1 of 1 DOCUMENT
NATIONAL BELLAS HESS, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE OF THE
STATE OF ILLINOIS
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
; 87 S. Ct. 1389; 18 L. Ed. 2d 505; 1967 U.S. LEXIS 2792
February 23, 1967, Argued
May 8, 1967, Decided
APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS.
34 Ill. 2d 164, 214 N. E. 2d 755, reversed.
Appellant taxpayer challenged the judgment of the Supreme Court of Illinois, which
held that the taxpayer was required to collect and pay to appellee, the Department of Revenue of the State of Illinois
(State), the use taxes imposed by Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 120, § 439.3 (1965).
The taxpayer was a mail order house and did not maintain a place of business, had no representatives,
and owned no property, real or personal, in the state. The taxpayer also did not have a telephone listing and did not
advertise its merchandise in the state. All of the taxpayer's contacts with the state were via the United States mail or
common carrier. The state supreme court held that the taxpayer was required to collect and pay to the State use taxes
imposed by Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 120, § 439.3 (1965). On appeal, the court reversed. The court held that the nature of the
taxpayer's business was purely interstate, and, therefore, was exclusively within Congress' power to regulate under the
The court reversed the state court's judgment in favor of the taxpayer.
seller, use tax, customers, collection, mail order house, out-of-state, merchandise, catalogue, retailer,
mail, interstate, resident, sales taxes, interstate commerce, advertising, consumer, place of business, common carrier,
exploitation, collecting, systematic, mailing, mailed, taxing, tax obligation, present case, retail outlets, retail stores,
[HN1] State taxation falling on interstate commerce can only be justified as designed to make such commerce bear a
fair share of the cost of the local government whose protection it enjoys. And in determining whether a state tax falls