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Excise

ed, ct, sup, tax, co, excises, wall, taxes, sale and business

EXCISE. An inland imposition, paid sometimes upon the consumption of the com modity, and frequently upon the retail sale. 1 Bla. Corn. 318; Story, Coast. § 950; Cooley, Tax. 4. See Oliver v. Washington Mills, 11 Allen (Mass.) 268.

Excises are a species of taxes, consisting generally of duties laid upon the manufac ture, sale, or consumption of commodities within the country, or upon certain callings or occupations, often taking the form of ex actions for licenses to pursue them. Pollock v. Trust Co., 157 U. S. 429, 15 Sup. Ct. 673, 39 L. Ed. 759.

In Art. I, sec. 8, of the constitution con gress has power to lay and collect taxes, du ties, imposts, and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and gen eral welfare of the United States, but all du ties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States. The power of congress under this clause is co-extensive with the territory of the United States and extends to the territories ; Loughborough v. Blake, 5 'Wheat. (U. S.) 317, 5 L. Ed. 98; The Cherokee Tobacco, 11 Wall. (U. S.) 616, 20 L. Ed, 227.

Duties, imposts, and excises were used com prehensively to cover customs and excise du ties imposed on importation, consumption, manufacture and sale of certain commodi ties, privileges, particular business transac tions, vocations, occupations and the like ; Thomas v. U. S., 192 U. S. 363, 24 Sup. Ct. 305, 48 L. Ed. 481. "Excises usually look to a particular subject, and levy burdens with reference to the act of manufacturing them, selling them, etc. They are or may be as varied in form as the acts or dealings with which the taxes are concerned. Impost du ties take every conceivable form, as may by the legislative authority be deemed best for the general welfare. They have been at all times often specific. They have sometimes been discriminatory, particularly when deem ed necessary by reason of the tariff legisla tion of other countries ;" Knowlton v. Moore, 178 U. S. 41, 88, 20 Sup. Ct. 747, 44 L. Ed. 969.

Taxes held to be excises, and to be dis tinguished from direct taxes, are : Upon the business of an insurance company ; Pacific Ins. Co. v. Soule, 7 Wall. (U. S.) 433, 19 L. Ed. 95; on the circulation of state banks ; Veazie Bank v. Fenno, 8 Wall. (U. S.) 533, 19 L. Ed. 482 ; or notes of any town, city, or municipal corporation paid out by any bank or banker; Merchants' Nat. Bank v. U. S., 101 U. S. 1, 25 L. Ed. 979 ; a succession tax ; Knowlton v. Moore, 178 17. S. 41, 20 Sup. Ct. 747, 44 L. Ed. 969; on the interest paid by a corporation on 'its bonds; Michigan C. R. Co. v. Collector, 100 U. S. 595, 25 L. Ed. 647 ; on carriages; Hylton v. U. S., 3 Dall. (U. S.) 171, 1 L. Ed. 556 ; on passing title to real estate ; Scholey v. Rew, 23 Wall. 331, 23 L. Ed. 99; internal revenue tax; U. S. v. Vas sar, 5 Wall. (U. S.) 462, 18 L. Ed. 497 ; Springer v. U. S., 102 U. S. 586, 26 L. Ed. 253; stamp duties ; Treat v. White, 181 U. S. 264, 21 Sup. Ct. 611, 45 L. Ed. 853 ; Pat ton v. Brady, 184 U. S. 608, 22 Sup. Ct. 493, 46 L. Ed. 713; on oleomargarine or artificial butter ; McCray v. U. S., 195 U. S. 27, 24 Sup. Ct. 769, 49 L. Ed. 78, 1 Ann. Cas. 561 ;

on sales of property at an exchange ; Nicol v. Ames, 173 U. S. 509, 19 Sup. Ct. 522, 43 L. Ed. 786; on the business of sugar refin ing ; Spreckels Sugar Refin. Co. v. McClain, 192 U. S. 397, 24 Sup. Ct. 376, 48 L. Ed. 496; on contracts of sale of stock ; Thomas v. U. S., 192 U. S. 363, 24 Sup. Ct. 305, 48 L. Ed. 481; on agreements to sell shares of stock, denominated calls by New York .stockbro kers ; Treat v. White, 181 U. S. 264, 21 Sup. Ct. 611, 45 L. Ed. 853; on tobacco manufac tured for consumption ; Patton v. Brady, 184 U. S. 608, 22 Sup. Ct. 493, 46 L. Ed. 713.

Taxes held not valid as excises are: On the occupation of an importer the same as on the imports; Brown v. Maryland, 12 Wheat. (U. S.) 419, 6 L. Ed. 678; on the in come of United States securities the same as a tax on the securities ; Weston v. Charleston, 2 Pet. (U. S.) 449, 7 L. Ed. 481; income from an office the same as a tax on the office; Minis v. U. S., 16 Pet. (U. S.) 435, 10 L. Ed. 791; on a bill of lading the same as a duty on the article represented by it; Almy v. California, 24 How. (U. S.) 169, 16 L. Ed. 644 ; 'a tax upon interest on bonds as upon the security ; Northern C. R. Co. v. Jackson, 7 Wall. (U. S.) 262, 19 L. Ed. 88; on auction sales of goods as a tax on the goods sold ; Cook v. Pennsylvania, 97 U. S. 566, 24 L. Ed. 1015; tax on income from in terstate commerce as a tax on the commerce ; Philadelphia & S. Mail S. S. Co. v. Pennsyl vania, 122 U. S. 326, 7 Sup. Ct. 1118, 30 L. Ed. 1200 ; Leloup v. Port of Mobile, 127 U. S. 640, 8 Sup. Ct. 1383, 32 L. Ed. 311 ; tax on the rents or income of real estate is a direct tax; Pollock v. Trust Co., 157 U. S. 429, 15 Sup. Ct. 673, 39 L. Ed. 759; tax upon income from municipal bonds; id.; li cense fees on certain lines of business in a single territory ; Binns v. ,U. S., 194 U. S. 486, 24 Sup. Ct. 816, 48 L. Ed. 1087.

It is within the power of congress to in crease an excise as well as a property tax, and such an increase may be made at least while the property is held for sale and before it has passed into the bands of the con sumer ; and it is no part of the function of the court to inquire into the reasonableness of the, excise, either as respects the amount or the property upon which it is imposed; Patton v. Brady, 184 U. S. 608, 22 Sup. Ct. 493, 46 L. Ed. 713. See TAx.

Though an excise tax be so onerous that it amounts to a destruction of the business, or even if intended to do so, it is within the power of congress and the courts have no power to revise its judgment ; McCray v. U. S., 195 U. S. 27, 24 Sup. Ct. 769, 49 L. Ed. 78; Patton v. Brady, 184 U. S. 608, 22 Sup. Ct. 493, 46 L. Ed. 713, where it was said "that it is no part of the function of a court to inquire into of the ex cise, either as respects the amount, or the property upon which it is imposed." Territory acquired as a result of the Span ish War became territory appurtenant to the United States, but not a part of it within the revenue clause of the constitution; Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U. S. 244, 21 Sup. Ct. 770, 45 L. Ed. 1088 ; Dooley v. U. S., 183 U. S. 153, 22 Sup. Ct. 62, 43 L. Ed. 128.