49 Mo. 574 (Mo. 1872), The City of St. Louis v. Manufacturers' Sav. Bank

Citation:49 Mo. 574
Opinion Judge:WAGNER, Judge.
Party Name:THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS, Respondent, v. MANUFACTURERS' SAVINGS BANK, Appellant.
Attorney:James Taussig, with Krum & Decker, for appellant. E. P. McCarty, for respondent.
Court:Supreme Court of Missouri
 
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Page 574

49 Mo. 574 (Mo. 1872)

THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS, Respondent,

v.

MANUFACTURERS' SAVINGS BANK, Appellant.

Supreme Court of Missouri.

March Term, 1872

Appeal from St. Louis Criminal Court.

James Taussig, with Krum & Decker, for appellant.

I. By the charter from the State the appellant, among other franchises, obtained the right to transact its business of banking in the city of St. Louis, and has thus a license from the State for that purpose. The city of St. Louis cannot exact a license fee or prevent the transaction of the business of the corporation without impairing the obligation of the contract made by the State.

1. The charter granted by the State to the Accommodation Bank is a contract which is inviolable, and which requires no money consideration to support it. ( Home of the Friendless v. Rowse, 8 Wall. 436.)

2. But in the case at bar an express money consideration is reserved for the franchises granted. (Sess. Acts 1863, p. 154.)

3. The contract thus made by the State gives the appellant the right to transact its business in St. La. The charter is a license from the State. ( Chilvers v. The People, 11 Mich. 49, 50; License Tax Cases, 5 Wall. 470.)

4. The right and privilege thus acquired by the corporation from the State cannot be impaired by or burdened with a tax or license by a municipal corporation which is created by the State. (McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316; Gordon v. Appeal Tax Court, 3 How., U.S. 150.)

5. The State subjects all the property of the appellant to taxation under the general revenue law; the city also exacts from the appellant a tax on all its property; the State also exacts from the appellant a separate license tax of one per cent. of its net earnings, and thus all species of property and rights owned and enjoyed by the corporation are fully taxed. The license now sought to be exacted would therefore be a double tax. (See Rev. Ord. of St. Louis, 1871, City Charter, art. III, § 1, pp. 69-70; art. VI, p. 87.)

6. If the city has a right to exact a license fee of $200 it may exact a license fee of $10,000, and may thus, in the shape of the exaction of a license fee, prohibit and prevent the exercise of the franchise and privilege granted by the charter. ( Brown v. Maryland, 12 Wheat. 439.)

7. The power to demand a license is always strictly construed against the municipality. ( Chess v....

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