People ex rel. Joseph v. Schoenborn

Decision Date22 November 1968
Docket NumberNo. 41423,41423
Citation242 N.E.2d 147,41 Ill.2d 302
PartiesThe PEOPLE ex rel. Maurice F. JOSEPH, County Collector, Appellant, v. Bernard F. SCHOENBORN, Appellee.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

John M. Karns, Jr., State's Atty., and Eugene H. Widman, Asst. State's Atty., Belleville, for appellant.

Bernard F. Schoenborn, pro se.

SOLFISBURG, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal from an order of the circuit court of St. Clair County, sustaining the objections of the taxpayer, Bernard F. Schoenborn, to the assessment and tax on his real estate.

The County Collector filed his application for judgment and sale of lands for delinquent taxes for the year 1963. Taxpayer Schoenborn filed objections alleging that the assessment on his property was due to fraud, accident or mistake, and was excessive, unjust, unreasonable and oppressive.

At the hearing, a witness for the Collector testified that the property was assessed at $1,197 for the lot and $9,205 for the house, or a total of $10,402 and that this was a fair assessment considering all factors involved.

The objecting taxpayer offered the only evidence in his behalf, testifying that the building was insured for $13,000, that the original mortgage on the property was $12,000, and that in 1960 he paid about $8,700 for the shell and completed the house himself with about $2,700 in materials. In conclusion he stated: 'I wouldn't think I could get more than $15,000 for it.'

At the conclusion of the hearing the trial court found that the taxes of $396.84 levied and extended against the property were excessive, ordered that the tax to be extended is $259.88, and ordered a refund of $136.96. The Collector appeals to this court, the revenue being directly involved.

The principles governing relief from excessive assessments are well settled. The court stated in People ex rel. Nordlund v. S.B.A. Co., 34 Ill.2d 373, 376, 215 N.E.2d 233, 235:

'We have consistently held that the taxation of property is a legislative rather than a judicial function, and under section 1 of article IX of the Illinois constitution, S.H.A., the courts, in the absence of fraud, have no power to review or determine the value of property fixed for purposes of taxation by the appropriate elected or appointed administrative officers. People ex rel. Nordlund v. Lans, 31 Ill.2d 477, 202 N.E.2d 543; People ex rel. Callahan v. Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad Co., 8 Ill.2d 66, 132 N.E.2d 544; People ex rel. Tedrick v. Allied Oil Corporation, 388 Ill. 219, 57 N.E.2d 859; Spencer & Gardner v. People, 68 Ill. 510.

'We know of no authority, and none has been cited to us, which suggests that it is a deprivation of due process to attribute such finality to administrative determination of assessments where there is a clear method for the taxpayer to attack an assessment on the basis of actual or constructive fraud. People ex rel. Nordlund v. Lans, 31 Ill.2d 477, 479, 202 N.E.2d 543; People ex rel. Rhodes v. Turk, 391 Ill. 424, 63 N.E.2d 513.'

The guidelines for establishing constructive fraud were set forth in People ex rel. Frantz v. M.D.B.K.W., Inc., 36 Ill.2d 209, 211, 221 N.E.2d 650, 652:

'The law requires assessment of property at its fair market value. The ascertainment of such value for purposes of taxation is primarily for the...

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8 cases
  • County Treasurer and Ex Officio County Collector of Cook County, Application of
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • September 27, 1989
    ...overvalued by the assessing officers. (See, e.g., Morningside Heights, Inc., 45 Ill.2d 338, 259 N.E.2d 27; People ex rel. Joseph v. Schoenborn (1968), 41 Ill.2d 302, 242 N.E.2d 147; People ex rel. Frantz v. M.D.B.K.W., Inc. (1966), 36 Ill.2d 209, 221 N.E.2d 650; S.B.A. Co., 34 Ill.2d 373, 2......
  • People ex rel. Rosewell v. Dee El Garage, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 28, 1977
    ...57 Ill.2d 318, 312 N.E.2d 252; Clarendon Associates v. Korzen (1973), 56 Ill.2d 101, 306 N.E.2d 299; People ex rel. Joseph v. Schoenborn (1968), 41 Ill.2d 302, 242 N.E.2d 147; People ex rel. Frantz v. M. D. B. K. W., Inc. (1966), 36 Ill.2d 209, 221 N.E.2d We do not dispute these well establ......
  • Appeal of Johnson, 8567
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • January 15, 1970
    ...with the proper assessing authorities. People ex rel. Nordlund v. S.B.A. Co., Supra, 236. See also People ex rel. Joseph v. Schoenborn, 41 Ill.2d 302, 242 N.E.2d 147 (1968). The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey in 1957 in effect held that taxpayers were not entitled to......
  • Mathers v. County of Mason
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • August 13, 1992
    ...Women's Athletic Club, 360 Ill. at 579, 196 N.E. at 882. The following statement is included in People ex rel. Joseph v. Schoenborn (1968), 41 Ill.2d 302, 304-05, 242 N.E.2d 147, 149: "It is only where the property has been grossly overvalued, the assessed valuation being reached under circ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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