City of St. Louis v. Wenneker

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtWilliams
Citation145 Mo. 230,47 S.W. 105
PartiesCITY OF ST. LOUIS v. WENNEKER, Collector.
Decision Date25 June 1898
47 S.W. 105
145 Mo. 230
CITY OF ST. LOUIS
v.
WENNEKER, Collector.
Supreme Court of Missouri.
June 25, 1898.

TAXATION — EXEMPTIONS — MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS — REAL ESTATE — ASSESSMENT — NAME OF OWNER.

1. Under Const. 1875, art. 10, § 6, providing that the property of municipal corporations shall be exempt from taxation, property devised to a city in trust to constitute a relief fund for the benefit of poor emigrants coming to the city on their way to settle in the West is not exempt from taxation.

2. Under a provision of the revenue laws directing the assessment and taxation of all real estate not exempt therefrom, property held by a city as trustee may be assessed and taxed in the same manner as other property.

3. Under Rev. St. 1889, § 7553, requiring an assessment to be made in the name of the owner, if known, where property was assessed and tax bills were made out against it under the name of the "Mullanphy Emigrant Relief Fund," and at the time the revenue officers knew that the title stood in the name of a certain city, as trustee, the tax bills are void.

In banc. Appeal from St. Louis circuit court.

Suit by the city of St. Louis, trustee under the will of Bryan Mullanphy, deceased, against Charles F. Wenneker, collector of said city. From a judgment in favor of plaintiff, defendant appealed. Affirmed.

B. Schnurmacher and Chas. C. Allen, for appellant. Geo. E. Smith and G. A. Finkelnburg, for respondent.

WILLIAMS, J.


The city of St. Louis, as trustee under the will of Bryan Mullanphy, deceased, instituted this proceeding in equity to prevent the enforcement of, and to procure a decree canceling, certain tax bills against real estate constituting part of the trust property. Mullanphy died in said city on the 15th of June, 1851. He gave to the city of St. Louis, by his will, one-third of all his property, real, personal, and mixed, "in trust to be and constitute a fund to furnish relief to all poor emigrants and travelers coming to St. Louis on their way, bona fide, to settle in the West." The city accepted the trust by an ordinance approved November 16, 1857. The real estate was partitioned, and plaintiff's share under the will set off by metes and bounds. The petition alleges "that since the year 1865 all the property thus owned by the plaintiff was expressly exempted by the constitution and laws of the state of Missouri from taxation. Yet, notwithstanding such exemption, the assessor of the city of St. Louis did pretend to assess said property for taxation from time to time for the years and in the manner hereinafter more fully shown, and did deliver the pretended tax bills evidencing such pretended assessments to the defendant and his predecessors in office, so that the same are now all held by the defendant as such collector, and the defendant threatens to enforce the same as liens against the property hereinafter described." The petition then states that said tax bills are void for the following reasons: "That they are assessed against property which by the constitution and laws of the state at the date of the assessment was wholly exempt from taxation," and "that they are assessed either against the `Mullanphy Emigrant Relief Fund,' or against the `Mullanphy E. R. Fund,' whereas there is not, and was not at the date of such assessment, any person, natural or artificial, known by that name, but that the name of such pretended owner as contained in such tax bills is a mere abstraction." A full description of the tax bills is given, and the prayer is that defendant be enjoined from enforcing them, and that they be canceled. The defendant demurred on the ground that the petition failed to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. This was overruled, and a decree entered as prayed, and defendant has brought the case here.

1. The first question for decision arises out of the claim that this property is exempt from taxation. This involves a construction of the constitutional provisions on that subject. Sections 6, 7, art. 10, of the constitution of this state adopted in 1875, are as follows:

47 S.W. 106

"Sec. 6. Property Exempt from Taxation. The property, real and personal, of the state, counties and other municipal corporations, and cemeteries, shall be exempt from taxation. Lots in incorporated cities or towns, or within one mile of the limits of any such city or town, to the extent of one acre, and lots one mile or more distant from such cities or towns, to the extent of five acres, with the buildings thereon, may be exempted from taxation, when the same are used exclusively for religious worship, for schools, or for purposes purely charitable; also, such property, real and personal, as may be used exclusively for agricultural or horticultural societies: provided, that such exemptions shall be only by general law.

"Sec. 7. Other Exemptions Void. All laws exempting property from taxation, other than the property above enumerated, shall be void."

