Achenbach v. Kincaid

CourtIdaho Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBUDGE, District Judge.
Citation25 Idaho 768,140 P. 529
PartiesHENRY ACHENBACH, Appellant, v. WILLIAM KINCAID, County Assessor of Ada County, Idaho, and WILLIAM HOWELL, AUGUST CARLSON and WM. BRIGGS, Constituting the Board of County Commissioners of Ada County, Respondents
Decision Date25 February 1914

140 P. 529

25 Idaho 768

HENRY ACHENBACH, Appellant,
v.

WILLIAM KINCAID, County Assessor of Ada County, Idaho, and WILLIAM HOWELL, AUGUST CARLSON and WM. BRIGGS, Constituting the Board of County Commissioners of Ada County, Respondents

Supreme Court of Idaho

February 25, 1914


APPEAL from the District Court of the Third Judicial District for Ada County. Hon. Carl A. Davis, Judge.

Petition for writ of mandate to compel the board of county commissioners and county assessor of Ada county to assess all motor vehicles that escaped taxation for the year 1913, under the highway commission act. Demurrer to petition sustained by lower court. Judgment affirmed.

Judgment affirmed. Costs awarded to respondents.

Harry S. Kessler, for Appellant.

This purported amendment relating to property exempt from taxation does not comply with the constitution, sec. 18, art. 3.

The legislature, by the title of the highway commission act, declared that they intended to amend sec. 1644, Rev. Codes.

"The declared purpose of a statute must be accepted as true, unless such purpose be incompatible with its meaning and effect." (S. S. White Dental Mfg. Co. v. Commonwealth, 212 Mass. 35, Ann. Cas. 1913C, 805, 98 N.E. 1056; Lewis' Sutherland Stat. Const., 2d ed., secs. 230, 231; Fletcher v. Prather, 102 Cal. 413, 36 P. 658; People v. Mahaney, 13 Mich. 481; Copland v. Pirie, 26 Wash. 481, 90 Am. St. 769, 67 P. 227.)

R. L. Givens, Prosecuting Attorney, Harry Keyser and E. P. Barnes, for Respondents.

"If all parts of the act have a natural connection and reasonably relate, directly or indirectly, to one general, legitimate subject of legislation, the act is not open to the objection of plurality of subjects." (State v. Doherty, 3 Idaho 384, 29 P. 855; State v. Dolan, 13 Idaho 693, 92 P. 995, 14 L. R. A., N. S., 1259; Pioneer Irr. Dist. v. Bradley, 8 Idaho 310, 101 Am. St. 201, 68 P. 295; State v. Jones, 9 Idaho 693, 75 P. 819; Turner v. Coffin, 9 Idaho 338, 74 P. 962; Butler v. Lewiston, 11 Idaho 393, 83 P. 234; Kessler v. Fritchman, 21 Idaho 30, 119 P. 692; Shoshone Highway Dist. v. Anderson, 22 Idaho 109, 125 P. 219; In re Magnes' Estate, 32 Colo. 527, 77 P. 853.)

An act is not unconstitutional if the title is broader than the act. (Divet v. Richland Co., 8 N, D. 65, 76 N.W. 993.) Similar titles in the following cases were held to be sufficient: State v. Klectzen, 8 N.D. 286, 78 N.W. 984; Murphy v. Bondshu, 2 Cal.App. 249, 83 P. 278; Parks v. State, 159 Ind. 211, 64 N.E. 862, 59 L. R. A. 190; State v. Courtney, 27 Mont. 378, 71 P. 308; Shearer v. Board of Supervisors, 128 Mich. 552, 87 N.W. 789; State ex rel. Olson v. Board of Commissioners, 83 Minn. 65, 85 N.W. 830; Gage v. City of Chicago, 207 Ill. 56, 69 N.E. 588; Erickson v. Cass County, 11 N.D. 494, 92 N.W. 841; Samuelson v. State, 116 Tenn. 470, 115 Am. St. 805, 95 S.W. 1012. If the subject matter is within the scope of the title, the constitutional requirement is met. (State v. Tibbets, 52 Neb. 228, 66 Am. St. 492, 71 N.W. 990; State ex rel. Comstock v. Stewart, 52 Neb. 243, 71 N.W. 998; Poindexter v. Greenhow, 114 U.S. 270, 5 S.Ct. 903, 29 L.Ed. 185; Bobel v. People, 173 Ill. 19, 64 Am. St. 70, 107, 50 N.E. 322; State ex rel. Griffith v. Newland, 37 Wash. 428, 79 P. 983.)

Similar automobile statutes upheld as constitutional. (Christy v. Elliott, 216 Ill. 31, 108 Am. St. 196, 74 N.E. 1035, 3 Ann. Cas. 487, 1 L. R. A., N. S., 215; Commonwealth v. Boyd, 188 Mass. 79, 108 Am. St. 464, 74 N.E. 255; People v. Schneider, 139 Mich. 673, 103 N.W. 172, 5 Ann. Cas. 790, 69 L. R. A. 345.)

