Jones v. Rushville National Bank

Citation37 N.E. 338,138 Ind. 87
Decision Date09 May 1894
Docket Number16,789
PartiesJones, Treasurer, et al. v. Rushville National Bank et al
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

From the Rush Circuit Court.

Judgment reversed.

A. G Smith, Attorney-General, and J. Q. Thomas, for appellants.

B. L Smith, C. Cambern, W. A. Cullen and J. D. Megee, for appellees.


Coffey, J.

This action was brought by the appellees, in the Rush Circuit Court, against the appellant as treasurer of Rush county, to enjoin the collection of a tax. The court overruled a demurrer to the complaint, and the appellant failing and refusing to answer further, the appellees had judgment as prayed on their complaint.

The complaint consists of one paragraph, and alleges, among other things, substantially, that the appellees are corporations legally organized under the banking laws of the United States; that they each made a sworn statement of the value of their property, and filed the same with proper officers; that they were each notified to appear before the county board of review on the 14th day of July, 1891, and show cause why said statements should not be revised and the valuation of their property increased; that they appeared before said board, and after hearing the evidence adduced, the board found said statements to be correct, and then and there found that the Rushville National Bank should be assessed ninety-three thousand three hundred and seventy-five dollars, and the Rush County National Bank eighty-seven thousand dollars; that said finding and assessment has never been revised or set aside and no appeal has ever been taken from the action of the board of review; that afterwards both of said banks were notified to appear before the State Board of Tax Commissioners on the day of August, 1891, and show cause why the valuation of their property should not be increased; that they appeared before said State Board and protested against its inquiring into the valuation of their property on the ground that no appeal had been taken from the action of the county board of review fixing the value of their property; and because said State Board had no jurisdiction to inquire into said matters; that thereupon the State Board of Tax Commissioners overruled the objections of the appellees, and increased the valuation of the Rushville National Bank twenty-nine thousand dollars, and of the Rush County National Bank twenty-eight thousand dollars; that the action of the State Board of Tax Commissioners is illegal and void because no appeal was ever taken from the action of the county board of review to said commissioners, and because said commissioners have no original jurisdiction in such cases. It is earnestly contended by the appellant that the decree in this case should be reversed:

First. Because the State Board of Tax Commissioners had original jurisdiction to fix the value of the property of the appellees for the purposes of taxation, and that having so fixed it they are bound by the valuation placed upon it by such board.

Second. Because the appellees are not the owners of the stock issued by the banks, and that for this reason the suit should be prosecuted by the owners of the stock, and not by the banks.

Third. Because there is a misjoinder of parties plaintiffs.

Section 114 of an act of the General Assembly, approved March 6, 1891 (Acts 1891, p. 199), creates a county board of review consisting of the county assessor, county auditor, and county treasurer.

Among other powers conferred, it confers upon such board power to equalize the valuation of real and personal property, and to correct any list of valuation as it may deem proper. It also has power to equalize the valuation made by assessors, either by adding to or deducting therefrom such sums as are necessary to fix the assessment at its true cash value. It may, after the notice provided for in the act, on cause shown, or on its motion, correct the assessment or valuation of any property in such manner as will, in its judgment, make the valuation thereof equal, and may, to that end, examine under oath, any person touching such matter.

Section 125 of the act provides for appeals from the county board of review, to the State Board of Tax Commissioners.

Section 129 provides that the State Board of Tax Commissioners shall have all the powers conferred by the act upon county boards of review.

It is earnestly and ably contended by the appellant, with much plausibility, that these several sections of the statute, when construed together, confer upon the State Board of Tax Commissioners original jurisdiction over all the property in the State, both real and personal.

It is conceded, however, that in arriving at the intention of the Legislature, the act must be construed as a whole. As has often been said, in arriving at the legislative intent, courts will look to the statute as a whole, and to all its parts, and when the intention is so ascertained, it will prevail over the literal import and strict letter of the statute; and where the meaning is doubtful and uncertain, the courts will look into the situation and circumstances under which it was enacted, to other statutes, if there are any, on the same subject, whether passed before or after the statute under immediate consideration, whether in force or not, as well as to the history of the country, and will carefully consider, in this connection, the purpose sought to be accomplished. Parvin v. Wimberg, 130 Ind. 561, 30 N.E. 790.

This act confers original, exclusive jurisdiction upon the State Board of Tax Commissioners over...

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1 cases
  • Jones v. Rushville Nat. Bank
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • May 9, 1894
    ...138 Ind. 8737 N.E. 338JONES, County Treasurer,v.RUSHVILLE NAT. BANK et al.Supreme Court of Indiana.May 9, 1894 ... Appeal from circuit court, Rush county; W. H. Martin, Judge.Suit by the Rushville National Bank and the Rush County National Bank against Thomas A. Jones, treasurer, for injunction. Judgment for plaintiffs. Defendant appealed. Reversed.A. G. Smith and John Q. Thomas, for appellant. Smith & Cambern and Cullen & Megee, for appellees.COFFEY, J.This action was brought by the appellees in the ... ...

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