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Tyler Pipe v. Washington Department of Revenue

483 U.S. 232 (1987)

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Tyler Pipe v. Washington Department of Revenue

United States Supreme Court

483 U.S. 232 (1987)

Facts

Washington state imposed a business and occupation tax (B&O tax) on business activities in the state, including extracting raw materials, manufacturing, wholesale sales, and retail sales, pursuant to Washington Revenue Code 82.04.220 (1985). The sales tax was measured by the gross proceeds of sales, and the manufacturing tax was measured by the value of manufactured products. Typically, Washington imposed the same taxes on different activities. The B&O tax included an exemption from the manufacturing tax for the portion of the manufacturer’s output that was subject to the wholesale tax. Consequently, the wholesale tax applied to out-of-state manufacturers, but not to local manufacturers. Tyler Pipe Industries, Inc. (Tyler) (plaintiff) sued the Washington Department of Revenue (defendant) challenging the B&O tax under the Commerce Clause. The superior court upheld the B&O tax, and the Washington Supreme Court affirmed. The United States Supreme Court noted probable jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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