Henneford v. Silas Mason Co.

United States Supreme Court

300 U.S. 577 (1937)

The taxation in one state on use of chattels purchased in another state is not a violation of the Commerce Clause when the tax is imposed equally and does not unlawfully burden interstate commerce.

Relevant Facts

The state of Washington passed a statute taxing the use of personal property in Washington that was purchased in another state. The purpose of this statute was to help Washington retailers compete with retailers in states with no sales or use tax. The statute provided credits for tax already paid to Washington or another state.

Silas Mason Co. (the plaintiff) was hired to construct a dam in Washington. To accomplish this, the plaintiff brought equipment purchased in other states into Washington. Henneford, the Tax Commissioner of Washington (the defendant), determined a 2% use tax on the plaintiff for the use of the equipment. The plaintiff challenged the determination in district court. The district court found the statute to be void on its face, and granted an interlocutory injunction. On review, the United States Supreme Court granted cert to determine if the statute violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 23, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

300 U.S. 577 (1937)