WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide the degree to which states may tax out-of-state firms and said it would review the constitutionality of California's property tax system.

Opening its 1991-92 term, the justices announced they would hear arguments in the closely watched case of Quill v. North Dakota, a suit challenging the ability of state governments to force out-of-state, mail-order firms to collect and remit sales taxes on catalog and telephone sales made within their states.

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