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San Francisco Nat'l Bank v. Dodge, 197 U.S. 70 (1905)

San Francisco National Bank v. Dodge

No. 44

Argued November 7, 1904

Decided February 27, 1905

197 U.S. 70


Section 5219, Rev.Stat., authorizes the taxation by the states of shares of stock of national banks but exacts that the tax when levied shall be at no greater rate than that imposed on other moneyed capital; no conflict necessarily arises between the federal statute and a state law solely because the latter provides one method for taxation of state banks and another method for national banks if there is no actual discrimination against the shares of the national banks resulting from the difference in method. If, however, irrespective of the face of the law, the system created by the state law, in its practical execution, produces an actual

Page 197 U. S. 71

and material discrimination against national banks, it does conflict with § 5219, Rev.Stat., and is void.

Where the record contains an express admission that a specified instance of taxation showing an undervaluation of the property of a corporation is illustrative of the method by which all other similar institutions are assessed under statute requiring full valuation, this Court cannot disregard the admission and consider that such undervaluation is an isolated instance, and that all the property of other similar institutions is assessed at full value in accordance with the provisions of the statute.

As it appears from the agreed statement of facts in this case that, under the laws of California, as construed by the highest court of that state, all the elements of value which are embraced in the assessment of shares of stock in national banks are not included in assessing the value of property of state banks and other moneyed corporations, there is a discrimination against the shares of national banks, and the state law taxing such shares, as so construed, violates, and is void under, § 5219, Rev.Stat.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 197 U. S. 75

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