World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States

Article Id: WHEBN0027611713
Reproduction Date:

Title: Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Outline of United States federal Indian law and policy, 1943 in Oklahoma, Muscogee, Fastachee, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States

Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States
Argued April 9, 1943
Decided June 14, 1943
Full case name Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States
Citations 319 U.S. 598 (more)
63 S. Ct. 1284; 87 L. Ed. 1612
Prior history United States v. Oklahoma Tax Commission, 131 F.2d 635 (10th Cir. 1942).
Holding
Held that Indian land that Congress has exempted from direct taxation by a state is also exempt from state estate taxes.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority J. Black
Concurrence J. Douglas
Dissent J. Murphy, joined by C.J. Stone, JJ. Reed and Frankfurter
Laws applied
35 Stat. 315, 44 Stat. 239, 47 Stat. 777

Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States, 319 U.S. 598 (1943), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that Indian land that Congress has exempted from direct taxation by a state is also exempt from state estate taxes.

Background

In 1908 Congress passed 35 Stat. 315,[1] amended by 44 Stat. 239 (1926), which provided that lands allotted to members of the Five Civilized Tribes were restricted to members of that tribe unless the restrictions were lifted by the United States Secretary of the Interior. Three enrolled full-blood members of the tribes died in 1930, 1932, and 1938, leaving their estates to their heirs, all of whom were Indians. The estates included restricted lands and similarly restricted securities and funds held in trust by the Secretary of Interior.[2][3]

The Oklahoma Tax Commission imposed an estate tax on the three estates, the Secretary of the Interior paid the taxes under protest and then filed an action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to recover the taxes. The District Court entered a judgment for Oklahoma and the United States appealed.[2][3]

On appeal, the Tenth Circuit Court reversed. The United States contended that the right to transfer land in these cases flowed not from state law, but from federal law, and therefore the state did not have the power to impose taxes without the consent of the United States. The appellate court cited Childers v. Beaver, 270 U.S. 555 (1926),[4] a case that was fundamentally the same as the instant case, in support of their decision.[3] Oklahoma appealed and the Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear the case.[2]

Opinion of the Court

Justice Hugo Black delivered the opinion of the court. Black stated that the estates of the Indians could be divided into four categories, a) restricted land exempt from direct taxation; b) land not exempt from direct taxation; c) restricted cash and securities held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior; and d) other property. Black held that the restricted land in the first category was exempt from state taxation, but the remainder of the estates were not exempt. The case was then remanded to the District Court.[2]

Concurrance

Justice William O. Douglas concurred in the result in a short opinion.[2]

Dissent

Justice Frank Murphy dissented, stating that the court was rejecting over a century of jurisprudence in their opinion. Murphy stated that while tax exemptions are typically viewed with skepticism by the court system, this was not an ordinary case involving ordinary citizens. Instead, it involved a people that are wards of the United States, "and towards whom Congress has fashioned a policy of protection due to obligations well known to all of us." Murphy believed that for a state to tax Indians, there must be an affirmative, unequivocal grant by Congress to the states. Since there was no such grant, he would have held that the estates were exempt from state taxation.[2]

References

  1. ^ Kappler, Charles J. (ed.) (1929). "Public Acts of the Sixty-Ninth Congress, First Session, 1926, Chapter 115". Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, Vol. IV, Laws. Washington: G.P.O. pp. 518–520. Retrieved June 7, 2010.  , courtesy of the Oklahoma State University Library.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States, 319 U.S. 598 (1943)
  3. ^ a b c United States v. Oklahoma Tax Commission, 131 F.2d 635 (10th Cir. 1942).
  4. ^ Childers v. Beaver, 270 U.S. 555 (1926)

External links

Oklahoma Tax Commission v. United States, 319 U.S. 598 (1943)

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.