Evansville Bank v. Britton Britton/Dissent Waite

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United States Supreme Court

105 U.S. 322

Evansville Bank  v.  Britton Britton


I cannot agree to so much of the judgment in this case as affirms that part of the decree below appealed from by Britton, the treasurer. 'Credits' are but one of a number of kinds of moneyed capital. They represent, in the classification of taxable property, the ordinary debts due to a person; and it has been common for so long a time in the States to measure their taxable value by their excess over like debts owing to the same person in the same right, that I cannot believe it was the intention of Congress in its limitation on the power of taxing national bank shares to require a deduction of debts from the value of shares, when such a deduction was only allowed to other persons from this one kind of moneyed capital. The law of Indiana expressly prohibits deductions from the value of any other property than credits. Ample provision is made for the taxation of all other moneyed capital at its value without deduction, the same as national bank shares. In Hepburn v. The School Directors (23 Wall. 480) this court said 'it could not have been the intention of Congress to exempt bank shares from taxation because some moneyed capital was exempt.' In that case, a tax on bank shares was sustained when, by law, mortgages, judgments, recognizances, and moneys owing on articles of agreement for the sale of lands were not taxable. I am unable to distinguish this case in principle from that. The exemption here is partial only, as it was there.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).