Idaho Gold Dredging Company v. Balderston, 6470

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtGIVENS, J.
Citation58 Idaho 692,78 P.2d 105
PartiesIDAHO GOLD DREDGING COMPANY, a Corporation, et al., Appellants, v. JOHN L. BALDERSTON, Commissioner of Law Enforcement of the State of Idaho, and J. W. TAYLOR, Attorney General of the State of Idaho, Respondents. UNITED MERCURY MINES COMPANY, a Corporation, et al., Appellants, v. JOHN L. BALDERSTON, Commissioner of Law Enforcement of the State of Idaho, and J. W. TAYLOR, Attorney General of the State of Idaho, Respondents
Decision Date25 January 1938
Docket Number6470,6471

78 P.2d 105

58 Idaho 692

IDAHO GOLD DREDGING COMPANY, a Corporation, et al., Appellants,
v.

JOHN L. BALDERSTON, Commissioner of Law Enforcement of the State of Idaho, and J. W. TAYLOR, Attorney General of the State of Idaho, Respondents.
UNITED MERCURY MINES COMPANY, a Corporation, et al., Appellants,
v.

JOHN L. BALDERSTON, Commissioner of Law Enforcement of the State of Idaho, and J. W. TAYLOR, Attorney General of the State of Idaho, Respondents

Nos. 6470, 6471

Supreme Court of Idaho

January 25, 1938


On Rehearing April 7, 1938. [78 P.2d 106]

APPEALS from the District Court of the Third Judicial District for Ada County. Hon. Charles F. Koelsch, Judge.

Separate actions by respective appellants, placer and lode miners, to restrain the enforcement, by respondent public officials of an occupation excise tax on mining. Judgments for respondents. Affirmed.

Affirmed. Costs awarded to respondent.

Hawley & Worthwine, for Appellants.

The act does not apply to placer mining operations excepting in the remote case of a lode miner engaged in extracting ores from a placer claim and none of the plaintiffs are engaged in mining or extracting ores, but on the contrary are solely engaged in extracting gold and silver from gravel and sand deposits, not in any sense ores. (Sec. 23, tit. 30, U.S.C. A.; sec. 35, tit. 30, U. S. C. A.; Cole v. Ralph, 252 U.S. 286, 40 S.Ct. 321, 64 L.Ed. 567; Morrison on Mining Rights, p. 252; United States v. Iron Silver Min. Co. et al., 128 U.S. 673, 9 S.Ct. 195, 32 L.Ed. 571.)

The act confers legislative power and duty upon others than the senate and house of representatives of the state of Idaho against the provisions of section 1 of article 3 of the constitution of the state of Idaho. (State v. Nelson, 36 Idaho 713, 213 P. 358; State v. Purcell, 39 Idaho 642, 228 P. 796; Westphal v. Westphal, 122 Cal.App. 379, 10 P.2d 119.)

The title of the act is insufficient and in conflict with section 3 of article 16 of the constitution of the state of Idaho. ( Jackson v. Gallet, 39 Idaho 382, 228 P. 1068; Federal Reserve Bank v. Citizens' Bank & Trust Co., 53 Idaho 316, 23 P.2d 735.)

The act violates section 6 of article 7 of the constitution of the state of Idaho in that it provides a special tax for the benefit of municipal corporations, to wit, independent school districts. (1919 C. S., sec. 824; School District v. Twin Falls, etc., 30 Idaho 400, 164 P. 1174; State v. Davey, 27 Ariz. 254, 232 P. 884; Joint School Dist. No. 132 v. Dabney, 127 Okla. 234, 260 P. 486; State v. Wilson, 65 Kan. 237, 69 P. 172.)