Such reference as is made to sec. 1644 in the title of the highway commission act may be treated as surplusage. (1 Lewis' Sutherland Stat. Const., 2d ed., p. 448; Thomas v. State, 124 Ala. 48, 27 So. 315; Peed v. McCrary, 94 Ga. 487, 21 S.E. 232; Bagwell v. Lawrenceville, 94 Ga. 654, 21 S.E. 903.)

The power of the legislature is, within its sphere, unlimited except as restricted by the constitution. (Kingsbury v. Nye, 9 Cal.App. 574, 99 P. 985; State ex rel. Workman v. Goldthait, 172 Ind. 210, 87 N.E. 133, 19 Ann. Cas. 737; State ex rel. Caldwell v. Hooker, 22 Okla. 712, 98 P. 964; State ex rel. Peyton v. Cunningham, 39 Mont. 197, 103 P. 497, 18 Ann. Cas. 705; Ahern v. Elder, 195 N.Y. 493, 88 N.E. 1059; Straw v. Harris, 54 Ore. 424, 103 P. 777.)

"A state constitution, unlike a federal constitution, is one of limitation and not a grant of powers, and any act adopted by the legislature not prohibited by the state constitution is valid, and such inhibition must expressly or impliedly be made to appear beyond a reasonable doubt." (State v. Cochran, 55 Ore. 157, 104 P. 419, 105 P. 884; St. Joe Improvement Co. v. Laumierster, 19 Idaho 66, 112 P. 683; Walker v. City of Spokane, 62 Wash. 312, Ann. Cas. 1912C, 994, 113 P. 775; People ex rel. Simon v. Bradley, 207 N.Y. 592, 101 N.E. 766.)

"In passing on the constitutionality of a statute, every reasonable doubt as to its validity will be resolved in favor of sustaining the statute." (United States v. Seymour, 10 App. D. C. 294, affirmed; United States v. Duell, 172 U.S. 576, 19 S.Ct. 286, 43 L.Ed. 559; State v. Canfield, 40 Fla. 36, 23 So. 591, 42 L. R. A. 72; People v. Rose, 203 Ill. 46, 67 N.E. 746; Commonwealth v. Barney, 115 Ky. 475, 74 S.W. 181; State v. Thompson, 144 Mo. 314, 46 S.W. 191; Ex parte Loving, 178 Mo. 194, 77 S.W. 508; State v. Standard Oil Co., 61 Neb. 28, 87 Am. St. 449, 84 N.W. 413; Sugden v. Partridge, 174 N.Y. 87, 66 N.E. 655; reversing order, 78 A.D. 644, 80 N.Y.S. 1149; Bon Homme County v. Berndt, 15 S.D. 494, 90 N.W. 147; State v. Lewis, 26 Utah 120, 72 P. 388.)

"The court may not declare a statute void unless it is clearly so beyond any reasonable doubt." (State v. Joseph, 175 Ala. 579, 57 So. 942; People v. Elerding, 254 Ill. 579, 98 N.E. 982; Whitford v. Board of Commissioners, 159 N.C. 160, 74 S.E. 1014; Miller v. Henry, 62 Ore. 4, 124 P. 197, 199; Board of Trustees v. Outgamie County, 150 Wis. 244, 136 N.W. 619.)

J. H. Peterson, Attorney General, J. J. Guheen and T. C. Coffin, Assistants, Amici Curiae.

The proceedings of the constitutional convention taken in connection with the established rule that the legislature has absolute sovereign power of taxation save so far as restricted by the federal or state constitutions, leaves no doubt but that the legislature possesses authority to exempt automobiles from taxation if they see fit. (Proceedings Idaho Const. Convention, p. 1703 et seq.)

BUDGE, District Judge. Sullivan, J., concurs, AILSHIE, C. J., Concurring Specially.

OPINION [140 P. 530]

[25 Idaho 772] BUDGE, District Judge.

--On July 22, 1913, appellant filed in the district court of the third judicial district within and for Ada county, Idaho, his petition for an alternative writ of mandate to be directed, first, to William Howell, August Carlson and William Briggs, constituting the board of county commissioners of said Ada county, commanding them to enforce and compel an assessment of all property within said Ada county at a fair cash value, and in particular all automobiles, motorcycles and other motor vehicles that escaped taxation for the year 1913; and, second, to William Kincaid, county assessor of Ada county, requiring him to assess at a fair cash value and make due return on all taxable property of said county, particularly all automobiles, motorcycles and other motor vehicles that escaped taxation for the year 1913.

It is alleged in said petition that there were on the second Monday in January, 1913, and at the time of the filing of said petition about seven hundred automobiles, motorcycles and other motor vehicles within said Ada county, of the aggregate [25 Idaho 773] value of one million dollars; that the said assessor had failed, during the period fixed by law, or at all, to assess the same, and that said William Howell, August Carlson and William Briggs, sitting as a board of equalization of said county for the year 1913, had failed, neglected and refused to enforce and compel the assessment of said property by said assessor; that unless an assessment of said property for said year is made, appellant, who is a taxpayer of said county, will be compelled to pay an unjust and unfair proportion of taxes.

