Merchants Nat Bank of Richmond, Va v. City of Richmond, No. 240

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPITNEY
Citation41 S.Ct. 619,65 L.Ed. 1135,256 U.S. 635
Decision Date06 June 1921
Docket NumberNo. 240
PartiesMERCHANTS' NAT. BANK OF RICHMOND, VA., v. CITY OF RICHMOND

256 U.S. 635
41 S.Ct. 619
65 L.Ed. 1135
MERCHANTS' NAT. BANK OF RICHMOND, VA.,

v.

CITY OF RICHMOND.

No. 240.
Argued and Submitted March 21, 1921.
Decided June 6, 1921.

Page 636

Messrs. Legh R. Page and E. Warren Wall, both of Richmond, Va., for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. Henry R. Pollard and George Wayne Anderson, both of Richmond, Va., for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice PITNEY delivered the opinion of the Court.

The court of last resort of Virginia sustained a tax assessed by the city of Richmond in the year 1915, in form against plaintiff in error, a national banking association, in substance and effect against its shareholders, overruling a contention based upon the Constitution and laws of the United States. To review its judgment a writ of error has been sued out and allowed, and application has been made also for the allowance of a writ of certiorari. The proceeding originated in the hustings court of the city of Richmond with a petition filed by the bank against the city to correct the assessment as erroneous. The first hearing resulted in an order granting the relief prayed for, upon grounds not now material; but, upon review by the Supreme Court of Appeals, this was reversed (124 Va. 522, 98 S. E. 643), and the case remanded

Page 637

for further proceedings in conformity with the views of that court; in consequence of which, correction of the alleged erroneous assessment was refused by the trial court, and the proceeding dismissed. An application for a writ of error to review this judgment was denied by the Supreme Court of Appeals, with the effect of affirming the judgment of the hustings court.

The tax was imposed pursuant to an ordinance approved April 9, 1915, passed under the powers conferred upon the city by its charter and an act of the General Assembly approved March 15, 1915 (Acts Va. 1915, c. 85, p. 119). The opinion of the court of last resort shows that plaintiff in error drew in question the validity of the ordinance and statute, as construed and applied, upon the ground of their alleged repugnance to section 5219, Rev. Stat. U. S. (Comp. St. § 9784), and that the court sustained their validity notwithstanding. Under section 237, Judicial Code, as amended by Act of Sept. 6, 1916, c. 448, 39 Stat. 726 (Comp. St. § 1214), a writ of error is the appropriate process for reviewing the final judgment in this court, and the petition for allowance of a writ of certiorari will be denied.

It will not be necessary to recite the provisions of the statute and ordinance, beyond saying that, taken in connection with another act of the General Assembly, approved March 17, 1915 (Acts Va. 1915, c. 117, p. 160), they authorized the imposition for the year 1915 upon bank stocks, state and national, of a tax for state purposes at the rate of 35 cents and a tax for city purposes at the rate of $1.40—a total of $1.75—upon the $100 of valuation, while upon intangible personal property in general, including bonds, notes, and other evidences of indebtedness, the state rate was 65 cents and the city rate 30 cents, an aggregate of 95 cents, upon each $100 of valuation.

The bank's petition alleged, and the evidence showed without dispute, that in the city of Richmond, in 1915,

Page 638

city and state taxes at the rates first mentioned were imposed upon national bank stocks (including that of plaintiff in error) to the aggregate value of more than $8,000,000, and stocks of state banks and trust companies to the value of $6,000,000 and upwards, while taxes at the lower aggregate rate of 95 cents per $100—city tax, 30 cents; state tax, 65 cents—were imposed for the same year upon bonds, notes, and other evidences of indebtedness aggregating $6,250,000. It is to be inferred that a substantial part of this aggregate was in the hands of individual taxpayers; the precise amount does not appear. It also was shown by evidence without dispute that moneyed capital in the hands of individuals invested in bonds, notes, and other evidences of indebtedness comes...

