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Territory of Alaska v. American Can Co., 358 U.S. 224 (1959)

Territory of Alaska v. American Can Co.

No. 40

Argued December 9, 1958

Decided January 12, 1959

358 U.S. 224


In 1949, while a Territory, Alaska enacted a statute which levied a tax at the rate of 1% on all real and personal property. In 1953, the tax statute was repealed, but the repeal was expressly declared not applicable to

"any taxes which have been levied and assessed by any municipality, school, or public utility district [under the repealed statute] or which are levied and assessed during the current fiscal year of such municipality, school or public utility district."

Alaska has a general law saving rights accrued under a statute that is repealed. After repeal of the tax statute, Alaska instituted suits to collect taxes which had accrued thereunder and remained unpaid.

Held: liability for such taxes survived the repeal. Pp. 358 U. S. 224-227.

(a) The exception in the repealing statute applies only to taxes payable to a municipality, a school district, or a public utility district, and it does not interfere with the collection of unpaid taxes which accrued prior to repeal. Pp. 358 U. S. 225-226.

(b) Judicial notice is taken of the legislative history of the repealing statute, including the original bill, which, though not in the Journals, was in the possession of the Secretary of State, and was certified by him. Pp. 358 U. S. 226-227.

246 F.2d 493 reversed, and cause remanded for further proceedings.

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