130 U.S. 189 (1889), Williamson v. State of New Jersey

Citation:130 U.S. 189, 9 S.Ct. 453, 32 L.Ed. 915
Party Name:WILLIAMSON, Collector. v. STATE OF NEW JERSEY et al.
Case Date:April 01, 1889
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 189

130 U.S. 189 (1889)

9 S.Ct. 453, 32 L.Ed. 915

WILLIAMSON, Collector.

v.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY et al.

United States Supreme Court.

April 1, 1889

COUNSEL

Page 190

[9 S.Ct. 454] John S. Voorhees, for plaintiff in error.

Fred'k Weigel and Robert Adrian, for defendants in error.

OPINION

BLATCHFORD, J.

This is a writ of error to the supreme court of the state of New Jersey. The case arose on a writ of certiorari issued by that court at the instance of the mayor and common council of the city of New Brunswick, to review an assessment for taxation made by the township of North Brunswick, and a levy made by the collector of that ownership, against a farm known as the 'Poor Farm,' and personal property thereon, situated in the township of North Brunswick, and owned by the mayor and common council of the city of New Brunswick. The case arose on the following facts, which were agreed upon by the counsel for the respective parties: By a special act of the legislature of New Jersey, approved February 28, 1860, (Laws 1860, c. 67, p. 162,) parts of the townships of North Brunswick and Monroe, in the county of Middlesex, were set off and established as a separate township, to be called 'East Brunswick,' and part of the township of North Brunswick was set off and established as a separate township, to be called the 'Township of New Brunswick,' and the township committees of the said townships of North Brunswick East Brunswick, and New Brunswick were authorized

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and required to divide the real and personal property of the township of North Bruns wick between said townships. The poor-farm of the original township of North Brunswick was situate within the limits of what remained of the township of North Brunswick, after the setting off of the townships of East Brunswick and New Brunswick as aforesaid. By a special act of the legislature, approved March 15, 1861, (Laws 1861, c. 170, p. 507,) the said township of New Brunswick and the city of New Brunswick were declared to be one corporate body, under the name of 'The Corporation of the City of New Brunswick,' and the said corporation was made subject to all the liabilities of the inhabitants of the township of New Brunswick. The poor-farm and the personal property thereon were never divided between the townships of North Brunswick and East Brunswick and the corporation of the city of New Brunswick, but the townships agreed to sell and convey their interests in the same to said corporation. By a special act of the legislature, approved February 18, 1862, (Laws 1862, c. 37, p. 52,) the township committees of North Brunswick and East Brunswick were authorized to convey all the interests of the said townships in said farm and the personal property thereon to the said corporation; and it was thereby further enacted that the said poor-farm and the personal property thereon should be at all times thereafter liable and subject to taxation by the township of North Brunswick, so long as it should be embraced in the limits of said township. By virtue of the authority thereby given, the township committees of said townships sold and conveyed said farm and the personal property thereon to said corporation, by deed of conveyance, bearing date March 27, 1862. The said corporation of the city of New Brunswick entered into possession of said farm, and the personal property thereon, under the contract expressed in said deed of conveyance, and is still in possession of the same, and the said farm is still within the limits of the township of North Brunswick.

The said farm and property have been duly assessed by the

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township of North Brunswick each year since said sale and conveyance, and the taxes so assessed have been paid by the corporation of the city of New Brunswick to the township of North Brunswick up to and including the year 1877, when further payments were refused, on the ground that said poor farm was used exclusively for charitable purposes, and therefore was not liable to taxation. Thiscertiorari brings up the assessment for the year 1878, for the purpose of determining whether said farm and personal property thereon are liable and subject to taxation by said township of North Brunswick. The deed of March 27, 1862, which contains a copy of the act approved February 18, 1862, is set forth in the margin. 1

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[9 S.Ct. 455] It was agreed between the attorney for the plaintiff in thecertiorari and the attorney for the defendant that the sole

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question to be discussed in the supreme court of New Jersey was whether the poor-farm, situated in the township of North

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Brunswick, and owned by the city of New Brunswick, was exempt from taxation, and that the poor-farm referred to, the buildings thereon, and the furniture and fixtures therein, were used exclusively for charitable purposes by the city of New Brunswick, the owner thereof. The questions considered by the supreme court of New Jersey were (1) whether the second section of the act approved February 18, 1862, was repealed by the general tax law of the state, approved April 11, 1866, (Revision, 1150,) the fifth section of which enacted that the property of the cities of the state, and all buildings used exclusively for charitable purposes, with the land whereon the same are erected, and which may be necessary for the [9 S.Ct. 456] fair enjoyment thereof, and the furniture and personal property used therein, shall be exempt from taxation; and the thirty-second section of which, after repealing certain acts named, repealed all other acts, or parts of acts, whether special or local, or otherwise, inconsistent with the provisions of the act of 1866, except one act, approved in 1864, and such special or local acts as had been approved since 1862; (2)...

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