; Richmond v. Lay, 261 Ky. 138, 87 S.W.2d 134; In re Opinion of the Justices, 94 Colo. 215, 29 P.2d 705; State v. Pugh, 31 Ariz. 317, 252 P. 1018.)

The act is void because the actual subject is not "caravaning" nor the regulation thereof and the subject is not included in the title, and the title is false and delusive. (Article 3, sec. 16, Const.; Turner v. Coffin, 9 Idaho 338, 74 P. 962; Johnson v. Diefendorf, 56 Idaho 620, 57 P.2d 1068.)

The state's exactions for the use of the roads and the cost of police measures must, as to interstate commerce, be measured by the amount of such use or at least by the extent of the privilege granted, and cannot be a flat fee for all irrespective of the privilege granted. (Sprout v. South Bend, 277 U.S. 163, 48 S.Ct. 502, 72 L.Ed. 833; Carley & Hamilton v. Snook, 281 U.S. 66, 50 S.Ct. 204, 74 L.Ed. 704; Interstate Transit v. Lindsey, 283 U.S. 183, 51 S.Ct. 380, 75 L.Ed. 953; Prouty v. Coyne, 55 F.2d 289.)

The Caravan Act deprives respondents of their liberty and their property without due process of law, and denies them the equal protection of the laws, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and similar provisions of section 13 of article 1 of the state Constitution, for:

The classifications attempted have no relationship to the object and purpose of the law and are therefore discriminatory. ( Colgate v. Harvey, 296 U.S. 404, 56 S.Ct. 252, 80 L.Ed. 299, 102 A. L. R. 54; Louisville Gas & Elec. Co. v. Coleman, 277 U.S. 32, 48 S.Ct. 423, 72 L.Ed. 770; Metropolitan Cas. Ins. Co. v. Brownell, 294 U.S. 580, 55 S.Ct. 538, 79 L.Ed. 1070; Smith v. Cahoon, 283 U.S. 553, 51 S.Ct. 582, 75 L.Ed. 1264-1274; Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U.S. 540, 22 S.Ct. 431, 46 L.Ed. 679.)

The act violates the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as to national citizenship, for:

Although that clause does not apply to corporations, many of the plaintiffs are individuals, and if individuals are exempt, the act would be void as to corporations under the equal protection clause, which clause does apply to corporations. ( Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U.S. 233, 56 S.Ct. 444, 80 L.Ed. 660.)

The privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies in favor of citizens of all the states, including those of the state enacting the questioned legislation. ( Colgate v. Harvey, supra.)

And while this clause protects only the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States as distinguished from citizens of the states (Hamilton v. University of California, 293 U.S. 245, 55 S.Ct. 197, 79 L.Ed. 343), the rights in question under the Caravan Act are privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States. ( Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78, 29 S.Ct. 14, 53 L.Ed. 97; Colgate v. Harvey, supra.)

BUDGE, J. Morgan, C. J., and Holden, Ailshie and Givens, JJ., concur.

OPINION

[57 Idaho 283] BUDGE, J.

The Second Extraordinary Session of the 1935 Legislature enacted a law now commonly known as the [57 Idaho 284] "Caravan Act" (chap. 2, Second Extraordinary Session Laws of 1935), levying a fee of $ 5 per caravaned automobile transported from without the state, on its own wheels or in tow of another motor vehicle, for the purpose of selling or offering the same for sale. This appeal by the Commissioner of Law Enforcement is from a final judgment entered after a trial on the merits in the [65 P.2d 726] district court, enjoining the commissioner, as the officer charged with such duty, from...

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7 practice notes
  • Paul Gray, Inc. v. Ingels, Eq. 1203-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • July 9, 1938
    ...___ (statute prohibiting the use on the highway of trucks exceeding certain length and weight); George B. Wallace, Inc., v. Pfost, 1937, 57 Idaho 279, 65 P.2d 725, and annotations thereto in 110 A.L.R. 622 (fee on caravaning automobiles). See also Clyde Mallory Lines v. Alabama ex rel., 193......
  • Century Distilling Co. v. Defenbach
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 16, 1940
    ...disclosed by the following cases, wherein injunctive relief was sought against appointive state officers: Geo. B. Wallace, Inc., v. Pfost, 57 Idaho 279, 65 P.2d 725, 110 A.L.R. 613; Johnson v. Diefendorf, 56 Idaho 620, 57 P.2d 1068; Garrett Trans. & Storage Co. v. Pfost, 54 Idaho 576, 33 P.......
  • Idaho Gold Dredging Company v. Balderston, 6470
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 25, 1938
    ...42 Idaho 169, 244 P. 149; Garrett Transfer Co. v. Pfost, supra; J. C. Penney Co. v. Diefendorf, supra; Geo. B. Wallace, Inc., v. Pfost, 57 Idaho 279, 65 P.2d 725, 729, 110 A. L. R. 613.) But appellants contend this is not an excise but [58 Idaho 708] in effect an ad valorem property tax in ......
  • John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Neill, Nos. 8399
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 11, 1957
    ...A.L.R. 317; Scottish American Mtg. Co., Ltd., v. Minidoka County, 47 Idaho 33, 272 P. 498, 65 A.L.R. 663; Geo. B. Wallace, Inc., v. Pfost, 57 Idaho 279, 65 P.2d 725, 110 A.L.R. 613; John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth, 68 Idaho 185, 191 P.2d 359; State ex rel. Haworth v. Berntsen, 68......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Paul Gray, Inc. v. Ingels, Eq. 1203-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • July 9, 1938
    ...___ (statute prohibiting the use on the highway of trucks exceeding certain length and weight); George B. Wallace, Inc., v. Pfost, 1937, 57 Idaho 279, 65 P.2d 725, and annotations thereto in 110 A.L.R. 622 (fee on caravaning automobiles). See also Clyde Mallory Lines v. Alabama ex rel., 193......
  • Century Distilling Co. v. Defenbach
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 16, 1940
    ...disclosed by the following cases, wherein injunctive relief was sought against appointive state officers: Geo. B. Wallace, Inc., v. Pfost, 57 Idaho 279, 65 P.2d 725, 110 A.L.R. 613; Johnson v. Diefendorf, 56 Idaho 620, 57 P.2d 1068; Garrett Trans. & Storage Co. v. Pfost, 54 Idaho 576, 33 P.......
  • Idaho Gold Dredging Company v. Balderston, 6470
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 25, 1938
    ...42 Idaho 169, 244 P. 149; Garrett Transfer Co. v. Pfost, supra; J. C. Penney Co. v. Diefendorf, supra; Geo. B. Wallace, Inc., v. Pfost, 57 Idaho 279, 65 P.2d 725, 729, 110 A. L. R. 613.) But appellants contend this is not an excise but [58 Idaho 708] in effect an ad valorem property tax in ......
  • John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Neill, Nos. 8399
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 11, 1957
    ...A.L.R. 317; Scottish American Mtg. Co., Ltd., v. Minidoka County, 47 Idaho 33, 272 P. 498, 65 A.L.R. 663; Geo. B. Wallace, Inc., v. Pfost, 57 Idaho 279, 65 P.2d 725, 110 A.L.R. 613; John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth, 68 Idaho 185, 191 P.2d 359; State ex rel. Haworth v. Berntsen, 68......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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