Hannibal & St. Joseph R.R. Co. v. State Bd. of Equalization

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtHENRY
Citation64 Mo. 294
Decision Date31 October 1876
PartiesHANNIBAL & ST. JOSEPH RAILROAD COMPANY, Relator, v. STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, Respondent.

64 Mo. 294

HANNIBAL & ST. JOSEPH RAILROAD COMPANY, Relator,
v.
STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, Respondent.

Supreme Court of Missouri.

October Term, 1876.


Certiorari to review Assessment of State Board of Equalization.

James Carr, for Relator.

I. The State senate was the proper board of equalization for 1876, instead of the governor and other State officers under the new Constitution. (Wagn. Stat. 1160, § 9; § 1, Schedule to the new Constitution. Dwar. Stat. 568.)

II. The Constitution does not execute itself proprio vigore. Legislative action is necessary to have that effect. (St. Jo. & Denver City R. R. Co. vs. Buchanan Co., 39 Mo. 485; Groves vs. Slaughter, 15 Pet. 449; Cool. Const. Lim., 35, 36,

[64 Mo. 295]

78, 79; U. S. vs. Bevans, 3 Wheat. 336; Const. Conv., by Jamison, p. 83, § 427; Idem. § 434; Luther vs. Borden, 7 How. 1; Websters' Works, vol. 6, p. 221.)

III. The respondents acted as an original assessing board. This they had no right to do. They had only authority “to adjust and equalize” the property of the relator. (§ 18, art. X, of Constitution.)

IV. The act of the General Assembly upon which the resolution of the respondents apportioning the land contracts was based is unconstitutional. (§ 11, art. X; § 3, Ibid; § 21, art. II; Livingston County vs. Hannibal & St. Jo. R. R. Co., 60 Mo. 516; Wells vs. City of Weston, 22 Mo. 384; St. Charles vs. Nolle, 51 Mo. 122; Cool. Const. Lim., 499; Morford vs. Unger, 8 Iowa, 82; Langworthy vs. City of Dubuque, 13 Id. 86; Latrobe, Trustee, vs. Mayor of Baltimore, 19 Md. 13; Johnson vs. Oregon City, 2 Oregon, 327; Johnson vs. City Council of Oregon City, 3 Id. 13; Portland, Saco and Portsmouth R. R. Co. vs. City of Saco, 60 Me. 196.)

V. The situs of personal property and choses in action is where the owner resides. The domicil of the relator is in the city of Hannibal. The land contracts are choses in action. They are properly taxable there. (§ 6, p. 1159, Wagn. Stat.; State ex rel. Taylor, Adm'r, vs. St. Louis County Court, 47 Mo. 594; St. Joseph ex rel. vs. Saville, 39 Id. 460; City of Lexington vs. Aull, 30 Id. 480; Wilkey vs. City of Pekin, 19 Ill. 160; Sangamon & Morgan R. R. Co. vs. County Court of Morgan, 14 Id. 163.)

J. L. Smith, Att'y Gen'l, for Respondent.

I. Under the provisions of § 8, p. 121, Acts 1875, the board had authority to apportion to the counties, municipal townships, cities and incorporated towns along the line of the road the land contract funds, which were valued according to the return of the company. (Washington Co. vs. Iron Mt. R. R., 58 Mo. 372; State Railroad Tax Cases, 2 Otto, [U. S.], 607-611; Deleware Railroad Tax Case, 18 Wal. 208; Erie Railroad Co. vs. Penn. 21 Id. 492; 18 Wallace 2.)

[64 Mo. 296]

II. The governor, State auditor, State treasurer, secretary of State and attorney general constituted the State board of equalization, from and after the adoption of the Constitution of 1875, and had full authority to assess, adjust and equalize all the railroad property of the State for the year 1875. (See § 18, art. X, of the Const., also Act 1875, § 7, p. 121; also Cent. Law Jour. vol. 3, No. 45.) And that section executed itself proprio vigore. Under the Act of 1875 the senate was the board, and the constitution simply transfers their powers to the executive.

III. Assuming but not conceding that said officers did not constitute the State board de jure, yet their action is good as de facto officers, and one binding on relators. (Harbaugh vs. Winsor, 38 Mo. 327; State vs. Dougherty, 45 Mo. 294.)

