St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, No. 31924

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtHILL; SCHWELLENBACH
Citation243 P.2d 474,40 Wn.2d 347
PartiesST. PAUL & TACOMA LUMBER CO. v. STATE.
Decision Date17 April 1952
Docket NumberNo. 31924

Page 347

40 Wn.2d 347
243 P.2d 474
ST. PAUL & TACOMA LUMBER CO.
v.
STATE.
No. 31924.
Supreme Court of Washington, en Banc.
April 17, 1952.
Rehearing Denied May 29, 1952.

[243 P.2d 475] Smith Troy,

Page 348

C. John Newlands, Olympia, for appellant.

Ben C. Grosscup and Grosscup, Ambler & Stephan, all of Seattle, for respondent.

HILL, Justice.

The St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company, hereinafter called the company, has attacked the validity of one phase of the state use tax by a suit for refund of taxes paid. The tax in question is imposed by § 31 of the revenue act of 1935 as last amended, Laws of 1949, chapter 228, § 7, Rem.Supp.1949, § 8370-31, on every person who

Page 349

(1) uses, (2) as a consumer, (3) tangible personal property which he has (a) purchased at retail, (b) acquired by lease, (c) acquired by gift, or (d) extracted, produced or manufactured. The tax is three per cent of the value of the article used. Exemptions are provided in § 32, Rem.Supp.1949, § 8370-32, for users who have paid the retail sales tax and for lessees and donees whose lessors and donors have paid the retail sales tax or the use tax on the personal property.

The company is engaged in extensive business activities in this state, which include owning timber and timberlands, logging the same, owning the necessary logging and transportation facilities, buying and selling logs, owning and operating a sawmill and a veneer and plywood plant, and selling at wholesale and retail lumber and lumber products produced and manufactured by it. In its operations it utilizes logs, lumber and lumber products in the maintenance, repair and construction of its various facilities. In part, these materials are supplied from stocks which the company owns and would otherwise be available for sale in the regular course of its business activities.

The company seeks a refund of the taxes paid on the value of its own logs obtained from and processed in its own woods operations, and on its own lumber, lath, molding and plywood produced or manufactured in its own sawmill and plywood plant and used for the purpose of maintaining and repairing its properties. With the exception of some few instances where such materials were used at its plywood plant, sawmill and lumber yard, the materials on which the tax refund is sought were used in its various woods operations as distinguished from its manufacturing, wholesale and retail operations. [243 P.2d 476] They were used for construction, maintenance and repair of bunkhouses and housing for machinery, equipment and personnel, of bridges, private roads, culverts, truck reaches, spar trees, skids, bulkheads, boom pilings, boom sticks, poles and fence posts.

All of the taxes for which the company seeks a refund were on the use of articles which were extracted,

Page 350

produced and manufactured by the company in this state from timber cut in this state. The statute, by its terms 1, 2 and 3(d) (see first paragraph hereof), seems to provide for a tax to fit the operations of the company and others similarly situated, on the use, for their own purposes, of logs and lumber they have produced or manufactured in this state, as though it had been tailored for that purpose. Appellant, in fact, assures us that it was so tailored to avoid the effect of our decision in Buffelen Lbr. & Mfg. Co. v. State, 32 Wash.2d 40, 200 P.2d 509; and appellant should know, because the 1949 amendments which we now construe were presented to the legislature at the request of the tax commission.

In the Buffelen case we construed Rem.Supp.1943, § 8370-31, which, insofar as material, read as follows:

'* * * there is hereby levied and there shall be collected from every person in this state a tax or excise for the privilege of using within this state any article of tangible personal property purchased at retail or produced or manufactured for commercial use or acquired by gift. * * *' (Italics ours.)

We there held that the use of 'hog fuel' converted by the Buffelen company from its waste materials and used in the company's own furnaces was not a 'commercial use' within the purview of that statute. The opinion was filed December 7, 1948, and in March, 1949, the amendments which we are now construing were enacted by the legislature.

