Washington Law Review




By invoking the import-export clause of the United States Constitution, plaintiff sought to enjoin the imposition of state personal property taxes upon unsold portions of imported shipments of greenheart pilings and timber. The lumber was stacked in plaintiff's storage yard, according to existing orders or length. Plaintiff contended that each piece of greenheart, bearing identification stamped at the point of origin of the shipment, constituted an original package and was therefore immune from state taxation. The trial court entered judgment for defendant tax officials on the ground that, when imports are inherently incapable of being packaged, the unit of transportation or importation constitutes the original package, which is "broken" when offered for sale to the general public. On appeal, a majority of the Supreme Court of Florida voted to reverse. Held: The unsold remainder of imported lumber stacked in a storage yard according to existing orders or length, with the pieces physically unaltered, is immune from state personal property taxation under the import-export clause of the United States Constitution. Florida Greenheart Corp. v. Gautier, 172 So. 2d 589 (Fla. 1965), cert. denied, 382 U.S. 825 (1965).

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