The act imposes duplicate taxation upon the same property resulting in lack of equality and uniformity of the tax against the provisions of section 5 of article 7 of the Idaho constitution. (Oregon Short Line R. Co. v. Washington County et al., 54 Idaho 171, 30 P.2d 198; Humbird Lumber Co. v. Kootenai County, 10 Idaho 490, 79 P. 396; Independent H. Dist. No. 2 v. Ada County, 24 Idaho 416, 431, 134 P. 542; Hettinger v. Good Roads Dist. No. 1, 19 Idaho 313, 319, 113 P. 721; Diefendorf v. Gallet, 51 Idaho 619, 640, 10 P.2d 307.)

J. W. Taylor, Attorney General, and Ariel L. Crowley, Assistant Attorney General, for Respondents.

The term "ore" is amply broad, when used in context with the words "placer mining" to include metals recovered by hydraulic placer mining operations. (New Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary, title "Ore"; Webster's New International Unabridged Dictionary, title, "Ore"; 16 Encyclopedia Britannica, title "Ore Deposits," p. 874; 16 Encyclopedia Britannica, title "Ore Dressing," p. 880; Costigan's Mining Law, p. 109, note 26; Alameda Min. Co. v. Success, etc., Min. Co., 29 Idaho 618, 161 P. 862; 249 U.S. 622, 39 S.Ct. 385, 63 L.Ed. 806; 30 U. S. C. A., sec. 35.)

In construing a statute, in order to give it effect, the court may look beyond its literal language to determine the legislative intent and give effect thereto. (Hamilton v. Swendsen, 46 Idaho 175, 267 P. 229; Smallwood v. Jeter, 42 Idaho 169, 244 P. 149.)

Chapter 65, 1935 First Extraordinary Session Laws imposes an excise upon a privilege and is not a tax upon property. (Utah Power & Light Co. v. Pfost, 52 F.2d 226, 286 U.S. 165, 52 S.Ct. 548, 76 L.Ed. 1038; Northern P. Ry. Co. v. Gifford, 25 Idaho 196, 136 P. 1131; In re Kessler, 26 Idaho 764, 146 P. 113, Ann. Cas. 1917A, 228, L. R. A. 1915D, 322; J. C. Penney Co. v. Diefendorf, 54 Idaho 374, 32 P.2d 784; Diefendorf v. Gallet, 51 Idaho 619, 10 P.2d 307.)

The state may lawfully impose at the same time a tax by valuation and a privilege tax, and this is not double taxation. ( Garrett Trans. & Stor. Co. v. Pfost, 54 Idaho 576, 33 P.2d 743; Smallwood v. Jeter, 42 Idaho 169, 244 P. 149; Sanger v. Lukens, 24 F.2d 226, 229; 1 Cooley on Taxation, 226.)

The legislature may impose double excises and still not violate the constitution under the circumstances here. ( Washington Water Power Co. v. Shoshone County, 270 F. 377; Hanley v. Federal Min. & S. Co., 235 F. 769; People v. Henderson, 12 Colo. 369, 21 P. 144; National Savings & Loan Assn. v. Gillis, 35 F.2d 386.)

The title to the act is sufficient, indicating clearly the legislative intention to impose a tax and provide for its distribution in the treasury of the state. (Twin Falls Bank & Trust Co. v. Pringle, 55 Idaho 451, 43 P.2d 515; In re Crane, 27 Idaho 671, 688, 151 P. 1006, L. R. A. 1918A, 942.)

School districts are not municipal corporations within constitution, article 7, section 6. (Fenton v. Board of County Commrs., 20 Idaho 392, 119 P. 41; Barton v. Alexander, 27 Idaho 286, 148 P. 471, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 729; Const., art. 9, sec. 1.)

GIVENS, J. Holden, C. J., and Morgan, and Ailshie, JJ., concur.

OPINION [78 P.2d 107]

[58 Idaho 698] GIVENS, J.

