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Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of Peony Park, Inc., and Others.

September 21, 1959

I AM withholding my approval from H.R. 3096, entitled "An Act for the relief of Peony Park, Incorporated, and others."

The bill would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to. pay the total sum of $ 100,706.50 to nine operators of ballrooms in Nebraska in refund of cabaret taxes paid by the claimants during the period September 1948 through October 1951.

By judicial decision the cabaret tax here involved has been held to have been properly collected from the claimants during the period covered by the bill.

Until January 1951, however, interpretation and enforcement of the applicable statute by the Internal Revenue Service were not uniform throughout the United States. Accordingly, until the interpretation of the law was clarified by judicial decision, and until enforcement of the law became uniform throughout the United States after January 1951, similarly situated taxpayers in many States were not required to pay the tax. The cabaret tax, however, was uniformly enforced within the State of Nebraska and was paid by establishments within the competitive area of the claimants. Moreover, during the years 1948 to 1950, the tax was enforced in at least seventeen jurisdictions, and during the major portion of the year 1951 was uniformly enforced throughout the United States against similarly situated taxpayers.

This bill not only would refund to the nine claimants a tax which was properly collected, but it would also discriminate against many other similarly situated taxpayers to whom no relief would be granted. Furthermore, the bill might unjustly enrich its beneficiaries by refunding the cabaret tax without regard to whether the ultimate burden of the tax was borne by the claimants or passed on to their patrons.

Under the circumstances, therefore, I am constrained to withhold my approval of the bill.


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of Peony Park, Inc., and Others. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234256

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