It is plain that the framers of the constitution did not intend to permit property, regardless of its amount, to be relieved from taxation simply because of use for charitable purposes. A restriction is placed upon the exemptions that may be made upon that ground. Lots in incorporated cities and towns, or within one mile of the limits thereof, to the extent of one acre, and lots one mile or more from such limits, to the extent of five acres, "where the same are...

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15 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lucas, No. 35701.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 8, 1941
    ...Pipe Line, 339 Mo. 459; State ex rel. Natl. Life v. Hyde, 292 Mo. 342; State ex rel. Koeln v. Lesser, 237 Mo. 310; City v. Wenneker, 145 Mo. 230; Berry-Kofron Dental Co. v. Smith, 137 S.W. (2d) 452; Cleaver v. Central States Life, 142 S.W. (2d) 474; United States v. Supplee-Biddle Co., 265 ......
  • Thatcher v. St. Louis, No. 31171.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 15, 1934
    ...plaintiffs. This will has been before this court on five previous occasions. [Chambers v. St. Louis, 29 Mo. 543; St. Louis v. Wenneker, 145 Mo. 230, 47 S.W. 105; St. Louis v. Crow, Atty-Genl., 171 Mo. 272, 71 S.W. 132; St. Louis v. McAllister, Atty.-Genl., 281 Mo. 26, 218 S.W. 312, and St. ......
  • State v. Underwood, 2082
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • January 24, 1939
    ...Wis. 180, 128 N.W. 870; People v. University, 328 Ill. 377, 159 N.E. 811; McChesney v. People, 99 Ill. 216; City of St. Louis v. Wenneker, 145 Mo. 230, 47 S.W. 105, 68 Am. St. Rep. 561. Some of these cases relate to property held by a municipality, but the principle involved is the same. Th......
  • State ex rel. City of St. Louis v. Baumann, No. 36994.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 10, 1941
    ...Godfrey, 56 N.E. 482; Hibbard v. Brown, 51 Ala. 469; 2 Blackwell on Tax Titles, pp. 907, 912; Sec. 3014, R.S. 1929; St. Louis v. Wenneker, 145 Mo. 230, 47 S.W. 105; State ex rel. McKinney v. Davidson, 286 S.W. 355; Millerson v. Doherty, 241 S.W. 907; The People v. University of Ill., 328 Il......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
15 cases
  • State ex rel. Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lucas, No. 35701.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 8, 1941
    ...Pipe Line, 339 Mo. 459; State ex rel. Natl. Life v. Hyde, 292 Mo. 342; State ex rel. Koeln v. Lesser, 237 Mo. 310; City v. Wenneker, 145 Mo. 230; Berry-Kofron Dental Co. v. Smith, 137 S.W. (2d) 452; Cleaver v. Central States Life, 142 S.W. (2d) 474; United States v. Supplee-Biddle Co., 265 ......
  • Thatcher v. St. Louis, No. 31171.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 15, 1934
    ...plaintiffs. This will has been before this court on five previous occasions. [Chambers v. St. Louis, 29 Mo. 543; St. Louis v. Wenneker, 145 Mo. 230, 47 S.W. 105; St. Louis v. Crow, Atty-Genl., 171 Mo. 272, 71 S.W. 132; St. Louis v. McAllister, Atty.-Genl., 281 Mo. 26, 218 S.W. 312, and St. ......
  • State v. Underwood, 2082
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • January 24, 1939
    ...Wis. 180, 128 N.W. 870; People v. University, 328 Ill. 377, 159 N.E. 811; McChesney v. People, 99 Ill. 216; City of St. Louis v. Wenneker, 145 Mo. 230, 47 S.W. 105, 68 Am. St. Rep. 561. Some of these cases relate to property held by a municipality, but the principle involved is the same. Th......
  • State ex rel. City of St. Louis v. Baumann, No. 36994.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 10, 1941
    ...Godfrey, 56 N.E. 482; Hibbard v. Brown, 51 Ala. 469; 2 Blackwell on Tax Titles, pp. 907, 912; Sec. 3014, R.S. 1929; St. Louis v. Wenneker, 145 Mo. 230, 47 S.W. 105; State ex rel. McKinney v. Davidson, 286 S.W. 355; Millerson v. Doherty, 241 S.W. 907; The People v. University of Ill., 328 Il......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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