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Oklahoma Tax Comm'n v. Texas Company, 336 U.S. 342 (1949)

Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Texas Company

No. 40

Argued November 19, 1948

Decided March 7, 1949*

336 U.S. 342


1. A lessee of mineral rights in allotted and restricted Indian lands in Oklahoma has no immunity under the Federal Constitution from nondiscriminatory state gross production taxes and state excise taxes on petroleum produced from such lands. Pp. 336 U. S. 343-367.

2. Overruling Choctaw, O. & G. R. Co. v. Harrison, 235 U. S. 292; Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Co. v. Oklahoma, 240 U. S. 522; Howard v. Gipsy Oil Co., 247 U.S. 503; Large Oil Co. v. Howard, 248 U.S. 549, and Oklahoma v. Barnsdall Refineries, 296 U. S. 521. Helvering v. Mountain Producers Corp., 303 U. S. 376, held controlling, and not limited to income taxes. Pp. 336 U. S. 364-365.

3. No question is here presented as to the immunity from state taxation of the Indian lands themselves, or of the Indians' share of production, since only the interests of lessees were assessed. Pp. 347 ( n 14), 336 U. S. 353.

4. A constitutional immunity of such a lessee is not to be inferred from Acts of Congress authorizing a state gross production tax on minerals produced from the lands of certain Indians, since the purpose of those statutes was to remove immunities of the Indians themselves. Pp. 336 U. S. 366-367.

5. Congressional approval of the doctrine of immunity enunciated in the cases herein overruled is not to be inferred from mere congressional silence. P. 336 U. S. 367.

Page 336 U. S. 343

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