IV. Section 6--Wagn. Stat. 1159--is repealed by § 8, p. 121 of the acts of 1875, in so far as it applies to railroad property.

V. The power of equalization being conferred upon the board to be exercised upon their judgment and belief of the facts in each particular case, their discretion cannot be controlled or reviewed on certiorari. (Smith vs. Bd. Supervisors, 30 Ia. 531; 1 Bouv. Law Dic. 215.)

The board was not required to certify up the testimony, and there being no law to preserve the testimony by bill of exceptions or otherwise, this court can only look at the record the board was required to make and preserve. (Cent. P. R. R. vs. Placer Co., 34 Cal. 352; S. C. 32 Cal. 582; People ex rel. Board etc., 14 Cal. 479; 8 Abb. [N. Y.] Prac. 277; Jordan vs. Hayden, 36 Iowa, 9; Smith vs. Bd. Supt., 30 Iowa 531; Everett vs. C. R. & Mo. R. R. Co., 28 Iowa 417; 117 Mass. 564; 112 Mass. 206, 218; 109 Mass. 270; 38 N. Y. 377; 32 N. Y. 365; 35 N. Y. 558; 34 N. Y. 343; 28 Wis. 270; 29 Wis. 444.)

VI. In reference to taxation the constitution of the State is not so much to be regarded a grant of power, as a restriction or limitation of power. (Const. Mo. § 1, art. X; Glasgow vs. Rowse, 43 Mo. 489; McCulloch vs. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 428; Cool. Const. Lim. 479 et seq.)

And no provision of the Constitution of this State, or of the United States, inhibits the legislature from enacting that

[64 Mo. 297]

railway property shall be valued by the assessing power, and that valuation apportioned along the entire line of the railway according to the rule prescribed in section 8 of act of March 15th, 1875, for the purpose of taxation.


HENRY, Judge, delivered the opinion of the court.

On the 5th day of December, 1876, the relator filed in this court the following petition for a writ of certiorari to the State Board of Equalization in the above entitled cause, viz: “Plaintiff, who sues at the relation of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company, states that under and by virtue of an act of the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, entitled ‘An act to incorporate the Hann. & St. Jo. R. R. Co.,’ approved February 16, 1847, the relator became, and ever since has been and still is a railroad corporation in said State, and as such said relator was authorized to build and maintain a railroad from the town (now city) of Hannibal in said State to the town (now city) of St. Joseph in said State; and also to build and maintain such branches as the relator might deem to its interest, and the public convenience might require; that in pursuance of said charter, the relator did build, and in the year 1859 it did complete, a railroad from said city of Hannibal to said city of St. Joseph called and known as the Hann. & St. Jo. R. R., and has been ever since, and still is, maintaining and operating the same; and in the year 1867 said relator became the owner of the Quincy and Palmyra branch of said Hann. & St. Jo. R. R.; and in the year 1870, said relator became the owner of the Kansas City and Cameron branch of said Hann. & St. Jo. R. R.; and said relator has been ever since, and still is, maintaining and operating said branches; that under said charter of the relator its property was exempt from the payment of all State and county taxes; but under the act of the General Assembly of said State, entitled ‘An act to accept a grant of land made to the State of Missouri by the Congress of the United States, to aid in the construction of certain railroads in this State, and to apply a portion thereof to the Hann. & St. Jo. R. R.,’ approved September the 20th, 1852, said exemption was modified so as to require said

[64 Mo. 298]

relator to pay into the State Treasury, on the first Monday in December of each year, after the said Hann. & St. Joe. R. R. was completed and opened and a dividend declared, a sum of money equal to the amount of the State tax on other real and personal property of like value, for that year, upon the actual value of the road-bed, buildings, machinery and engines, cars and other property of said relator, which shall be as a consideration to the State for the execution of the trust reposed in the State by the act of Congress of the United States, approved June 10, 1852, entitled “‘An act granting the right of way to the State of Missouri, and a portion of the public lands to aid in the construction of certain railroads in said State;’ and for the purpose of ascertaining the value of the same, it shall be the duty of the president of the relator, on the first day of February in each year, after the said road is completed, opened and put in operation, and declares a dividend, to furnish to the Auditor of the State a statement, under oath, made before and certified by some officer authorized to administer oaths, the actual value of the road-bed, buildings, machinery, engines, cars and other property of said relator; and from said statement, so furnished, the auditor shall charge said relator with the amount appearing to be due the State, according to the statement furnished, as herein required, by the president of said relator.