In action No. 6470, appellants, as placer miners for themselves, and as representatives of the class to which they belong; and in action No. 6471, appellants as lode miners for themselves, and as representatives of the class to which they belong, respectively sued in the district court to require John L. Balderston, Commissioner of Law Enforcement of the State of Idaho, and J. W. Taylor, Attorney General of the State of Idaho, respondents, to show cause why they should not be enjoined and restrained from enforcing chapter 65, Sess. Laws, 1935, 1st Extra Sess., p. 182 [1].

[58 Idaho 699] General demurrers were interposed, sustained and the complaints ordered dismissed, whereupon stipulations were entered into suspending, pending the appeals, the [78 P.2d 108] enforcement of the statute, upon appellants respectively furnishing specified bonds or security, and judgments entered accordingly. Separate appeals were taken. Further stipulation consolidated the actions for the purpose of the hearing in [58 Idaho 700] this court. The only difference between the two cases is that in the Idaho Gold Dredging case No. 6470 it is contended the statute does not apply to placer mining, and in the other that since there is no valid reason why the statute should not apply to both placer and lode mining, and not applying to placer mining, it unlawfully discriminates against lode mining.

[58 Idaho 701] We need not enter into any extended erudite elucidation of the distinctions between placer and lode mining or whether "ores" may be said to, under some, or any, definitions or distinctions, cover that which is of value in placer mining, because the universal rule of statutory construction is that all parts of an act must be construed together. (People v. Owyhee Min. Co., 1 Idaho 409; Swain v. Fritchman, 21 Idaho 783, 125 P. 319; Boise-Payette L. Co. v. School Dist. No. 1, 46 Idaho 403, 268 P. 26; Filer Highway Dist. v. Shearer, 54 Idaho 201, 30 P.2d 199; Ingard v. Barker, 27 Idaho 124, 147 P. 293; [78 P.2d 109] State v. Jones, 34 Idaho 83, 199 P. 645; In re Segregation of School Dist. No. 58, 34 Idaho 222, 200 P. 138; First Nat. Bank v. Board of Commrs., 40 Idaho 391, 232 P. 905; Sprouse v. Magee, 46 Idaho 622, 269 P. 993; Lebrecht v. Union Indemnity Co., 53 Idaho 228, 22 P.2d 1066, 89 A. L. R. 640.)

To give effect to appellants' contention would necessitate completely and entirely ignoring the word "placer" in section 1 of the statute, and giving an unduly and unjustifiably restricted meaning to the term "mining" in the title and body of the statute.

There is another rule of statutory construction that where one possible construction will sustain a statute, and another not, the court must adopt the sustaining construction. If appellants be correct in their position that to hold the statute applicable to lode and not to placer mining would defeat it as unconstitutionally discriminatory, and the statute can possibly be held applicable to both, the court must do so, and sustain the statute. (State v. Omaechevviaria, 27 Idaho 797, 152 P. 280; Intermountain Title Guar. Co. v. Egbert, 52 Idaho 402, 16 P.2d 390.)

Section 3 of the statute relies on section 61-2303, I. C. A., as the basis for determining the tax, and section 61-2303, I. C. A., includes both placer and lode mining, clearly indicating what the legislature intended. (City of Idaho Falls v. Pfost, 53 Idaho 247, 23 P.2d 245.)

We proceed to consider the points raised, common to both appellants' attack upon the law, and the one opinion herein will dispose of both cases.

[58 Idaho 702] Appellants contend the title is insufficient under sec. 16, art. 3, Idaho constitution, because it does not specify that the proceeds of the tax goes into the Public School Fund, and because it fails to specify that a duplicate copy of the statement which is required under section 61-2303, I. C. A., is to be delivered to the Commissioner of Law Enforcement, thus violating the requirement that the legislature should be informed of the essentials of the statute.

The title of the statute advises that the body thereof fixes the distribution of the tax, and the determination of...

