Ex parte Hoffert, No. 3566.

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtPOLLEY
Citation148 N.W. 20,34 S.D. 271
Docket NumberNo. 3566.
Decision Date13 July 1914
PartiesEx parte HOFFERT.

34 S.D. 271
148 N.W. 20

Ex parte HOFFERT.

No. 3566.

Supreme Court of South Dakota.

July 13, 1914.


Appeal from Circuit Court, Miner County; Alva E. Taylor, Judge.

Petition by William Hoffert for his discharge on a writ of habeas corpus. From a judgment denying relief and remanding petitioner to custody, he appeals. Affirmed.

[148 N.W. 21]

Null & Royhl, of Huron, for appellant.

Royal C. Johnson, Atty. Gen., and C. C. Caldwell, State's Atty., of Howard, for respondent.


POLLEY, J.

The question presented for consideration by this record is the constistitutionality of chapter 276, Laws 1913, known as the Automobile Law. As applied to the facts in this case, said chapter imposes an annual registration fee of $6 on all motor vehicles used upon the public highways of the state. This fee is to be paid to the county treasurer, who is required to forward 12 1/2 per cent. thereof to the Secretary of State, while the remaining 87 1/2 per cent. shall be placed in the “county motor vehicle road fund” and shall be expended only for the repair and maintenance of the public highways beyond the limits of cities and towns.

[1]It is conceded by appellant that the state has the right, in the exercise of its police power, to license motor vehicles used upon the public highways, and that it may charge a license fee sufficient in amount to cover the cost of registering and numbering said vehicles for the purpose of identification, but that it has no right to collect a greater amount than is necessary for such purpose. Under the statute in question, 12 1/2 per cent. of the amount collected (which is forwarded to the Secretary of State) is applied to this purpose, and is conceded to be a reasonable amount. This amount, then, appellant concedes to be a license fee proper, and no complaint is made by him, so far as this part of the amount collected is concerned.

In regard to the remaining 87 1/2 per cent. of the fee, amounting to $5.25 for each motor vehicle in use upon the public highways, a different question is presented. It is contended by appellant that, so far as this amount is concerned, the act is a pure revenue measure, and to that extent the Legislature has attempted to exceed its constitutional limitation; that motor vehicles are assessed and taxed according to their value, the same as other personal property, and that the collection of the above sum amounts to double taxation, and is therefore in violation of the Constitution. In this contention, appellant is clearly wrong. Section 8 of the act in question provides that, upon the application for registration of a motor vehicle, $6 shall be paid to the county treasurer, but by section 3 no application need be made except for motor vehicles that are to be operated or driven upon the public highways of the state. From this, it is plain that the amount involved is in no sense a property tax. It is not levied upon the vehicle itself nor upon its possession or ownership, but is collected only for the privilege of using such...

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30 practice notes
  • Hudson v. Stuart, 30434
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • January 16, 1933
    ...Park v. Duluth, 134 Minn. 296, 159 N.W. 627; Kellaher v. Portland, 57 Ore. 578, 110 P. 492, 112 P. 1076; Ray v. Hoffert, [166 Miss. 343] 34 S.D. 271, 52 L.R.A. (N.S.) 949, 148 N.W. 20; Com. v. Hawkins, 14 Pa. Dist. R. 592; Ayres v. Chicago, 239 Ill. 237, 87 N.E. 1073; Lillard v. Melton, 103......
  • State v. Caplan
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • January 8, 1927
    ...made necessary by their use make the propriety of such a classification too obvious for discussion. And so it is held. Re Hoffert, 34 S. D. 271, 148 N. W. 20, 52 L. R. A. (N. S.) 949, 957; Jackson v. Neff, 64 Fla. 326, 60 So. 350, 352; Allen v. Smith, 84 Ohio St. 283, 95 N. E. 829, Ann. Cas......
  • Smallwood v. Jeter
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 12, 1926
    ...left in the control of the cities. (Savannah, T. & I. of H. Ry. v. Savannah, 198 U.S. 392, 25 S.Ct. 690, 49 L.Ed. 1097; Ex parte Hoffert, 34 S.D. 271, 148 N.W. 20, 52 L. R. A., N. S., 949.) In any event, the classes are so inherently subject to distinction as to permit of the classification......
  • Solberg v. Davenport, No. 40262.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 26, 1930
    ...18 N. M. 211, 135 P. 1177;Kane v. State, 81 N. J. Law, 594, 80 A. 453, L. R. A. 1917B, 553, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 237; Ex parte Hoffert, 34 S. D. 271, 148 N. W. 20, 52 L. R. A. (N. S.) 949;Smallwood v. Jeter, 42 Idaho, 169, 244 P. 149;State v. Becker, 288 Mo. 607, 233 S. W. 54;Fisher Bros. v. Br......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • Hudson v. Stuart, 30434
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • January 16, 1933
    ...Park v. Duluth, 134 Minn. 296, 159 N.W. 627; Kellaher v. Portland, 57 Ore. 578, 110 P. 492, 112 P. 1076; Ray v. Hoffert, [166 Miss. 343] 34 S.D. 271, 52 L.R.A. (N.S.) 949, 148 N.W. 20; Com. v. Hawkins, 14 Pa. Dist. R. 592; Ayres v. Chicago, 239 Ill. 237, 87 N.E. 1073; Lillard v. Melton, 103......
  • State v. Caplan
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • January 8, 1927
    ...made necessary by their use make the propriety of such a classification too obvious for discussion. And so it is held. Re Hoffert, 34 S. D. 271, 148 N. W. 20, 52 L. R. A. (N. S.) 949, 957; Jackson v. Neff, 64 Fla. 326, 60 So. 350, 352; Allen v. Smith, 84 Ohio St. 283, 95 N. E. 829, Ann. Cas......
  • Smallwood v. Jeter
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 12, 1926
    ...left in the control of the cities. (Savannah, T. & I. of H. Ry. v. Savannah, 198 U.S. 392, 25 S.Ct. 690, 49 L.Ed. 1097; Ex parte Hoffert, 34 S.D. 271, 148 N.W. 20, 52 L. R. A., N. S., 949.) In any event, the classes are so inherently subject to distinction as to permit of the classification......
  • Solberg v. Davenport, No. 40262.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 26, 1930
    ...18 N. M. 211, 135 P. 1177;Kane v. State, 81 N. J. Law, 594, 80 A. 453, L. R. A. 1917B, 553, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 237; Ex parte Hoffert, 34 S. D. 271, 148 N. W. 20, 52 L. R. A. (N. S.) 949;Smallwood v. Jeter, 42 Idaho, 169, 244 P. 149;State v. Becker, 288 Mo. 607, 233 S. W. 54;Fisher Bros. v. Br......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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