Federal Property and Functions.

Property owned by the United States is, of course, wholly immune from state taxation.157 No state can regulate, by the imposition of an inspection fee, any activity carried on by the United States directly through its own agents and employees.158 An early case, the authority of which is now uncertain, held invalid a flat rate tax on telegraphic messages, as applied to messages sent by public officers on official business.159


Clallam County v. United States, 263 U.S. 341 (1923). See also Cleveland v. United States, 323 U.S. 329, 333 (1945); United States v. Mississippi Tax Comm’n, 412 U.S. 363 (1973); United States v. Mississippi Tax Comm’n, 421 U.S. 599 (1975). [Back to text]
Mayo v. United States, 319 U.S. 441 (1943). A municipal tax on the privilege of working within the city, levied at the rate of one percent of earnings, although not deemed to be an income tax under state law, was sustained as such when collected from employees of a naval ordinance plant by reason of federal assent to that type of tax expressed in the Buck Act. 4 U.S.C. §§ 105110. Howard v. Commissioners, 344 U.S. 624 (1953). [Back to text]
Telegraph Co. v. Texas, 105 U.S. 460, 464 (1882). [Back to text]