National Bank of Redemption v. City of Boston

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMATTHEWS
Citation125 U.S. 60,8 S.Ct. 772,31 L.Ed. 689
Decision Date19 March 1888
PartiesNATIONAL BANK OF REDEMPTION v. CITY OF BOSTON

125 U.S. 60
8 S.Ct. 772
31 L.Ed. 689
NATIONAL BANK OF REDEMPTION
v.
CITY OF BOSTON.
March 19, 1888.

Geo. S. Hale and Chas. W. Wells, for plaintiff in error.

George F. Hoar and A. J. Bailey, for defendant in error.

Page 61

MATTHEWS, J.

This is an action at law brought by the plaintiff in error, a national bank located in Boston, to recover from the city of Boston the amount of $14,464, paid to the tax collector of the city, upon demand, he then holding a tax-list and warrant for its collection, after a protest in writing; being an amount which it alleges was illegally assessed on its shares at $12.80 per $1,000 of valuation, in violation of section 5219 of the Revised Statutes, of the fourteenth amendment to the constitution, and of the provisions of the constitution of the state of Massachusetts. The cause was submitted to the court without the intervention of a jury. Judgment was rendered in favor of the defendant upon an agreed statement of facts. That judgment is brought here upon this writ of error. The tax in question was levied under chapter 13 of the Public Statutes of Massachusetts, relative to the taxation of bank shares, as follows:

'Sec. 8. All the shares of stock in banks, whether of issue or not, existing by authority of the United States or of the commonwealth, and located within the commonwealth, shall be assessed to the owners thereof in the cities or towns where such banks are located, and not elsewhere, in the assessment of all state, county, and town taxes imposed and levied in such place, whether such owner is a resident of said city or town or not; all such shares shall be assessed at their fair cash value on the 1st day of May, first deducting therefrom the proportionate part of the value of the real estate belonging to the bank, at the same rate and no greater than that at which other moneyed capital in the hands of citizens and subject to taxation is by law assessed. And the persons or corporations who appear from the records of the banks to be owners of shares at the close of the business day next preceding the 1st day of May in each year, shall be taken and deemed to be the owners thereof for the purposes of this section.

'Sec. 9. Every such bank or other corporation shall pay to the collector, or other person authorized to collect the taxes of the city or town in which the same is located, at the time in

Page 62

each year when other taxes assessed in the said city or town become due, the amount of the tax so assessed in such year upon the shares in such bank or other corporation. If such tax is not so paid, the said bank or other corporation shall be liable for the same; and the said tax, with interest thereon at the rate of twelve per cent. per annum from the day when the tax became due, may be recovered in an action of contract brought by the treasurer of such city or town.

'Sec. 10. The shares of such banks or other corporations shall be subject to the tax paid thereon by the corporation or by the officers thereof, and the corporation and the officers thereof shall have a lien on all the shares in such bank or other corporation, and on all the rights and property of the shareholders in the corporate property, for the payment of said taxes.'

From these sections it appears that (1) the shares in national banks are to be assessed at their fair cash value, after deducting therefrom the proportionate part of the value of the real estate belonging to the bank. (2) They are to be assessed at the same rate and no greater than that at which other moneyed capital in the hands of citizens and subject to taxation is by law assessed. (3) The bank itself, as a corporation, is made liable in the first instance for the payment of the taxes so ase ssed upon its shares belonging to its shareholders. (4) If not paid when due, the bank is liable to an action for the recovery of the same, brought by the treasurer of the city or town in which it is located, with interest thereon at the rate of 12 per cent. per annum from the day when the tax became due. (5) For the payment of said taxes the corporation has a lien on all the shares in the bank, and on all the rights and property of the shareholders in the corporate property, as an indemnity. It further appears, from a comparison of the statutes on the subject, that the action given by section 9, for the recovery of the taxes, with interest at 12 per cent. per annum, is the only mode of collection provided in case of default, no power being

