Canterbury School, Inc. v. Town of New Milford

Decision Date31 March 1930
Citation149 A. 685,111 Conn. 203
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court

Appeal from Superior Court, Litchfield County; Carl Foster, Judge.

Proceeding by Canterbury School, Inc., for the purpose of seeking relief from the action of the Board of Relief of the Town of New Milford. From a judgment of dismissal, plaintiff appeals.

No error.

Walter E. Monagan, of Waterbury, for appellant.

Samuel A. Herman, of Winsted, and John F. Addis, of New Milford, for appellee.



This is an appeal from the board of relief of the defendant town based upon the refusal of the board to strike from the tax list for October, 1927, certain property of the plaintiff which it claimed to be exempt from taxation. Chapter 319 of the Public Acts of 1927, in effect on October 1, 1927, exempts from taxation " the real property of or held in trust for, a Connecticut corporation organized exclusively for scientific, educational, literary, historical or charitable purposes or for two or more such purposes and used exclusively for carrying out one or more of such purposes and the personal property of, or held in trust for any such corporation, provided (a) any officer, member or employee thereof does not receive or at any future time shall not receive any pecuniary profit from the operations thereof, except reasonable compensation for services in effecting one or more of such purposes or as proper beneficiary of its strictly charitable purposes, and provided (b) an annual statement on forms prepared by the tax commissioner shall be filed on or before the last day required by law for the filing of assessment returns with the local board of assessors of any town, consolidated town and city, or consolidated town and borough, in which any of its property thought to be exempt is situated." All other questions aside, if it does not appear that the situation of the plaintiff brings it within the provisions of subdivision (a) of the statute as quoted, the plaintiff is not entitled to the exemption it claims.

For a great many years prior to 1925 our statutes granted an exemption from taxation to " colleges, academies churches, public schoolhouses or infirmaries." General Statutes, § 1160, as amended by Public Acts of 1921, c. 109. In several cases we have had occasion to consider the meaning and effect of this provision of the statutes. In Pomfret School v. Pomfret, 105 Conn. 456, page 459, 136 A. 88, 89, we stated as one of the necessary qualifications to entitle an educational institution to exemption under this statute a compliance with the test which had been formulated in Brunswick School v. Greenwich, 88 Conn. 241, 90 A. 801, that is, a sequestration of the property claimed to be exempt from private, and a devotion of it to public, use, and we said: " In ascertaining whether this essential element is present, the determinative questions are: First, is the property devoted to the public use; second, was the property so received and is it so held as to be dedicated to public benefit instead of to private advantage or gain? Is it ‘ taken out of the body of private property and devoted exclusively to the common good." This principle we reaffirmed and applied in Female Academy v. Darien, 108 Conn. 136, 142 A. 678, and showed that it is not met if the funds of the institution could be used for the profit or benefit of individuals, either members of the corporation conducting it or others who are not the proper recipients of its charitable purposes. In 1925 the Legislature adopted an act substantially different in phraseology from the previous laws, leaving out any specific reference to colleges, academies, or schools, and...

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9 cases
  • Blodgett v. Bridgeport City Trust Co.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • June 14, 1932
    ... ... our decision in Canterbury School v. New Milford, ... 111 Conn. 203, 149 A. 685. In ... ...
  • Boardman v. Burlingame
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • February 1, 1938
    ... ... The test applied in Canterbury School, Inc. v. New ... Milford, 111 Conn. 203, 149 A ... ...
  • Physical Educ. v. Danaher.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • January 11, 1945
    ...General Statutes, § 1163(7)(a). In the light of the history of the exemption of such institutions, we held in Canterbury School, Inc. v. New Milford, 111 Conn. 203, 207, 149 A. 685, that the statute did not make the test of the exemption that no individual had received or was receiving a pe......
  • Forman Sch. Inc. v. Town Of Litchfield.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • July 9, 1947
    ...directly involving claims by institutions that their property was exempt as devoted to educational purposes. In Canterbury School v. New Milford, 111 Conn. 203, 149 A. 685, we held the property of the plaintiff not exempt, solely because the requirements of proviso (a) in the statute were n......
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