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Memphis Gas & Light Co. v. Shelby County, 109 U.S. 398 (1883)

Memphis Gas and Light Company v.

Taxing District of Shelby County

Submitted November 15, 1883

Decided November 26, 1883

109 U.S. 398


1. The legislative grant of a privilege to erect, establish and construct gas works, and make and vend gas in a municipality for a term of years, does not exempt the grantees from the imposition of a license tax for the use of the privilege conferred.

2. In order to establish a legislative contract to exempt from taxation, the statute must be explicit and unmistakable, and without doubtful words.

3. The Constitution of the United States does not profess in all cases to protect against unjust or oppressive taxation.

The facts and the contentions of the parties are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 109 U. S. 399

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