Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
A special assessment is not discriminatory because apportioned on an ad valorem basis, nor does its validity depend upon the receipt of some special benefit as distinguished from the general benefit to the community.1 Railroad property may not be burdened for local improvements upon a basis so wholly different from that used for ascertaining the contribution demanded of individual owners as necessarily to produce manifest inequality.2 A special highway assessment against railroads based on real property, rolling stock, and other personal property is unjustly discriminatory when other assessments for the same improvement are based on real property alone.3 A law requiring the franchise of a railroad to be considered in valuing its property for apportionment of a special assessment is not invalid where the franchises were not added as a separate personal property value to the assessment of the real property.4 In taxing railroads within a levee district on a mileage basis, it is not necessarily arbitrary to fix a lower rate per mile for those having fewer than 25 miles of main line within the district than for those having more.5
- Memphis & Charleston Ry. v. Pace, 282 U.S. 241 (1931).
- Kansas City So. Ry. v. Road Improv. Dist. No. 6, 256 U.S. 658 (1921); Thomas v. Kansas City So. Ry., 261 U.S. 481 (1923).
- Road Improv. Dist. v. Missouri Pacific R.R., 274 U.S. 188 (1927).
- Branson v. Bush, 251 U.S. 182 (1919).
- Columbus & Greenville Ry. v. Miller, 283 U.S. 96 (1931).