186 Cal. 162, Sac. 3061, Story v. Richardson

Docket Nº:Sac. 3061, 3062
Citation:186 Cal. 162, 198 P. 1057
Opinion Judge:LENNON, Judge
Party Name:WALTER P. STORY, Respondent, v. FRIEND WILLIAM RICHARDSON, Treasurer, etc., Appellant. WALTER P. STORY, Appellant, v. FRIEND WILLIAM RICHARDSON, Treasurer, etc., Respondent
Attorney:U. S. Webb, Attorney-General, and Frank L. Guerena, Deputy Attorney-General, for Appellant in Sac. No. 3061 and for Respondent in Sac. No. 3062. Amend & Amend for Respondent in Sac. No. 3061 and for Appellant in Sac. No. 3062.
Judge Panel:JUDGES: In Bank. Lennon, J. Sloane, J., Lawlor, J., Olney, J., Shaw, J., Angellotti, C. J., and Wilbur, J., concurred.
Case Date:June 15, 1921
Court:Supreme Court of California

Page 162

186 Cal. 162

198 P. 1057

WALTER P. STORY, Respondent,

v.

FRIEND WILLIAM RICHARDSON, Treasurer, etc., Appellant.

WALTER P. STORY, Appellant,

v.

FRIEND WILLIAM RICHARDSON, Treasurer, etc., Respondent

Sac. Nos. 3061, 3062

Supreme Court of California

June 15, 1921

APPEALS from a judgment of the Superior Court of Sacramento County. Peter J. Shields, Judge.

Reversed and affirmed.

COUNSEL:

U. S. Webb, Attorney-General, and Frank L. Guerena, Deputy Attorney-General, for Appellant in Sac. No. 3061 and for Respondent in Sac. No. 3062.

Amend & Amend for Respondent in Sac. No. 3061 and for Appellant in Sac. No. 3062.

JUDGES: In Bank. Lennon, J. Sloane, J., Lawlor, J., Olney, J., Shaw, J., Angellotti, C. J., and Wilbur, J., concurred.

OPINION

LENNON, Judge

Page 163

[198 P. 1058] This action was brought for the purpose of having an assessment declared null and void and to recover from the treasurer of the state of California the amount of a tax paid by plaintiff pursuant to said assessment and under protest.

The plaintiff, Walter P. Story, is the owner of a twelve-story office building in the city of Los Angeles, in the subbasement of which are located three 125 horse-power boilers, pumping engines, lighting engines, vacuum-sweeper engines, a hot-water heater, filtering machinery, house-pumps, etc. This machinery and equipment were placed in the building

Page 164

at the time of its construction for the purpose of supplying the tenants occupying the building with light, heat, hot water, elevator, and cleaning service, and have ever since been so used. During the year 1916, in addition to furnishing such service to the tenants of the building, plaintiff supplied electrical energy and steam to certain individuals, some of whom were not tenants of the Walter P Story building, but occupied property in the vicinity of that building. The terms of these sales were arranged by private contract between plaintiff and purchasers; plaintiff possessed no franchise and neither the operation of the plant nor the sales in question were regulated in any manner by any public utility commission or body. The state board of equalization levied a tax upon the said machinery and equipment in plaintiff's building equal to five and six-tenths per cent of the gross sums received from the special sales of electrical energy and steam for the year 1916, which gross returns amounted to $ 6,040.13 and $ 7,618.77, respectively. Plaintiff claims that this taxation was unauthorized and that he is entitled to recover the amount thereof. The trial court held that plaintiff was not entitled to recover the tax based upon the gross sales of electrical energy, but that the tax based upon the gross sales of steam was without authority and void. Plaintiff and defendant have each appealed from those portions of the judgment which are adverse to them.

Section 14 of article XIII of the constitution of California provides: "Taxes levied, assessed and collected as hereinafter provided upon railroads,. .. car companies. .. companies doing express business on any...

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