Brief Fact Summary. Massachusetts imposed a non-discriminatory tax on in-state producers and out-of-state producers of milk sold in Massachusetts. Thereupon, the proceeds of the tax were given to in-state producers.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A tax scheme that raises revenue and benefits local producers by burdening their out-of-state competitors is a violation of the dormant Commerce Clause.
Facts. Massachusetts used a non-discriminatory sales tax on milk. Under the tax system, both in-state producers and out-of-state producers paid the same tax for the milk they sold in Massachusetts. Thereupon, the proceeds of the tax were distributed to Massachusetts milk producers. An out-of-state producer challenged the constitutionality of the non-discriminatory-tax-plus-local-subsidy program on Commerce Clause grounds.
Issue. Was the non-discriminatory tax and subsidy program unconstitutional as against the dormant Commerce Clause?