1 Cal.2d 414, 14970, Consolidated Title Sec. Co. v. Hopkins

Docket Nº:14970
Citation:1 Cal.2d 414, 35 P.2d 320
Opinion Judge:[9] Seawell
Party Name:Consolidated Title Sec. Co. v. Hopkins
Attorney:[7] Walter B. Kibbey and William H. B. Haymond for Petitioner. [8] Everett W. Mattoon, County Counsel, and Gordon Boller, Deputy County Counsel, for Respondent.
Case Date:August 06, 1934
Court:Supreme Court of California
 
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Page 414

1 Cal.2d 414

35 P.2d 320

CONSOLIDATED TITLE SECURITIES COMPANY (a Corporation), Petitioner,

v.

ED W. HOPKINS, County Assessor, etc., Respondent.

S. F. No. 14970.

Supreme Court of California

August 6, 1934

In Bank.

Page 415

COUNSEL

Walter B. Kibbey and William H. B. Haymond for Petitioner.

Everett W. Mattoon, County Counsel, and Gordon Boller, Deputy County Counsel, for Respondent.

OPINION

[35 P.2d 321] SEAWELL, J.

Petition for writ of mandate. Petitioner, Consolidated Title Securities Company, leased a title searching plant owned by it to Security Title Insurance and Guarantee Company, a title insurance company with offices in the city of Los Angeles. The notice of personal property taxes served on petitioner on July 11, 1933, by respondent County Assessor of Los Angeles County charged petitioner with taxes in the sum of $12,029.62, levied on office equipment, a law library and title searching plant, assessed respectively at $12,070, $750 and $270,230. Petitioner contends that said property is not subject to local taxation by virtue of the fact that it is in the sole possession and use of petitioner's lessee, a title insurance company which annually pays a tax to the state based on gross premiums under the provisions of article XIII, section 14, subdivision b, state

Page 416

Constitution. Petitioner is not itself a title insurance company. It tendered to respondent assessor the sum of $74.99, which is the amount charged to it in said tax notice for taxes on notes and solvent credits. Upon the refusal of the assessor to issue a receipt showing payment of the tax bill in full, petitioner deposited the sum tendered in a bank in the name of the assessor, and thereafter brought this proceeding in mandamus to compel the assessor to issue to it a receipt in full. Petitioner alleges that the tax officials of other counties are also seeking to subject similar property in their respective counties owned by petitioner and in the possession of its lessee to local taxation.

Under the decisions of this court in Whitmore v. Brown, 207 Cal. 473 , and Central Mfg. Dist. v. State Board of Equalization, 214 Cal. 288 [5 P.2d 424], and the decision of the Appellate Court in Spring Valley Water Co. v. Planer, 88 Cal.App. 170, , in which a petition for hearing in this court was denied, an original proceeding in mandamus is a proper remedy to compel the issuance of an official receipt in full.

The provision of section 14, subdivision b, article XIII, which petitioner contends frees the personal property owned by it and in the possession of its lessee, a title insurance company, from local taxation is as follows:

"Every insurance company or association doing business in this state shall annually pay to the state a tax of one and one-half per cent upon the amount of the gross premiums received upon its business done in this state, less return premiums and reinsurance in companies or associations authorized to do business in this state; provided, that there shall be deducted from said one and one-half per cent upon the gross premiums the amount of any county and municipal taxes paid by such companies on real estate owned by them in this state. This tax shall be in lieu of all other taxes and licenses, state, county and municipal, upon the property of such companies, except county and...

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