New York ex rel. Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. Knight

New York ex rel. Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. Knight by David Josiah Brewer
Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

192 U.S. 21

New York ex rel. Pennsylvania Railroad Company  v.  Knight

 Argued: December 11, 1903. --- Decided: January 4, 1904

This is a writ of error to the supreme court of the state of New York to review a judgment of that court affirming the assessment by the comptro1a26ller of the state of New York of a certain tax against the relator, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The contention of the plaintiff in error is that the tax, which is a franchise tax imposed under appropriate statutes of New York upon the company for carrying on the business of running cabs and carriages for hire between points entirely within the state of New York, is invalid under the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution of the United States, article I., § 8, subdivision 3.

The facts are undisputed. In 1897 the company established a cab stand on its own premises at the Twenty-third street ferry in the city of New York, and has since maintained a service of cabs and coaches under special licenses from the city of New York, whereby they can stand on those premises only. The sole business done by those cabs and coaches is to bring the company's passengers to and from the Twenty-third street ferry. The charges for this service are separate from those of the company for further transportation, and no part of its receipts from the cab service is received as compensation for any service outside the state of New York. As a separate business, this cab service has not been profitable to the company, but has been operated at a loss. The validity of this tax was sustained both by the supreme court and the court of appeals of New York. 67 App. Div. 398, 73 N. Y. Supp. 790, 171 N. Y. 354, 64 N. E. 152.

Messrs. Henry Galbraith Ward, A, Leo Everett, and Robinson, Biddle, & Ward for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 22-25 intentionally omitted]

Mr. John Cunneen for defendant in error.

Statement by Mr. Justice Brewer:

Mr. Justice Brewer delivered the opinion of the court:


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).