Scandrett v. Shoshone County, 6907

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtAILSHIE, J.
Citation116 P.2d 225,63 Idaho 46
PartiesHENRY A. SCANDRETT, WALTER J. CUMMINGS and GEORGE I. HAIGHT, Trustees of the property of CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE, ST. PAUL AND PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, a corporation, Appellants, v. SHOSHONE COUNTY, a municipal corporation; GLYNN D. EVANS, county treasurer, ROY O. SMITH, C. Y. GARBER and DANIEL MURPHY, county commissioners, and NATALIE FERGUSON, county superintendent of public instruction, Respondents. HENRY A. SCANDRETT, WALTER J. CUMMINGS and GEORGE I. HAIGHT, Trustees of the property of CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE, ST. PAUL AND PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, a corporation, Appellants, v. SHOSHONE COUNTY, a municipal corporation; GLYNN D. EVANS, county treasurer, ROY O. SMITH, C. Y. GARBER and DANIEL MURPHY, county commissioners, and NATALIE FERGUSON, county superintendent of public instruction, Respondents. NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY, a corporation, Appellant, v. SHOSHONE COUNTY, a municipal corporation; GLYNN D. EVANS, county treasurer, ROY O. SMITH, C. Y. GARBER and DANIEL MURPHY, county commissioners, and NATALIE FERGUSON, county superintendent of public instruction, Respondents
Docket Number6909,6907,6905
Decision Date26 July 1941

116 P.2d 225

63 Idaho 46

HENRY A. SCANDRETT, WALTER J. CUMMINGS and GEORGE I. HAIGHT, Trustees of the property of CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE, ST. PAUL AND PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, a corporation, Appellants,
v.

SHOSHONE COUNTY, a municipal corporation; GLYNN D. EVANS, county treasurer, ROY O. SMITH, C. Y. GARBER and DANIEL MURPHY, county commissioners, and NATALIE FERGUSON, county superintendent of public instruction, Respondents.

HENRY A. SCANDRETT, WALTER J. CUMMINGS and GEORGE I. HAIGHT, Trustees of the property of CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE, ST. PAUL AND PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, a corporation, Appellants,
v.

SHOSHONE COUNTY, a municipal corporation; GLYNN D. EVANS, county treasurer, ROY O. SMITH, C. Y. GARBER and DANIEL MURPHY, county commissioners, and NATALIE FERGUSON, county superintendent of public instruction, Respondents.

NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY, a corporation, Appellant,
v.

SHOSHONE COUNTY, a municipal corporation; GLYNN D. EVANS, county treasurer, ROY O. SMITH, C. Y. GARBER and DANIEL MURPHY, county commissioners, and NATALIE FERGUSON, county superintendent of public instruction, Respondents

Nos. 6907, 6909, 6905

Supreme Court of Idaho

July 26, 1941


SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS-COUNTY SCHOOL EQUALIZATION FUND-STATUTES, CONSTRUCTION OF-CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-TAXATION.

[63 Idaho 47]

1. The Supreme Court in construing statutes should assume that the Legislature intended to enact a valid and constitutional law and for that reason should give the statute as favorable interpretation as possible.

2. The Supreme Court would assume in favor of constitutionality of statute that purpose of providing for levy of special tax on unorganized school districts was to provide revenue for payment of tuition for children of school age residing in the districts. (I. C. A. secs. 32-406, 32-408, as amended by Sess. Laws, 1939, c. 249, secs. 3, 5; Const. art. 7, secs. 5, 6.)

3. Where there were no children of school age within unorganized district and no outstanding claims, the statutory purpose of providing for levy of special tax on unorganized school districts never arose, and there could be no lawful tax, since there was no lawful purpose and the people cannot be taxed except for a lawful purpose. (I. C. A. secs. 32-406, 32-408, as amended by Sess. Laws, 1939, c. 249, secs. 3, 5; Const. art. 7, secs. 5, 6.)

4. The statute purporting to require the levy of a special three-mill tax in unorganized school districts irrespective of number of school children therein, and to provide for turning the money so raised over to the county at large to be placed in county treasury to credit of county school fund, is unconstitutional because attempting to levy a special tax on unorganized districts only without extending such tax to all of the same class of subjects within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, and because attempting to authorize county commissioners as trustees of unorganized school districts to raise legislative levy above three mills and to turn the money received therefrom into general county school fund. (I. C. A. secs. 32-406, 32-702, as amended by Sess. Laws, 1939, c. 249, sec. 3, c. 241, sec. 1; sec. 61-806, as amended by Sess. Laws, 1937, c. 205, sec. 3; Const. art. 7, secs. 5, 6.)

