Shaw v. Oil Corporation, GIBSON-ZAHNISER

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSTONE
Citation48 S.Ct. 333,276 U.S. 575,72 L.Ed. 709
PartiesSHAW, State Auditor of Oklahoma, v. OIL CORPORATION et al
Decision Date09 April 1928
Docket NumberNo. 234,GIBSON-ZAHNISER

276 U.S. 575
48 S.Ct. 333
72 L.Ed. 709
SHAW, State Auditor of Oklahoma,



No. 234.
Argued Feb. 29 and March 1, 1928.
Decided April 9, 1928.

Page 576

Messrs. V. P. Crowe, of Enid, Okl., and Edwin Dabney, of Oklahoma City, Okl., for Show. Shaw. for Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corporation.

Mr. Justice STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

Defendants in error brought this suit in the District Court for Western Oklahoma against plaintiff in error to recover state taxes paid under protest. Judgment was given for the plaintiff, and the case is now pending on writ of error in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. That court has certified to this questions of law concerning which it asks instructions for the proper decision of the cause. Judicial Code, § 239 (28 USCA § 346).

Page 577

The certificate discloses that defendants in error are the assignees of a departmental oil and gas lease of land belonging to Miller Tiger, a full blood Creek Indian. The leased land was purchased for Tiger while a minor by his guardians, with the permission of the county court of Okmulgee county, Oklahoma. The purchase price came from the accumulated royalties of a departmental lease of his restricted alloted lands. The purchase was made of a non-Indian citizen of Oklahoma and the deed, in compliance with conditions exacted by the Secretary of the Interior and the county court, provided that the land 'should not be alienated or leased during the lifetime of the grantee prior to April 26, 1931, without the consent of and approval by the Secretary of the Interior.' Before the purchase in 1915 the land had been subject to state, county, and municipal taxation. Since then local ad valorem taxes on the land have been paid without objection by the United States Indian agency. The tax now in question was levied and collected under Comp. Stat. Okl. 1921, § 9814, which imposes on those engaged in the production of oil and gas a tax equal to 3 per cent. of the gross value of the oil and gas produced 'less the royalty interest.' The questions certified are as follows:

(1) Had the Secretary of the Interior, on October 24, 1915, when this land was purchased, power to exempt from such state taxation land purchased under his supervision for a full-blood Creek Indian with trust funds of that Indian, where the land so purchased was, at that time, subject to all state taxes?

(2) Is that tax a forbidden tax upon a federal instrumentality?

In Sunderland v. United States, 266 U. S. 226, 45 S. Ct. 64, 69 L. Ed. 259, a restriction against alienation like that in the present case imposed by the Secretary on lands purchased for a Creek

Page 578

Indian, as were Tiger's, under section 1, c. 199, of the Act of May 27, 1908, 35 Stat. 312, was held to be a valid exercise of the power of the Secretary to remove restrictions from the land of full-blood Indians 'wholly or in part, * * * 'under such rules and regulations concerning terms of sale and disposal of the proceeds for the benefit of the respective Indians as he may prescribe." In an earlier case, McCurdy v. United States, 246 U. S. 263, 38 S. Ct. 289, 62 L. Ed. 706, this court had held that a similar restriction upon lands similarly purchased for an Osage Indian could not have the effect contended for there, and here, of exempting the land from state taxation for the reason that under the applicable provisions of a different statute, section 5, c. 8o, Act of April 18, 1912, 37 Stat. 86, the Secretary was without authority to impose the restriction. And, in United States v. Ransom, 263 U. S. 691, 44 S. Ct. 230, 68 L. Ed. 508, affirming (C. C. A.) 284 F. 108, it was held, on the authority of McCurdy v. United States, supra, that the state had power to tax lands purchased for a Creek Indian citizen with restrictions against alienation imposed by the Secretary under section 1 of the Act of May 27, 1908, which was the statute later passed on in Sunderland v. United States, supra. The construction to be placed on these decisions is that the lands now in question, and hence the interest of the lessee in them, are not such instrumentalities of the government as will be declared immune from taxation in the absence of an express exemption by Congress and that the mere act of the Secretary in imposing the restriction is not the exercise of any power which may reside in Congress to exempt them from taxation.

