Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Co. v. Pennsylvania (State Freight Tax Case) Wallace 232 (1873)
PHILADELPHIA & READING RAILROAD CO. v. PENNSYLVANIA (State Freight Tax Case) Wallace 232 (1873)
Pennsylvania imposed a tonnage tax on all freight transported within the state, including freight shipped out of and into the state. The transportation of freight for exchange or sale, said Justice william strong for a 7–2 Supreme Court, is commerce, and a clear tax on such commerce among states is an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce that might injure commercial intercourse in the country. Strong added that the transportation of persons or merchandise through a state or from one to another is a subject of national importance requiring, under the rule of cooley v. board of wardens (1852), uniform and exclusive regulation by Congress. This still is an important case on state taxation of commerce.
Leonard W. Levy