5. The tax levied by board of county commissioners, for general school purposes, must be uniform on all taxable property throughout the county, whereas tax levied by school district need only be uniform on all taxable property within the particular district making the levy. (I. C. A. secs. 32-406, 32-702, as amended by Sess. Laws, 1939, c. 249, sec. 3, c. 241, sec. 1; sec. 61-806, as amended by Sess. Laws, 1937, c. 205, sec. 3.)

6. The fact that the several organized school districts of a county may each levy a special school tax affords no reason for Legislature levying a special tax on the several unorganized school districts throughout the state, nor does it afford authority for county commissioners levying a special tax on property within an unorganized district for benefit of the whole county, without benefit to anybody or property within the territory [63 Idaho 48] taxed. (I. C. A. secs. 32-406, 32-702, as amended by Sess. Laws, 1939, c. 249, sec. 3, c. 241, sec. 1; sec. 61-806, as amended by Sess. Laws, 1937, c. 205, sec. 3; Const. art. 7, secs. 5, 6.)

APPEALS from the District Court of the First Judicial District, for Shoshone County. Hon. Albert H. Featherstone, Judge.

Actions to recover taxes paid under protest. Judgments for Defendants. Reversed and causes remanded.

Reversed and remanded, with direction. Costs to appellants.

H. J. Hull, for Appellants Scandrett et al. Verner R. Clements, for Appellant Northern Pacific Railway Company.

In determining whether provisions of taxing statute are mandatory or directory, courts will consider the interests of the taxpayer as paramount. Provision of Ch. 249, Laws of 1939, requiring 3-mill levy is directory and not mandatory. (People v. Moore, 1 Idaho 662; Overland Co. v. Utter, 44 Idaho 385, 257 P. 480.)

Provision of statute providing for diversion into county school fund of proceeds of tax levied against only portion of taxable property in county, when such property is also subject to general county school fund tax levy, results in duplicate taxation as to such property and renders such tax discriminatory and lacking in uniformity. (Section 5, Article VII, Constitution of the State of Idaho; Idaho County v. Fenn Highway Dist., 43 Idaho 233, 253 P. 377.)

Albert J. Graf, Prosecuting Attorney, and James A. Wayne, for Respondents.

The mandatory provision of this statute is not violative of Section 6, Article VII of the Constitution, but is within the powers expressly given the legislature to invest in the corporate authorities, that is, in the present case in the county commissioners as trustees of the Unorganized School District, the power to assess and collect taxes. (Constitution, Article VII, section 6; Idaho County v. Fenn Highway District, 43 Idaho 233; State v. Minidoka County, 50 Idaho 419; State v. Nelson, 36 Idaho 713.)

Unless the property of the taxpayer has been taxed twice during the same year for the same purpose, while other like and similar property is taxed only once during the same period and for the same purpose, there is no duplicate taxation within the meaning of the Constitution. (Constitution, Article VII, Section 5; Humbird Lumber Company v. Kootenai County, 10 Idaho 490; Hettinger v. Good Road District, 19 Idaho 313; Independent Highway District v. Ada County, 24 Idaho 416.)

AILSHIE, J. Budge, C. J., and Holden, J., concur. GIVENS, J., MORGAN, J., dissenting.

OPINION [116 P.2d 226]

[63 Idaho 49] AILSHIE, J.

Three separate actions were instituted by the respective appellants, named in the caption hereof, for the recovery of taxes paid to Shoshone county under protest. The taxes were exacted and collected under the provisions of sec. 32-406, as amended by chap. 249, 1939 Sess. Laws, p. 612. The statute as amended is as follows:

"Section 32-406. TAX LEVY--CERTIFICATION--LIMIT--COLLECTION--SPECIAL FUND.... Whenever any school district shall lapse under the provisions of Section 32-327, Idaho Code Annotated, the County Superintendent of Public Instruction shall, until the entry of the order annexing the territory embraced in said school district to an adjacent or contiguous organized school district under the provisions of Section 1 of this act, on or before the first day of September . . . . of each year, certify to the clerk of the Board of County Commissioners the amount of money which, when augmented . . . . by the estimated proceeds of any apportionment of general school funds to accrue thereto during the ensuing year, will be sufficient to pay, to districts entitled thereto, tuition of all persons of school age residing in such unorganized or lapsed district, as estimated by . . . . said County Superintendent of Public Instruction, and thereafter . . . . the Board of County Commissioners, at the time of making the annual county levy, shall levy, in addition to the levy provided for in Section 32-328, Idaho Code Annotated, upon all taxable property in such unorganized or lapsed [63 Idaho 50] district, not exempt from taxation, a tax sufficient to pay such estimated claims, which tax shall be certified to the County Auditor as other tax levies are certified, extended on the tax rolls of the county against property in such unorganized or lapsed district, and collected as other property taxes are collected. The proceeds of such tax levy shall be placed in the treasury of such county in a special fund to be known as 'Unorganized or Lapsed School District No. Fund.' However, in no event shall the Board of County Commissioners each year make a levy under the provisions of this section of less than three mills, and whenever the proceeds of such tax levy is in excess of an amount sufficient to pay all tuition claims against such fund, the balance remaining in said fund after the payment thereof shall be placed by the County Treasurer in the 'County School Fund.'"

