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AGO 1952 No. 304 - May 12, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington


A state may impose a non-dicriminatory [[nondiscriminatory]]tax on the income of non-residents [[nonresidents]]if earned in intra-state [[intrastate]]employment within the taxing state.

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                                                                   May 12, 1952

Honorable O. H. Olson
State Representative
Box 222
Pasco, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 304

Dear Sir:

            You request our opinion

            relative to the circumstances under which Washington residents must pay an income tax imposed by other states.

            We conclude that:

            A state may impose a non-discriminatory [[nondiscriminatory]]income tax upon the income of non-residents [[nonresidents]]earned in an intra-state [[intrastate]]activity within that state.


            A state may tax the income of non-residents [[nonresidents]]earned within the confines of the taxing state.  Shaffer v. Carter, 252 U.S. 37, 52 (1920)

            "just as a State may impose general income taxes upon its own citizens and residents whose persons are subject to its control, it may, as a necessary  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] consequence, levy duty of like character, and not more onerous in its effect, upon incomes accruing to non-residents [[nonresidents]]from their property or business within the State, or their occupations carried on therein; enforcing payment, so far as it can, by the exercise of a just control over persons and property within its borders."

            See alsoInternational Harvester's Company v. Wisconsin Department of Taxation, 322 U.S. 435 (1944); New York ex rel. Whitney v. Graves, et al., 299 U.S. 366 (1937); People ex rel. Montjo v. State Tax Commission, et al., 218 App. Div. 1, 217 N.Y.S. 669 (1926).

            The reasons normally stated to underlie the above conclusion is that the non-resident [[nonresident]]is entitled to the protection and the conveniences afforded by the taxing state and therefore must pay its fair share of the cost.

            We must assume that the Oregon income tax is non-discriminatory [[nondiscriminatory]], and, under the facts you present, the persons involved are engaged in purely a local employment in the State of Oregon and therefore are liable to the Oregon income tax on the amounts earned therein.  See also Vol. I,Prentice‑Hall, State and Local Tax Services, par. 91, 137; 27Am.Jur. 322, Income Taxes, §§ 24 and 189-193; and C.C.H., State Tax Cases, par. 10-200.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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