The foregoing section, as amended in 1949, insofar as material reads as follows:

'* * * there is hereby levied and there shall be collected from every person in this state a tax or excise for the privilege of using within this state as consumer any article of tangible personal property purchased at retail, or acquired by lease or by gift, or extracted or produced for manufactured by the person so using the same * * *.' (Italics ours.) Laws of 1949, chapter 228, § 7, Rem.Supp.1949, § 8370-31.

Several changes were made by the 1949 amendment, but the two significant ones for our consideration are: (1) The words 'for commercial use' are excised from the act and in

Page 351

their stead we have 'by the person so using the same', and (2) the words 'as consumer' are inserted.

The wisdom or social desirability of a tax which is by its terms due from every person who has a garden, on the vegetables or even the flowers he raises and uses in his own home (because he uses as a consumer tangible personal property which he has produced)...

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19 practice notes
  • City of Fircrest v. Jensen, No. 76738-6.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • October 5, 2006
    ...to be examined under article II, section 19 is the title of the original act. St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, 40 Wash.2d 347, 355, 243 P.2d 474 (1952).2 Although this rule Page 780 never been expressly overruled, it has been called into question by its absence from more recent articl......
  • Harbour Village Apts. v. City of Mukilteo, No. 66920-1.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • December 16, 1999
    ...130 P.2d 880 (1942) (sales tax on courthouse construction upheld as excise); St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, 40 Wash.2d 347, 354, 243 P.2d 474 (1952) (use tax on timber company's use of its logs and lumber products in its own operations upheld as excise); Mahler v. Tremper, 40 Wash.2......
  • Inter-State Nurseries, Inc. v. Iowa Dept. of Revenue, INTER-STATE
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 11, 1969
    ...Light & Power Co. v. Walsh, 134 Conn. 295, 57 A.2d 128, 134, 1 A.L.R.2d 453, and St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, 40 Wash.2d 347, 243 P.2d 474, As quoted supra, Code section 423.2 expressly labels the measure an excise tax. The levy is on the exercise in Iowa of any right or power ove......
  • Hundred East Credit Corp. v. Eric Shuster Corp.
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • September 11, 1986
    ...See, e.g., J.W. Meadors & Co. v. State, 89 Ga.App. 583, 80 S.E.2d 86, 88 (1954); St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, 40 Wash.2d 347, 243 P.2d 474, 478 (1952); Union Portland Cement Co. v. State Tax Commission, 110 Utah 135, 170 P.2d 164, 171 (1946); Ex parte Mehlman, 127 Tex.Cr.R. 257, 7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • City of Fircrest v. Jensen, No. 76738-6.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • October 5, 2006
    ...to be examined under article II, section 19 is the title of the original act. St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, 40 Wash.2d 347, 355, 243 P.2d 474 (1952).2 Although this rule Page 780 never been expressly overruled, it has been called into question by its absence from more recent articl......
  • Harbour Village Apts. v. City of Mukilteo, No. 66920-1.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • December 16, 1999
    ...130 P.2d 880 (1942) (sales tax on courthouse construction upheld as excise); St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, 40 Wash.2d 347, 354, 243 P.2d 474 (1952) (use tax on timber company's use of its logs and lumber products in its own operations upheld as excise); Mahler v. Tremper, 40 Wash.2......
  • Inter-State Nurseries, Inc. v. Iowa Dept. of Revenue, INTER-STATE
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 11, 1969
    ...Light & Power Co. v. Walsh, 134 Conn. 295, 57 A.2d 128, 134, 1 A.L.R.2d 453, and St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, 40 Wash.2d 347, 243 P.2d 474, As quoted supra, Code section 423.2 expressly labels the measure an excise tax. The levy is on the exercise in Iowa of any right or power ove......
  • Hundred East Credit Corp. v. Eric Shuster Corp.
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • September 11, 1986
    ...See, e.g., J.W. Meadors & Co. v. State, 89 Ga.App. 583, 80 S.E.2d 86, 88 (1954); St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. v. State, 40 Wash.2d 347, 243 P.2d 474, 478 (1952); Union Portland Cement Co. v. State Tax Commission, 110 Utah 135, 170 P.2d 164, 171 (1946); Ex parte Mehlman, 127 Tex.Cr.R. 257, 7......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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