Appellant express company, a Delaware corporation, did only interstate business within the state of Virginia. Virginia levied a state tax on intangible personal property and money owned by express companies doing business within the state, and set off their real estate and tangible personal property for local levies. In addition to the property tax, the Virginia statute provided for an "annual license tax . . . for the privilege of doing business in this State." The tax was "equal to two and three-twentieths per centum upon the gross receipts . . . earned in this State on business passing through, into or out of this State." As applied to the appellant, the state supreme court found this was a valid property tax, measured by gross income and laid on the intangible value of the company's goodwill or going-concern status. On appeal to the United States Supreme Court, held, reversed, four justices dissenting. The tax is invalid as a privilege tax on an exclusively interstate business. Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. Virginia, 347 U.S. 359, 74 S.Ct. 558 (1954).
Theodore J. St. Antoine S.Ed.,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-COMMERCE CLAUSE-STATE TAXATION OF INTERSTATE COMMERCE,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol52/iss8/12