Page 63

giving to any collecting officer to proceed by distraint or other seizure of the property of the bank or the shares of the stock for that purpose. Chapter 11, Pub. St. Mass., provides that personal property, for the purposes of taxation, shall include goods, chattels, money, and effects, wherever they are, money at interest, and other debts due the persons to be taxed more than they are indebted or pay interest for, but not including in such debts or indebtedness any loan or mortgage of real estate, taxable as real estate, except the excess of such loan above the assessed value of the mortgaged real estate; public stocks and securities; stocks in turnpikes, bridges, and moneyed corporations within or without the state; the income from an annuity, from ships and vessels engaged in the foreign carrying trade, and so much of the income from a profession, trade, or other employment as exceeds the sum of $2,000 a year; but no income shall be taxed derived from property subject to taxation, and no taxes shall be assessed upon the shares in the capital stock of a corporation organized or chartered in the commonwealth, which pays a tax upon its corporate franchises, except for school, district, and parish purposes. It is not disputed but that, under these and other provisions of the law, all personal estate, included within this enumeration, and real estate, are taxable, and were taxed, upon their fair cash value at the same rate of $12.80 for each $1,000 of value levied during the same period upon shares of capital stock of national banks located in Boston. The amount of personal property in the city of Boston, taxed during that period and at that rate, is stated to be $189,605,672. The aggregate value of shares in national banks in that city for the same year was $60,428,000.

Corporations chartered by the commonwealth or organized under general laws, for purposes of business or profit, having a capital stock divided into shares, excepting banks, are subject to a tax upon their corporate franchises. For purposes of taxation, the law requires the corporate franchise in each case to be estimated at a valuation thereof equal to the aggregate...

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45 practice notes
  • Gully v. First Nat. Bank In Meridian, 33220
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • November 28, 1938
    ...the liability to be paid or assumed to be paid. Citizens National Bank v. Kentucky, 217 U.S. 444, 54 L.Ed. 832; National Bank v. Boston, 125 U.S. 60, 31 L.Ed. 689. Wilbourn, Miller & Wilbourn and Bozeman, Cameron & Bozeman, all of Meridian, for appellee. Assessment is void as not sufficient......
  • National Bank of W. Va. at Wheeling, In re, No. 10426
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 16, 1952
    ...1030, 87 A.L.R. 840; San Francisco National Bank v. Dodge, 197 U.S. 70, 25 S.Ct. 384, 49 L.Ed. 669; Bank of Redemption v. City of Boston, 125 U.S. 60, 8 S.Ct. 772, 31 L.Ed. As to the contentions concerning the deductions allowed by the assessor, we think the following language [137 W.Va. 69......
  • Michigan National Bank v. State of Michigan, No. 155
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 6, 1961
    ...A year subsequent to the decision in Mercantile Bank, supra, the same point was raised in Bank of Redemption v. City of Boston, 1888, 125 U.S. 60, 8 S.Ct. 772, 31 L.Ed. 689, where the exemption of deposits in savings banks was approved in an opinion which again was written by Mr. Justice Ma......
  • Cent. Nat. Bank v. City of Lynn
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • March 12, 1927
    ...to 1917 had been held to be valid and in conformity to the provisions of the controlling act of Congress, in Bank of Redemption v. Boston, 125 U. S. 60, 8 S. Ct. 772, 31 L. Ed. 689, yet since the passage of the income tax law, now G. L. c. 62, which became effective as to taxation for the y......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
45 cases
  • Gully v. First Nat. Bank In Meridian, 33220
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • November 28, 1938
    ...the liability to be paid or assumed to be paid. Citizens National Bank v. Kentucky, 217 U.S. 444, 54 L.Ed. 832; National Bank v. Boston, 125 U.S. 60, 31 L.Ed. 689. Wilbourn, Miller & Wilbourn and Bozeman, Cameron & Bozeman, all of Meridian, for appellee. Assessment is void as not sufficient......
  • National Bank of W. Va. at Wheeling, In re, No. 10426
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 16, 1952
    ...1030, 87 A.L.R. 840; San Francisco National Bank v. Dodge, 197 U.S. 70, 25 S.Ct. 384, 49 L.Ed. 669; Bank of Redemption v. City of Boston, 125 U.S. 60, 8 S.Ct. 772, 31 L.Ed. As to the contentions concerning the deductions allowed by the assessor, we think the following language [137 W.Va. 69......
  • Michigan National Bank v. State of Michigan, No. 155
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 6, 1961
    ...A year subsequent to the decision in Mercantile Bank, supra, the same point was raised in Bank of Redemption v. City of Boston, 1888, 125 U.S. 60, 8 S.Ct. 772, 31 L.Ed. 689, where the exemption of deposits in savings banks was approved in an opinion which again was written by Mr. Justice Ma......
  • Cent. Nat. Bank v. City of Lynn
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • March 12, 1927
    ...to 1917 had been held to be valid and in conformity to the provisions of the controlling act of Congress, in Bank of Redemption v. Boston, 125 U. S. 60, 8 S. Ct. 772, 31 L. Ed. 689, yet since the passage of the income tax law, now G. L. c. 62, which became effective as to taxation for the y......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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