Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Co v. Board of Equalization of Tulsa County, Okl Same v. Board of County Com Rs of Payne County, Okl

Decision Date13 February 1933
Docket NumberNos. 356,357,s. 356
Citation77 L.Ed. 812,53 S.Ct. 388,288 U.S. 325
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Mr. John H. Miley, of Oklahoma City, Okl., for petitioner.

Mr. Hugh Webster, of Tulsa, Okl., for respondent Board of Equalization of Tulsa County, Okl.

Mr. Ernest F. Jenkins, of Stillwater, Okl., for respondent Board of County Com'rs of Payne County, Okl.

Mr. Chief Justice HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.

These cases present the question of the validity of ad valorem taxes upon crude oil belonging to petitioner, Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Company, and held by it in its storage tanks in Tulsa County and Payne County, Oklahoma. In each case, the tax was challenged upon the ground that the oil was exempt because in its production petitioner was operating as an instrumentality of the United States. The Supreme Court of Oklahoma sustained the taxes (13 P.(2d) 585; 14 P.(2d) 929); and the cases come here on writs of certiorari. 287 U.S. 594, 53 S.Ct. 223, 77 L.Ed. —-.

The facts are shown by agreed statements. The oil in question was assessed under the general laws of the State for annual ad valorem taxes as a part of the personal property of petitioner within the respective counties. It constituted petitioner's share of oil which petitioner had produced from restricted Indian lands in Seminole County, Oklahoma, under leases which had been approved by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the Act of Congress of May 27, 1908, 35 Stat. 312. In the Tulsa County Case (No. 356), the assessment was for the year 1929 and included 51,630 barrels of crude oil which had been produced from the restricted lands above mentioned during the period from March 31, 1927, to June 16, 1927. This oil on production had been commingled with oil from petitioner's 'commercial' or unrestricted leasehold properties in Seminole County and had been immediately piped into petitioner's storage tanks in Tulsa County where it had remained. At the time of the removal of the oil, petitioner paid to the Superintendent of the Five Civilized Tribes for the lessors the agreed royalty of 12 1/2 per cent. of the gross proceeds, and the Indians owned no part of the oil in storage on January 1, 1929, the date of assessment, nor will they receive any part of the proceeds when the oil is sold by petitioner. In the Payne County Case (No. 357), the question concerns 383,307 barrels of crude oil produced from the restricted lands prior to January 1, 1928 (the assessment date) and piped, with other oil, into petitioner's storage tanks in Payne County and there held.

In Jaybird Mining Company v. Weir, 271 U.S. 609, 46 S.Ct. 592, 70 L.Ed. 1112, an ad valorem tax upon ores mined under a lease of restricted Indian land and in the bins on that land on the assessment date was held to be invalid. The tax 'was assessed on the ores in mass, and the royalties or equitable interests of the Indians had not been paid or segregated.' Id., page 612 of 271 U.S., 46 S.Ct. 592, 593. In these circumstances the tax was regarded as an attempt to tax an agency of the federal government. That decision is not controlling in the instant case. Here, payment had been made for the share of the Indian lessors and they had no further interest in the oil. It had been commingled with other oil, had been transported from the restricted lands to petitioner's storage tanks in the taxing counties, and was there held exclusively in the interest and for the convenience of petitioner.

There is a recognized distinction between a non-discriminatory tax upon the property of an agent of govern- ment, albeit the property is used in, or has relation to, the...

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24 cases
  • Clinton v. State Tax Commission
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court
    • 20 Septiembre 1937
    ... ... 434, 435, 75 L.Ed. 1042; Indian ... Territory Oil Co. v. Board of Com'rs, 288 ... municipality and the county in which the dispensaries were ... located, and ... 12 U.S.C.A. § 701. Furthermore, the same ... statute expressly provides no deposits may ... State Board of ... Equalization, 99 Mont. 534, 45 P.2d 316, had occasion to ... ...
  • Schlosser v. Welsh
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Dakota
    • 19 Febrero 1934
    ...Ct. 546, 76 L. Ed. 1010; Broad River Power Co. v. Query, 288 U. S. 178, 53 S. Ct. 326, 77 L. Ed. 685; Indian Territory Oil Co. v. Board, 288 U. S. 325, 53 S. Ct. 388, 389, 77 L. Ed. 812; Burnet v. A. T. Jergins Trust, 288 U. S. 508, 53 S. Ct. 439, 77 L. Ed. 925; St. Louis-San Francisco R. C......
  • Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Texas Co Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Magnolia Petroleum Co
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • 7 Marzo 1949
    ...taxes.18 And the oil and gas produced is, of course, subject to such taxation. Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Co. v. Board of Equalization of Tulsa County, Okl., 288 U.S. 325, 53 S.Ct. 388, 77 L.Ed. 812. Both by the substance of the statute's explicit provisions and by the consistent con......
  • Helvering v. Mountain Producers Corporation
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • 7 Marzo 1938
    ...the law of Texas the leases effected a present sale to the lessee of the oil and gas in place. In Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Company v. Board, 288 U.S. 325, 53 S.Ct. 388, 77 L.Ed. 812, the Court sustained a nondiscriminatory ad valorem tax imposed by the State of Oklahoma on oil extr......
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