Alaska v. Arctic Maid

In Alaska v. Arctic Maid, 366 U. S. 199 (1961), a 4% tax on the value of salmon taken from territorial waters by so-called freezer ships and frozen for transport and later canning outside the State was challenged as discriminatory in the face of a 1% tax on the value of fish taken from territorial waters and frozen by on-shore cold storage facilities for later sale on the domestic fresh-frozen fish market. The State prevailed on the Court's holding that the claimants and cold storage facilities served separate markets, did not compete with one another, and thus could not properly be compared for Commerce Clause purposes. The proper comparison, the Court held, was between the freezer ships and domestic salmon canners, who shipped interstate into the same markets served by the freezer ships. Since the canners were taxed even more heavily than the freezer ships, there was no unfavorable burden upon the latter. Id., at 204.