Nash v. Chicago & N.W. Ry. Co., 22830.

Citation194 N.E. 560,359 Ill. 435
Decision Date21 February 1935
Docket NumberNo. 22830.,22830.
PartiesPEOPLE ex rel. NASH, County Collector, v. CHICAGO & N. W. RY. CO.
CourtSupreme Court of Illinois


Action by the People, on the relation of Thomas D. Nash, County Collector, against the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company. From an adverse judgment, defendant appeals.


Appeal from Cook County Court; Edmund K. Jarecki, Judge.

Robert N. Holt, of Chicago, for appellant.

Thomas J. Courtney, State's Atty., and Louis H. Geiman, both of Chicago (Hayden N. Bell, Jacob Shamberg, and Brendan Q. O'Brien, all of Chicago, of counsel), for appellee.

ORR, Justice.

Objections were filed by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company in the county court of Cook county to the 1931 taxes for the town of Elk Grove. The objector alleged that the tax levy was invalid because the certificate was insufficient to authorize the extension of the taxes, and because the levy as made was for more than one purpose without stating separately the amount required under each designation. The objections were overruled and judgment was rendered against the lands of the objector. From that judgment, the present appeal was taken.

It is stipulated that the certificate of levy and the record of the town meeting show a levy of ‘$1,700 for rent, fees and salaries for the ensuing year,’ without further specification. At the hearing the town clerk testified that the rent was $2 for the town hall, and the fees and salaries were for town officers-clerk, commissioners, and supervisor. The town tax objected to, as extended against objector's property, amounted to $37.69.

[1] This court has repeatedly held that under the statute the amounts levied by counties, cities, villages, schools, and park districts must be stated separately as to their several general purposes. But this rule has not been uniformly applied to tax levies of towns. The general extent to which this court has gone in the latter direction has been to hold that it is not sufficient for the records of the town clerk simply to show that the money is to be raised for ‘town purposes,’ and that there must be enough in the town clerk's records to show for what purposes the money is authorized to be raised, in order to make it plain that it is for purposes authorized by law. People v. Chicago & Alton Railroad Co., 194 Ill. 51, 61 N. E. 1064;Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Co. v. People, 205 Ill. 582, 69 N. E. 89. Some confusion has undoubtedly existed with reference to the degree of itemization required in the certification of town taxes, and many of our past decisions are variable and somewhat inconsistent on that subject. The trend, however, is clearly to the effect that the same degree of definiteness is not required in the certificate of levy of town taxes as is required of those for the other political subdivisions above named. A terse review of our former decisions will reveal the distinction mentioned. Thus, in Wright v. People, 87 Ill. 582, it was said: We know no requirement of itemization in the resolutions of the town meeting.’ Likewise it was held in People v. Cairo, Vincennes & Chicago Railway Co., 237 Ill. 312, 86 N. E. 721, 723: We are not referred to any provision of the law which requires that the amounts of taxes raised for town purposes shall be stated separately.’ In People v. Cairo, Vincennes & Chicago Railway Co., 247 Ill. 360, 93 N. E. 405, 407, it was stated: Appellant objected to certain taxes in the town of Stone Fort, because the certificate of the town clerk did not show the specific purposes for which each item of taxes was levied. * * * The law does not require the town clerk to state specifically what amount is levied for each purpose.’ Similarly, in People v. Cairo, Vincennes & Chicago Railway Co., 266 Ill. 557, 107 N. E. 779, 780, we find: ‘A portion of the town tax of East Eldorado was objected to because the certificate of the town clerk was for a total sum of $4,000, including moneys voted at the annual town meeting and accounts audited by the town auditors. The source of information as to the separate items is to be found by the taxpayer in the town clerk's office, and they need not be stated by the town clerk.’ In People v. Jackson, 272 Ill. 494, 112 N. E. 344, 347, on this same...

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