People ex rel. Oller v. New York Cent. R. Co., 28243.

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Citation388 Ill. 382,58 N.E.2d 51
Docket NumberNo. 28243.,28243.
PartiesPEOPLE ex rel. OLLER, County Collector, v. NEW YORK CENT. R. CO.
Decision Date22 November 1944


Appeal from Alexander County Court; Asa J. Wilbourn, Judge.

Suit by the People on the relation of Lloyd Oller, County Collector, against the New York Central Railroad Company for a judgment against defendant and for an order for sale of its property for nonpayment of taxes. From portion of judgment overruling objections, defendant appeals.


Dewey & Cummins, of Cairo, for appellant.

M. J. O'Shea, State's Atty., Peyton Berbling, and D. B. Reid, all of Cairo, for appellee.

WILSON, Justice.

The defendant, The New York Central Railroad Company, having previously paid its taxes in full, under protest, filed objections in the county court of Alexander county to an application of the county collector for a judgment against and an order for the sale of its property for the nonpayment of certain taxes for the year 1942 levied by the county, the city of Cairo, the North Caior Fire Protection District, the Cairo Mosquito Abatement District and School District No. 1. From the portion of the judgment overruling its objections, defendant appeals.

The first objection charges that the county clerk extended a rate of 20 cents on each $100 assessed valuation for general county purposes, and that the levy constitutes a lump-sum levy of $35,000 for all county purposes, in violation of section 156 of the Revenue Act requiring the amount levied for each purpose to be stated separately. Ill.Rev.Stat.1941, chap. 120, par. 637. In lieu of a report of the proceedings upon the trial, the record contains a stipulation of facts. No other evidence with respect to the objection to the county corporate tax appears in the record. The stipulated facts merely recite a levy for county taxes for all purposes for the year 1942, including $35,000 for corporate purposes, the rate being 20 cents. The appropriation ordinance for general corporate purposes, according to the stipulation, appropriates a total of $42,300, designating the amount appropriated for each object and purpose. Neither the appropriation nor the levy ordinance of the county is in the record. Not even the relevant portion of the levy ordinance is included. As recounted, the only reference to the levy ordinance is the statement from the stipulation referring to the appropriation ordinance. Defendant, by the stipulation, concedes that the appropriation ordinance specifies the amount appropriated for each object and purpose. For the reason that the levy ordinance is not before us, the presumption obtains, so far as the first objection is concerned, that the judgment of the county court is correct.

A duty rests upon a party prosecuting an appeal to this court nor only to furnish an adequate abstract, conformably to Rule No. 38, Ill.Rev.Stat.1943, chap. 110, par. 259.38, but to include in the record the evidence essential to the disposition of the contentions urged. Conversely, it is not the duty of the successful party to supply deficiencies in the record. Here, it may be observed, an additional abstract could serve no useful purpose for the reason that nothing remains in the record to be abstracted.

As a first alternative objection, defendant assails four items in the appropriation ordinance. The only evidence before us is the stipulation that the challenged items appear in the appropriation ordinance for the county general tax, as set forth. The record does not contain the levy ordinance nor the part of it relating to these items. Upon the record made, we cannot say that the objection to the four items was improperly overruled.

A rate of 24 cents was extended to produce $42,000 for county relief. The objection to this tax is that the appropriation made for county pauper relief tax is for $25,000, while the tax levy calls for a rate not to exceed 30 cents, so as to realize $42,000. An additional complaint against this tax is that neither the appropriation ordinance nor the tax levy ordinance is sufficiently definite and itemized, and hence said ordinances do not comply with the requirements of section 156 of the Revenue Act. Defendant has not presented this contention in its brief but does make an argument to support the alleged error of the county court in refusing to sustain the objection to taxes for the county relief fund. Although the appropriation and levy ordinances are not in the record, the pertinent portions of the two ordinances are set forth verbatim. The objection is thus before us for consideration and disposition. The appropriation ordinance reads: ‘For the purpose of providing for the care of paupers and for the relief of all poor and indigent persons residing in the County of Alexander and State of Illinois, payable from State aid-$50,000.’ The tax levy ordinance directs the county clerk to extend a rate not to exceed 30 cents ‘for the purpose of paying for the relief of paupers and the care of the same in said county so as to realize the sum of $42,000.00 as shown under ‘A,’ statement of anticipated receipts, same being appropriated as shown in said appropriation bill.' The provisions of the ordinance assailed are not vulnerable to defendant's objection. The obligation to relieve and support all poor and indigent persons who are lawful residents is imposed upon the county of Alexander by section 14 of ‘An Act to revise the law in relation to paupers.’ Ill.Rev.Stat.1941, chap. 107, par. 14. A single appropriate general purpose is sufficient to include every expenditure although there may be many items. In short, there is no valid objection to levying a single sum for several purposes which are embraced within some general designation giving the necessary information to the taxpayer. People ex rel. Reynolds v. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. Co., 306 Ill. 529, 138 N.E. 135. The purpose of requiring itemization is to afford taxpayers information with respect to a particular appropriation and the levy of the tax. People ex rel. Nash v. Chicago & Northwestern R. Co., 359 Ill. 435, 194 N.E. 560;Siegel v. City of Belleville, 349 Ill. 240, 181 N.E. 687. Itemization requirements must be accorded a common-sense construction. People ex rel. Toman v. Otis' Estate, 376 Ill. 112, 33 N.E.2d 202. The object of the appropriation for county relief is obvious, and the taxpayer is afforded the degree of information prescribed by law. The item specifies a single purpose, namely, the relief of the poor and indigent, with adequate certainty to enlighten the taxpayer of the purpose for which the money is to be expended. Defendant has argued, further, that the item is also subject to objection because the appropriation of $50,000 is ‘payable from State aid,’ thereby disclosing the funds for this purpose are provided by the State and not by the county. This objection was not made in the county court and, therefore, cannot be urged here.

Another objection relates to the county highway tax. By its objection, defendant alleged that the county clerk extended a rate of 10 cents to produce $16,000 for county highway purposes, the appropriation ordinance including an item ‘For general highway purposes, maintaining of roads, and bridges, purchase of machinery, repairs of machinery, and construction of roads, $9,000.’ Although the stipulated facts disclose the item attacked in the appropriation ordinance there is not even a suggestion that the same item was incorporated in the levy ordinance. No proof having been made, we cannot speculate upon the provisions of the levy ordinance and render a decision predicated upon sheer speculation.

Defendant's objection to the general corporate tax of the city of Cairo alleges that the certified copy of the tax levy ordinance calls for $60,000 for general corporate purposes and that the entire amount of taxes extended at the rate of 67 cents constitutes a lump-sum levy. This objection cannot be considered since the record does not contain either the appropriation or the levy ordinance upon which the objection is based. Indeed, the stipulation is completely silent as to this objection. As an alternative objection to the general corporate tax, defendant assails ten items of the city's appropriation ordinance ‘upon which said tax levy is based.’ The relevant portion of the appropriation ordinance describing these items...

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