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57 practice notes
  • Person v. Bd. Of State Tax Com&rs, (No. 250.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • December 20, 1922
    ...home office or through the company issuing the same. U. S. Revised Statutes, § 5219 (Comp. St. § 9784); Merchants' Nat. Bk. v. Richmond, 256 U. S. 635, 41 Sup. Ct. 619, 65 L. Ed. 1135; Home Savings Bk. v. Des Moines, 205 U. S. 503, 27 Sup. Ct. 571, 51 L. Ed. 901; National Bk. v. Owensboro, ......
  • Milling Co v. Bondurant, DAHNKE-WALKER
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • October 10, 1921
    ...560, 64 L. Ed. 989, Missouri Pac. R. Co. v. Ault, 256 U. S. 554, 41 Sup. Ct. 593, 65 L. Ed. 1087, and Merchants' Nat. Bank v. Richmond, 256 U. S. 635, 41 Sup. Ct. 619, 65 L. Ed. 1135. In Eureka Pipe Line Co. v. Hallanan, 257 U. S. 265, 42 Sup. Ct. 101, 66 L. Ed. 227, and United Fuel Gas Co.......
  • MAPCO Ammonia Pipeline, Inc. v. State Bd. of Equalization and Assessment, MID-AMERICA
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • July 10, 1991
    ...in the hands of individual citizens of such State...." U.S.Rev.Stat. § 5219 (2d ed. 1878). In Merchants' Natl. Bank v. Richmond, 256 U.S. 635, 41 S.Ct. 619, 65 L.Ed. 1135 (1921), the Court held that "moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens" included bonds, notes, ......
  • Sterling v. Constantin v. 15 8212 16, 1932, Nos. 11
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 12, 1932
    ...1; Union Pacific R. Co. v. Public Service Commission, 248 U.S. 67, 69, 39 S.Ct. 24, 63 L.Ed. 131; Merchants' National Bank v. Richmond, 256 U.S. 635, 638, 41 S.Ct. 619, 65 L.Ed. 1135; First National Bank v. City of Hartford, 273 U.S. 548, 552, 553, 47 S.Ct. 462, 71 L.Ed. 767, 59 A.L.R. 1; F......
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65 cases
  • Morgan v. Rhodes, No. 71-1335.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • February 15, 1972
    ...735; Union Pacific R. Co. v. Public Service Commn., 248 U.S. 67, 69, 39 S.Ct. 24, 63 L.Ed. 131; Merchants\' National Bank v. Richmond, 256 U.S. 635, 638, 41 S.Ct. 619, 65 L.Ed. 1135; First National Bank v. City of Hartford, 273 U.S. 548, 552, 553, 47 S.Ct. 462, 71 L.Ed. 767; Fiske v. State ......
  • Brooklyn Sav Bank v. Neil Dize v. Maddrix Arsenal Bldg Corporation v. Greenberg 8212 1945, Nos. 445
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 9, 1945
    ...might be and presumably would be found therefrom by the state court. Merchants' Nat. Bank of Richmond, Va., v. City of Richmond, 256 U.S. 635, 638, 41 S.Ct. 619, 620, 65 L.Ed. 1135; Carlson v. State of Washington ex rel. Curtiss, 234 U.S. 103, 105, 34 S.Ct. 717, 58 L.Ed. 1237; Cf. United Ga......
  • First Agricultural National Bank of Berkshire County v. State Tax Commission, No. 755
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 17, 1968
    ...with the business of national banks.' Just two years before, this Court had ruled in Merchants' Nat. Bank of Richmond v. Richmond, 256 U.S. 635, 41 S.Ct. 619, 65 L.Ed. 1135 (1921), that such bonds and notes were moneyed capital in competition with national banks and thus covered by § 548. S......
  • Cent. Nat. Bank v. City of Lynn
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • March 12, 1927
    ...First National Bank of Guthrie Center v. Anderson, 269 U. S. 341, 348, 46 S. Ct. 135, 70 L. Ed. 295;Merchants' National Bank v. Richmond, 256 U. S. 635, 41 S. Ct. 619, 65 L. Ed. 1135. ‘Rate’ in this connection in our statute is not in every instance and for all time the necessary equivalent......
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