Real Property

Real Property.—Even prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, it was a settled principle that a State could not tax land situated beyond its limits. Subsequently elaborating upon that principle, the Court has said that, "we know of no case where a legislature has assumed to impose a tax upon land within the jurisdiction of another State, much less where such action has been defended by a court."414 Insofar as a tax payment may be viewed as an exaction for the maintenance of government in consideration of protection afforded, the logic sustaining this rule is self-evident.

413 A physical presence within the state is necessary, however, under the Commerce Clause analysis applicable to taxation of mail order sales. See Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. at 309-19 (refusing to overrule the Commerce Clause ruling in National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue, 386 U.S. 753, 756 (1967)). See also Trinova Corp. v. Michigan Dep't of Treasury, 498 U.S. 358 (1991) (neither the Commerce Clause nor the Due Process Clause is violated by application of a business tax, measured on a value added basis, to a company that manufactures goods in another state, but that operates a sales office and conducts sales within state).

414 Union Transit Co. v. Kentucky, 199 U.S. 194, 204 (1905). See also Louisville & Jeffersonville Ferry Co. v. Kentucky, 188 U.S. 385 (1903).

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