It is further alleged in said petition that respondents justify their failure to assess said property, or cause the same to be assessed, by reason of the provisions of sec. 19, chap. 179, Sess. Laws of 1913, p. 568, but it is alleged that said section is null and void, for the reason that it contravenes secs. 2, 4 and 5, art. 7, and secs. 16, 18 and 19, art. 3 of the constitution of this state.

A general demurrer was filed to the petition and by the trial court sustained. Appellant thereupon declined to plead further. Judgment was entered, dismissing the action and the case is here on appeal from said judgment.

The twelfth session of the legislature passed an act which was approved March 13, 1913, of which the following is the title:

"Creating a State Highway Commission, Prescribing Its Duties and Defining Its Powers: Authorizing the Employment by Said State Highway Commission of Convicts in the State Penitentiary on State Highways: Requiring the Registration With the Secretary of Said State Highway Commission of Motor Vehicles and of Dealers in, and Manufacturers of, Motor Vehicles, and Requiring the Payment of Annual Fees for Such Registration: Creating a State Highway Fund and Appropriating the Moneys in Such Fund: Prescribing Rules and Regulations for Operating and Running Motor Vehicles on the Public Highways of the State: Defining the Powers of Counties, Cities [140 P. 531] and Incorporated Villages With Reference to Licensing and Regulating Motor Vehicles: Amending Section 1644 of the Revised Codes of Idaho Relating to Property Exempt from Taxation so as to Exempt Duly Registered Motor [25 Idaho 774] Vehicles from Taxation:...

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41 practice notes
  • Smallwood v. Jeter
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 12, 1926
    ...from a tax by valuation. (C. S., par. 21, sec. 3099, as amended by chap. 106, Laws of 1921; C. S., sec. 1602; Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, 140 P. 529.) The amount of insurance or bond fixed by section 3 is not unreasonable in amount. (Berry on Automobiles, 4th ed., p. 1453; Ex parte ......
  • Eberle v. Nielson, No. 8541
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 13, 1957
    ...not participate in the decision. --------------- 1 St. Joe Improvement Co. v. Laumierster, 19 Idaho 66, 112 P. 683; Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, 140 P. 529; Idaho Power & Light Co. v. Blomquist, 26 Idaho 222, 141 P. 1083, Ann.Cas.1916E, 282; In re Kessler, 26 Idaho 764, 146 P. 113, L......
  • J. C. Penney Company v. Diefendorf, 6092
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 28, 1934
    ...(Williams v. Baldridge, 48 Idaho 618, [54 Idaho 382] 284 P. 203; Smallwood v. Jeter, 42 Idaho 169, 244 P. 149; Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, 140 P. 529.) Appellant first challenges the constitutionality of sections 7 and 8, above quoted, which exclude gasoline filling stations or gaso......
  • Petition of Idaho State Federation of Labor, No. 8160
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • June 30, 1954
    ...held the legislature had power to enact any law not in conflict with the United States or state constitutions. In Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, at page 781, 140 P. 529, 533, the court quoted from State v. Cochran, 55 Or. 157, 104 P. 419, 105 P. 884, as "A state Constitution, unlike a ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Smallwood v. Jeter
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 12, 1926
    ...from a tax by valuation. (C. S., par. 21, sec. 3099, as amended by chap. 106, Laws of 1921; C. S., sec. 1602; Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, 140 P. 529.) The amount of insurance or bond fixed by section 3 is not unreasonable in amount. (Berry on Automobiles, 4th ed., p. 1453; Ex parte ......
  • Eberle v. Nielson, No. 8541
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 13, 1957
    ...not participate in the decision. --------------- 1 St. Joe Improvement Co. v. Laumierster, 19 Idaho 66, 112 P. 683; Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, 140 P. 529; Idaho Power & Light Co. v. Blomquist, 26 Idaho 222, 141 P. 1083, Ann.Cas.1916E, 282; In re Kessler, 26 Idaho 764, 146 P. 113, L......
  • J. C. Penney Company v. Diefendorf, 6092
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 28, 1934
    ...(Williams v. Baldridge, 48 Idaho 618, [54 Idaho 382] 284 P. 203; Smallwood v. Jeter, 42 Idaho 169, 244 P. 149; Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, 140 P. 529.) Appellant first challenges the constitutionality of sections 7 and 8, above quoted, which exclude gasoline filling stations or gaso......
  • Petition of Idaho State Federation of Labor, No. 8160
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • June 30, 1954
    ...held the legislature had power to enact any law not in conflict with the United States or state constitutions. In Achenbach v. Kincaid, 25 Idaho 768, at page 781, 140 P. 529, 533, the court quoted from State v. Cochran, 55 Or. 157, 104 P. 419, 105 P. 884, as "A state Constitution, unlike a ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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