Plaintiff further states, that in and by the fourth section of said act of the General Assembly of said State, the relator was required to accept the provisions of said act within sixth months after the passage thereof; said acceptance to be executed by said relator under its corporate seal, and filed in the office of the Secretary of State, which was done on the terms, in the manner and within the time required.

Plaintiff further states, that in pursuance of said act of the General Assembly of said State, on the first day of February, 1876, the president of said relator furnished to the State Auditor a statement, under his oath, made before and certified by an officer authorized to administer oaths, of the actual value of the road-bed, buildings, machinery, engines, cars and other property of the relator on said...

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47 practice notes
  • May Dept. Stores Co. v. State Tax Commission, No. 45943
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 13, 1958
    ...53; State ex rel. City of St. Louis v. Caulfield, 333 Mo. 270, 62 S.W.2d 818; Hannibal & St. Joseph R. Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 64 Mo. 294; State ex rel. St. Louis County v. Evans, 346 Mo. 209, 139 S.W.2d 967; State ex rel. Young v. F. W. Woolworth Co., 348 Mo. 1180, 159 S.W.2d 2......
  • State v. Valliant
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • December 4, 1894
    ...county court in the matter of the settlement of the collector for Andrew county. Hannibal & St. J. R. Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 64 Mo. 294, — issued to review the action of the state board of equalization in assessing the property of the railroad company. In re Saline Co. Subscrip......
  • State v. Shelton
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 5, 1900
    ...Slover, 113 Mo. 202, 20 S. W. 788; Railway Co. v. Young, 96 Mo. 39, 8 S. W. 776; Hannibal & St. J. R. Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 64 Mo. 294; Snoddy v. Pettis Co., 45 Mo. 361; Rector v. Price, 1 Mo. 141), yet in this state the law is also well settled that it cannot be used as a sub......
  • State v. Pfeffle, No. 19395.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 21, 1927
    ...evidence may not be brought to our attention either to support or overthrow it. Hannibal & St. Joe R. Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 64 Mo. 294, 308; House v. Clinton County Court, 67 Mo. 522; Ward v. Board )f Equalization, 135 Mo. 309, 36 S. W. 648; State ex rel. v. Brasher, 200 Mo. A......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
49 cases
  • May Dept. Stores Co. v. State Tax Commission, No. 45943
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 13, 1958
    ...53; State ex rel. City of St. Louis v. Caulfield, 333 Mo. 270, 62 S.W.2d 818; Hannibal & St. Joseph R. Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 64 Mo. 294; State ex rel. St. Louis County v. Evans, 346 Mo. 209, 139 S.W.2d 967; State ex rel. Young v. F. W. Woolworth Co., 348 Mo. 1180, 159 S.W.2d 2......
  • State v. Valliant
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • December 4, 1894
    ...county court in the matter of the settlement of the collector for Andrew county. Hannibal & St. J. R. Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 64 Mo. 294, — issued to review the action of the state board of equalization in assessing the property of the railroad company. In re Saline Co. Subscrip......
  • State v. Shelton
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 5, 1900
    ...Slover, 113 Mo. 202, 20 S. W. 788; Railway Co. v. Young, 96 Mo. 39, 8 S. W. 776; Hannibal & St. J. R. Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 64 Mo. 294; Snoddy v. Pettis Co., 45 Mo. 361; Rector v. Price, 1 Mo. 141), yet in this state the law is also well settled that it cannot be used as a sub......
  • State v. Pfeffle, No. 19395.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 21, 1927
    ...evidence may not be brought to our attention either to support or overthrow it. Hannibal & St. Joe R. Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 64 Mo. 294, 308; House v. Clinton County Court, 67 Mo. 522; Ward v. Board )f Equalization, 135 Mo. 309, 36 S. W. 648; State ex rel. v. Brasher, 200 Mo. A......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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