People ex rel. McDonough v. Birtman Elec. Co.

Decision Date12 February 1935
Docket NumberNo. 22309.,22309.
Citation194 N.E. 282,359 Ill. 143
PartiesPEOPLE ex rel. McDONOUGH, County Collector, v. BIRTMAN ELECTRIC CO.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court


Error to Cook County Court; Edmund K. Jarecki, Judge.

Action by the People, on the relation of Joseph B. McDonough, County Collector, against the Birtman Electric Company. Judgment for the plaintiff, and the defendant brings error.


Butz, von Ammon & Marx, of Marx, of Chicago, for plaintiff in error.

Thomas J. Courtney, State's Atty., of Chicago (Hayden N. Bell, Jacob Shamberg, William P. Kearney, and Brendan Q. O'Brien, all of Chicago, of counsel), for defendant in error.


Lot 7 in Owner's subdivision of the Healy Industrial District, in the southeast quarter of section 27, township 40 north, range 13 east, in Cook county, Illinois, owned by the Birtman Electric Company, was listed by the assessor for taxation for the year 1928 and assessed at $25,833. The taxes extended on that valuation were paid. When that assessment was made, the lot had on it a building and other improvements which were not listed at all. For the year 1929 both the lot and the improvements were listed. The valuation as apportioned by the assessor was: Land, $25,833; buildings and improvements, $69,937-total, $95,770. The same valuation and apportionment were made for the year 1930. The board of review in 1930 made an assessment of $69,937 for the year 1928 on account of buildings and improvements which were on the lot in 1928 but were omitted from the assessment of that year. The back taxes extended on this assessment are $3,454,93. Upon application of the county treasurer for judgment, objections to the back taxes were overruled by the county court, and judgment for sale of the premises was entered. The Birtman Electric Company has sued out a writ of error from this court to reverse the judgment.

Section 14 of the Revenue Act (Smith-Hurd Rev. St. 1929, c. 120, § 293), provides that the value of lands and improvements shall be separately fixed and set down in separate columns in the assessor's books. Section 35 (section 314) of said statute is in part as follows:

‘The board of review shall, in any year, whether the year of the quadrennial assessment or not:

‘First:-Assess all property subject to assessment which shall not have been assessed by the assessor, and list and assess all property real or personal that may have been omitted in the assessment of any year or number of years.’

Section 276 of the general Revenue Law (Smith-Hurd Rev. St. 1929, c. 120, § 261), provides that, ‘if any real or personal property shall be omitted in the assessment of any year or number of years, * * * or if any such property, by reason of defective description or assessment thereof, shall fail to pay taxes for any year or years, in either case the same, when discovered, shall be listed and assessed by the assessor and placed on the assessment and tax books.’ Section 277 (section 262) provides that the amount of the tax on such omitted property may be added to the tax on such property for any subsequent year in separate columns designating the year or years.

The assessment of buildings and improvements in this case was not made by the assessor but was made by the board of review under the provisions of section 35. This was in conformity with our holding in Stevens v. Henry County, 218 Ill. 468, 75 N. E. 1024, 1025,4 L. R. A. (N. S.) 339,4 Ann. Cas. 136, where it was said that, under the law creating the board of review, ‘the first duty enjoined upon the board is to ‘assess all property subject to assessment which shall not have been assessed by the assessors.’ * * * That provision has been examined and passed upon by this court, and we have held that since the act of 1898 the power to list and assess omitted property is confined by law exclusively to the board of review.'

[1] The controlling question in this case is, Can the building and improvements be assessed as omitted property? Where real estate has been assessed by proper description and the taxes extended thereon have been fully paid, the board of review has no power in a subsequent year to review that assessment and increase or diminish it, but, if no assessment was made, then the board of review may make an assessment of the omitted property in a subsequent year. It is not disputed that in 1928 the land was improved with a building which had an assessed value of more than twice that of the land itself and that it was not listed and valued for assessment purposes.

It is contended that, inasmuch as there was an assessment against the land and the taxes thereon paid, the assessment cannot be reviewed or questioned in subsequent years. While we have not had occasion to determine the effect of the statutory requirement to list land and the improvements thereon separately, we have had occasion to consider the statute requiring the listing and assessment of separate items of personal property under forms and schedules prescribed by law. Thus, in People v....

To continue reading

Request your trial
12 cases
  • Rhone v. First Am. Title Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 17 Mayo 2010
    ...may nonetheless be subject to additional taxes if no taxes were assessed on land improvements. People ex rel. McDonough v. Birtman Electric Co., 359 Ill. 143, 145, 194 N.E. 282 (1934) (“if no assessment was made [,] * * * an assessment of the omitted property [may be made] in a subsequent y......
  • County Bd. of Equalization of Salt Lake County, State of Utah v. State Tax Com'n of Utah ex rel. Sunkist Service Co.
    • United States
    • Utah Supreme Court
    • 19 Marzo 1990
    ...of Assessment Appeals, 673 P.2d 1028 (Colo.Ct.App.1983); Korash v. Mills, 263 So.2d 579 (Fla.1972); People ex rel. McDonough v. Birtman Electric Co., 359 Ill. 143, 194 N.E. 282 (1934); Mueller v. Mercer County, 60 N.W.2d 678 (N.D.1953). Alaska has permitted reassessment when only some of th......
  • People v. Wynekoop
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • 12 Febrero 1935
  • People ex rel. Schuler v. Chapman
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • 15 Febrero 1939
    ...assessment being void, a subsequent board of review had a right to assess the same as omitted property, relying on People v. Birtman Electric Co., 359 Ill. 143, 194 N.E. 282. That case does not hold that a quadrennial assessment of improved real estate as a unit, instead of separately as to......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT