City of Aurora v. McGannon

CourtMissouri Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBrace
Citation138 Mo. 38,39 S.W. 469
Decision Date09 March 1897
PartiesCITY OF AURORA v. McGANNON.
39 S.W. 469
138 Mo. 38
CITY OF AURORA
v.
McGANNON.
Supreme Court of Missouri, Division No. 1.
March 9, 1897.

MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS — OCCUPATION TAX — AUTHORITY TO LEVY — ORDINANCE — CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.

1. By Rev. St. 1889, § 1588, a city of the fourth class is authorized, by ordinance, to levy and collect necessary taxes; by section 1589, to tax merchants and peddlers, to levy and collect taxes, and to enforce them by fine. Sections 1603 and 1604 prescribe the mode for levying the taxes provided for in section 1588; and section 1605 authorizes a provision by ordinance for the levy and collection of all other taxes. Held, that cities of the fourth class can levy an occupation tax on merchants, as well as an ad valorem tax on their stocks in trade.

2. The grant of the power to levy and collect such taxes carried with it the authority to adopt any reasonable method to make the power effectual.

3. Where a city is authorized to levy an occupation tax upon merchants, as well as an ad valorem tax on their stocks in trade, an ordinance imposing an occupation tax of $3 a year when a merchant's stock is over $1,000, and a tax of $2 when less, and an ad valorem tax on the highest amount of his stock between the first Mondays in March and June in each year, equal to that levied on real estate, is not in violation of the constitutional requirement that taxes must be uniform.

Appeal from circuit court, Lawrence county; W. M. Robinson, Judge.

Action by the city of Aurora against Pete McGannon to recover a fine for the violation of an ordinance, in refusing to take out and pay for a merchant's license. From a judgment in favor of defendant, plaintiff appeals. Reversed.

H. E. Ragsdale, for appellant. Carr McNatt and Edw. J. White, for respondent.

BRACE, J.


The plaintiff is a city of the fourth class. The defendant is a merchant, doing business in said city, with a stock of goods of the value of $5,000. By the ordinances of said city all merchants doing business in said city are required to take out a license, and it is provided that, when the stock carried by any such merchant amounts to less than $1,000, he shall pay an annual license fee of $2, and, when it amounts to more than $1,000, he shall pay an annual license fee of $3, and that he shall pay an ad valorem tax on the highest amount of his stock between the first Monday in March and the first Monday in June in each year, equal to that which is levied upon real estate; and it is further provided that, if such merchant does business without taking out such license, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and punished by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $100. The defendant did business in the year 1893 without taking out a merchants' license, as required by the ordinances, and in December of that year was proceeded against in the police court of said city, where he was fined $5; and, from the judgment rendered therein against him for such fine and costs, he appealed to the circuit court, where the case was tried upon an agreed statement of the facts, and the court found and declared said ordinances unconstitutional, and rendered judgment for the defendant, from which the plaintiff appeals.

1. Appellant, in its original brief, contended that the circuit court committed error in trying the case de novo on the appeal, under the statute as it then existed (Rev. St. 1889, § 1646), and insisted that it should have been tried only on the record of the police court. But, in its reply brief, it concedes that the ordinances in question are a part of the record, and the case was tried in both courts below under an agreed statement of facts, and "the ordinance itself, which is the bone of contention here, was before the circuit court, and the question of trial `de novo' or `on the record' is only a question of practice, so far as this case is concerned." We do not deem it necessary or profitable to rule upon this question of practice, since the ground of that contention has been removed as to any future case by an amendment to that section (Sess. Acts 1895, p. 73, § 44), and shall confine our consideration to the real question in the case, which is whether the provisions of the ordinances aforesaid are obnoxious to the constitution and laws of the state.

2. By section 1588, art. 5, c. 30, Rev. St. 1889, the mayor and board of aldermen of cities of the fourth class are granted the power, "by ordinance, to levy and collect such taxes upon real and personal property within the city as shall be necessary for the purpose of the corporation"; and by section 1589, same article, they are granted the power, by ordinance, "to tax merchants, peddlers, and to regulate the sale of liquors under merchants' license or otherwise," "to levy and collect taxes," "and to enforce the same by fine" "not exceeding one hundred dollars." Sections 1603 and 1604 prescribe the mode for levying the taxes provided for in section 1588; and section 1605 authorizes the board to provide by ordinance "for the levy and collection of all other taxes, including poll taxes, licenses, wharfage and other dues, and fix the penalties for neglect or refusal to pay the same." The mode prescribed by the ordinances in question for levying and collecting the tax on merchants is like unto that provided by statute for the levying and collecting of state taxes on merchants. Rev. St. 1889, c. 111, §§ 6894-6897....

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24 practice notes
  • Bacon v. Ranson, No. 32418.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 31 Diciembre 1932
    ...Mo. 675; Kansas City v. Whipple, 136 Mo. 475, 38 S.W. 295, 35 L.R.A. 747; St. Louis v. Sternberg, 69 Mo. 289; City of Aurora v. McGannon, 138 Mo. 38, 39 S.W. 469; St. Louis v. Reilly & Woolfort, 6 Mo. App. 590; St. Joseph v. Ernst, 95 Mo. 360, 8 S.W. 558; St. Louis v. McCann, 157 Mo. 30......
  • Kansas City v. Threshing Machine Co., No. 31452.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 18 Octubre 1935
    ...St. Louis v. Railways, 263 Mo. 387; St. Louis v. Railways, 241 U.S. 647; St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543; City of Aurora v. McGammon, 138 Mo. 38. HYDE, This is a proceeding by writ of error to review the conviction and fine assessed against defendants for violating an ordinance of Kansa......
  • Kroger Grocery & Baking Co. v. St. Louis., No. 34280.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 21 Junio 1937
    ...ex rel. Palmer v. Schulte, 305 Mo. 124, 264 S.W. 654; Viquesney v. Kansas City, 305 Mo. 488, 266 S.W. 700; City of Aurora v. McGannon, 138 Mo. 38, 39 S.W. 469; Campbell v. Harrisonville, 50 Fed (2d) 670. (2) The classification of merchants into chain store merchants and other merchants is r......
  • City of St. Louis v. United Rys. Co. of St. Louis, No. 17254.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 19 Diciembre 1914
    ...in the exercise of a privilege, and at the same time imposing a license tax on that privilege. Aurora v. McGannon, 138 Mo. loc. cit. 45, 39 S. W. 469; St. Joseph v. Ernst, 95 Mo. loc. cit. 367, 8 S. W. 558; Am. Un. Ex. Co. v. St. Joseph, 66 Mo. 675, 27 Am. Rep. The original ordinance amende......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Bacon v. Ranson, No. 32418.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 31 Diciembre 1932
    ...Mo. 675; Kansas City v. Whipple, 136 Mo. 475, 38 S.W. 295, 35 L.R.A. 747; St. Louis v. Sternberg, 69 Mo. 289; City of Aurora v. McGannon, 138 Mo. 38, 39 S.W. 469; St. Louis v. Reilly & Woolfort, 6 Mo. App. 590; St. Joseph v. Ernst, 95 Mo. 360, 8 S.W. 558; St. Louis v. McCann, 157 Mo. 301, 5......
  • Kansas City v. Threshing Machine Co., No. 31452.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 18 Octubre 1935
    ...St. Louis v. Railways, 263 Mo. 387; St. Louis v. Railways, 241 U.S. 647; St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543; City of Aurora v. McGammon, 138 Mo. 38. HYDE, This is a proceeding by writ of error to review the conviction and fine assessed against defendants for violating an ordinance of Kansa......
  • Kroger Grocery & Baking Co. v. St. Louis., No. 34280.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 21 Junio 1937
    ...ex rel. Palmer v. Schulte, 305 Mo. 124, 264 S.W. 654; Viquesney v. Kansas City, 305 Mo. 488, 266 S.W. 700; City of Aurora v. McGannon, 138 Mo. 38, 39 S.W. 469; Campbell v. Harrisonville, 50 Fed (2d) 670. (2) The classification of merchants into chain store merchants and other merchants is r......
  • City of St. Louis v. United Rys. Co. of St. Louis, No. 17254.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 19 Diciembre 1914
    ...in the exercise of a privilege, and at the same time imposing a license tax on that privilege. Aurora v. McGannon, 138 Mo. loc. cit. 45, 39 S. W. 469; St. Joseph v. Ernst, 95 Mo. loc. cit. 367, 8 S. W. 558; Am. Un. Ex. Co. v. St. Joseph, 66 Mo. 675, 27 Am. Rep. The original ordinance amende......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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