TRADE: Unchained?

Last May Colorado's Supreme Court decided that the independently owned retail outlets of Gamble-Skogmo, Inc. (auto accessories) were not a "voluntary" chain of stores, were therefore fair game for the State's chain-store tax. With that ruling for a club, Colorado went after bigger game. To General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Hudson, Studebaker, Nash and Packard went bills totaling $531,120 for four years' chain-store license fees ($2.50 to $300.50 a store). Grounds: their franchise system and supervision of dealers made them operators of a chain.

To bat for the seven motormakers went Ford. If the tax could be made to stick, 22...

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