What governmental instrumentalities will be held free from state taxation, though Congress has not expressly so provided, cannot be determined apart from the purpose and character of the legislation creating them....

To continue reading

Request your trial
63 practice notes
  • Nation v. State ex rel. Oklahoma Tax Commission, No. 01-CV-516-JHP-FHM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Northern District of Oklahoma
    • January 23, 2009
    ...and the privileges of the owner of property, including the duty to pay taxes."); see also Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corp., 276 U.S. 575, 579, 48 S.Ct. 333, 72 L.Ed. 709 (1928) (same, regarding Creek tribal 7. Of the total original Osage lands comprising over 1.47 million acres, all were a......
  • John v. Baker, No. S-8099.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • September 8, 1999 75-76 [82 S.Ct. 562]; Tulee v. Washington, 315 U.S. 681, 683 [62 S.Ct. 862, 86 L.Ed. 1115] (1942); Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corp., 276 U.S. 575 [48 S.Ct. 333, 72 L.Ed. 709] (1928); Ward v. Race Horse, 163 U.S. 504 [16 S.Ct. 1076, 41 L.Ed. 244] (1896).982 P.2d 775 see Ward v. Race Hors......
  • People of South Naknek v. Bristol Bay Bor., No. A76-211 Civil.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Alaska
    • March 6, 1979
    ...82 S.Ct. 562, 570-1; Tulee v. Washington, 315 U.S. 681, 683, 62 S.Ct. 862, 863, 86 L.Ed. 1115 (1942); Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corp., 276 U.S. 575, 48 S.Ct. 333, 72 L.Ed. 709 (1928); Ward v. Race Horse, 163 U.S. 504, 16 S.Ct. 1076, 41 L.Ed. 244 (1896). That principle is as relevant to a ......
  • United States v. Thurston County, Neb., Civil Actions No. 235
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • February 23, 1944
    ...would be valid under the principle laid down by Mr. Justice Stone in the case last cited," i. e. Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corporation, 276 U.S. 575, 48 S.Ct. 333, 72 L.Ed. 709 (vide infra), "even though title had remained in the Indians and had not been conveyed to the United States." Th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
66 cases
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • August 22, 1942
    ...States v. Ransom, 8 Cir., 284 F. 108, Id., 263 U.S. 691, 44 S.Ct. 230, 68 L. Ed. 508; see, also, Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corporation, 276 U.S. 575, 48 S.Ct. 333, 72 L.Ed. 709, and apparently taxes were levied, assessed and collected on the said lands as unrestricted and nonexempt lands ......
  • Helvering v. Gerhardt Same v. Wilson Same v. Mulcahy 8212 781 1938, Nos. 779
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 23, 1938
    ...26, 30, 31, 19 L.Ed. 60; see Thomson v. Union Pacific Railroad, 9 Wall. 579, 588, 590, 19 L.Ed. 792; Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corp., 276 U.S. 575, 581, 48 S.Ct. 333, 335, 72 L.Ed. 709, and cases cited; James v. Dravo Contracting Co., 302 U.S. 134, 161, 58 S.Ct. 208, 221, 82 L.Ed. 155, 11......
  • Burnet v. Coronado Oil Gas Co, No. 341
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 11, 1932
    ...140, 48 S. Ct. 55, 72 L. Ed. 202; Heiner v. Colonial Trust Co., 275 U. S. 232, 234, 48 S. Ct. 65, 72 L. Ed. 256; Shaw v. Oil Corporation, 276 U. S. 575, 579, 48 S. Ct. 333, 72 L. Ed. 709; Panhandle Oil Co. v. State of Mississippi ex rel. Knox, 277 U. S. 218, 221, 222, 48 S. Ct. 451, 72 L. E......
  • Washington v. Confederated Tribes of Colville Indian Reservation Washington v. United States, No. 78-630
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 10, 1980
    ...and found that no immunity for off-reservation activities had traditionally been recognized. See Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corp., 276 U.S. 575, 48 S.Ct. 333, 72 L.Ed. 709 (1928); Ward v. Race Horse, 163 U.S. 504, 16 S.Ct. 1076, 41 L.Ed. 244 (1896). With that tradition as its backdrop, the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT