Tomlinson v. Branch
APPEAL from the Circuit Court for the District of South Carolina.
Branch and others, stockholders of the South Carolina Railroad Company, filed a bill in equity in the court below against the said company, as also against one Tomlinson, the State Auditor, and others, certain county collectors, to enjoin the company from paying and the others from collecting certain taxes imposed on the said company in pursuance of an act of the legislature of South Carolina, passed in April, 1868, and another act passed in February, 1870; it being alleged in the bill that the said company was, by its charter, exempt from taxation, and that no adequate legal remedy existed under the laws of the State to obtain redress; and that the company declined to adopt any measures for obtaining it.
The question in the case was whether the company was entitled to an exemption from taxation which the legislature could not abrogate or disregard; it being conceded that the company was made taxable, if the legislature had the power to tax it.
The property of the company was derived from two sources, one portion being a railroad from Charleston to Hamburg, opposite the town of Augusta, Georgia, which was constructed by and formerly belonged to the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company, and the other being roads extending from Branchville on the line of the first road, to Columbia and Camden, which were constructed by the South Carolina Railroad Company under its own charter. This court distinguished between the two parts.
The diagram will exhibit the roads, as well as another one from Columbia towards Augusta, incidentally mentioned in the case.
Messrs. D. H. Chamberlain, D. T. Corbin, and P. Phillips, for the appellants; Messrs. J. Conner and A. G. McGrath, contra.
Mr. Justice BRADLEY stated the cases as respected both parts of the road, and delivered as to each the opinion of the court.