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41 practice notes
  • Lyons v. Bottolfsen, 6763
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 21 Marzo 1940
    ...16 of article 3 of the Constitution. (State ex rel. Graham v. Enking, 59 Idaho 321, 82 P.2d 649; Idaho Gold Dredging Co. v. Balderston, 58 Idaho 692, 78 P.2d 105; Boise City v. Baxter, 41 Idaho 368, 238 P. 1029; Pioneer Irr. Dist. v. Bradley, 8 Idaho 310, 68 P. 295, 101 Am. St. 201.) Sectio......
  • Petition of Idaho State Federation of Labor, No. 8160
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 30 Junio 1954
    ...consistently do so, to obtain substantial justice. Stark v. McLaughlin, 45 Idaho 112, 261 P. 244; Idaho Gold Dredging Co. v. Balderston, 58 Idaho 692, at page 701 et seq., 78 P.2d 105; State ex rel. Graham v. Enking, 59 Idaho 321, 82 P.2d 649; State ex rel. Anderson v. Rayner, 60 Idaho 706,......
  • John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Neill, Nos. 8399
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 11 Diciembre 1957
    ...Idaho 214, 153 P. 424; Lebrecht v. Union Indemnity Co., 53 Idaho 228, 22 P.2d 1066, 89 A.L.R. 640; Idaho Gold Dredging Co. v. Balderston, 58 Idaho 692, 78 P.2d 105; Keenan v. Price, 68 Idaho 423, 195 P.2d 662; Nampa Lodge No. 1389, etc. v. Smylie, 71 Idaho 212, 229 P.2d 991; Barraclough v. ......
  • Ada County v. Wright, 6705
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 30 Junio 1939
    ...Van Deusen, 31 Idaho 779, 176 P. 887; Idaho County v. Fenn Highway Dist., 43 Idaho 233, 253 P. 377; Idaho Gold Dredg. Co. v. Balderston, 58 Idaho 692, 78 P.2d 105.) The legislature is prohibited from in any manner creating any debt or liability against the state exceeding in the aggregate t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Lyons v. Bottolfsen, 6763
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 21 Marzo 1940
    ...16 of article 3 of the Constitution. (State ex rel. Graham v. Enking, 59 Idaho 321, 82 P.2d 649; Idaho Gold Dredging Co. v. Balderston, 58 Idaho 692, 78 P.2d 105; Boise City v. Baxter, 41 Idaho 368, 238 P. 1029; Pioneer Irr. Dist. v. Bradley, 8 Idaho 310, 68 P. 295, 101 Am. St. 201.) Sectio......
  • Petition of Idaho State Federation of Labor, No. 8160
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 30 Junio 1954
    ...consistently do so, to obtain substantial justice. Stark v. McLaughlin, 45 Idaho 112, 261 P. 244; Idaho Gold Dredging Co. v. Balderston, 58 Idaho 692, at page 701 et seq., 78 P.2d 105; State ex rel. Graham v. Enking, 59 Idaho 321, 82 P.2d 649; State ex rel. Anderson v. Rayner, 60 Idaho 706,......
  • John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Neill, Nos. 8399
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 11 Diciembre 1957
    ...Idaho 214, 153 P. 424; Lebrecht v. Union Indemnity Co., 53 Idaho 228, 22 P.2d 1066, 89 A.L.R. 640; Idaho Gold Dredging Co. v. Balderston, 58 Idaho 692, 78 P.2d 105; Keenan v. Price, 68 Idaho 423, 195 P.2d 662; Nampa Lodge No. 1389, etc. v. Smylie, 71 Idaho 212, 229 P.2d 991; Barraclough v. ......
  • Ada County v. Wright, 6705
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 30 Junio 1939
    ...Van Deusen, 31 Idaho 779, 176 P. 887; Idaho County v. Fenn Highway Dist., 43 Idaho 233, 253 P. 377; Idaho Gold Dredg. Co. v. Balderston, 58 Idaho 692, 78 P.2d 105.) The legislature is prohibited from in any manner creating any debt or liability against the state exceeding in the aggregate t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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