The italicized portion of the statute quoted constitutes the new, changed, and added matter, in the amendatory section, that was not in the original section as found in the annotated code of 1932.

The plaintiffs paid the tax exacted under protest and these actions were subsequently instituted to recover the amounts paid.

Demurrers were sustained to the several complaints and the plaintiffs declined to further plead; judgments were entered in favor of the county.

It is urged by the appellants, in the outset, that the county commissioners never acquired jurisdiction to levy the tax, for the reason, as alleged by the complaints, that the several preliminary steps required by the statute, as conditions precedent to the levy of the tax, were never performed. To this...

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14 practice notes
  • Pauley v. Kelly, No. 14036
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 20 Febrero 1979
    ...24. Independent School District v. Common School Dist. No. 38, 64 Idaho 303, 131 P.2d 786 (1942). 25. Scandrett v. Shoshone County, 63 Idaho 46, 116 P.2d 225 26. Idaho-Western Railroad v. Columbia Conference of Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod, 20 Idaho 568, 119 P. 60 (1911). 27. City o......
  • Eberle v. Nielson, No. 8541
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 13 Febrero 1957
    ...the constitutionality of legislative enactments Page 1086 when that can be done by reasonable construction. Scandrett v. Shoshone Co., 63 Idaho 46, 116 P.2d 225; State ex rel. Wright v. Headrick, 65 Idaho 148, 139 P.2d 761; State v. Evans, 73 Idaho 50, 245 P.2d 788; Grice v. Clearwater Timb......
  • Petition of Idaho State Federation of Labor, No. 8160
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 30 Junio 1954
    ...County, 60 Idaho 791, 97 P.2d 397; Northern Pac. Ry. Co. v. Shoshone County, 63 Idaho 36, 116 P.2d 221; Scandrett v. Shoshone County, 63 Idaho 46, 116 P.2d 225; State ex rel. Wright v. Headrick, 65 Idaho 148, 139 P.2d 761; State v. Groseclose, 67 Idaho 71, 171 P.2d 863; Keenan v. Price, 68 ......
  • State v. Evans, No. 7849
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 16 Junio 1952
    ...to uphold the constitutionality of legislative enactments when that can be done by reasonable construction. Scandrett v. Shoshone County, 63 Idaho 46, 116 P.2d 225; State ex rel. Wright v. Headrick, 65 Idaho 148, 139 P.2d To construe § 18-6607 as requiring or permitting the district judge i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Pauley v. Kelly, No. 14036
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 20 Febrero 1979
    ...24. Independent School District v. Common School Dist. No. 38, 64 Idaho 303, 131 P.2d 786 (1942). 25. Scandrett v. Shoshone County, 63 Idaho 46, 116 P.2d 225 26. Idaho-Western Railroad v. Columbia Conference of Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod, 20 Idaho 568, 119 P. 60 (1911). 27. City o......
  • Eberle v. Nielson, No. 8541
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 13 Febrero 1957
    ...the constitutionality of legislative enactments Page 1086 when that can be done by reasonable construction. Scandrett v. Shoshone Co., 63 Idaho 46, 116 P.2d 225; State ex rel. Wright v. Headrick, 65 Idaho 148, 139 P.2d 761; State v. Evans, 73 Idaho 50, 245 P.2d 788; Grice v. Clearwater Timb......
  • Petition of Idaho State Federation of Labor, No. 8160
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 30 Junio 1954
    ...County, 60 Idaho 791, 97 P.2d 397; Northern Pac. Ry. Co. v. Shoshone County, 63 Idaho 36, 116 P.2d 221; Scandrett v. Shoshone County, 63 Idaho 46, 116 P.2d 225; State ex rel. Wright v. Headrick, 65 Idaho 148, 139 P.2d 761; State v. Groseclose, 67 Idaho 71, 171 P.2d 863; Keenan v. Price, 68 ......
  • State v. Evans, No. 7849
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 16 Junio 1952
    ...to uphold the constitutionality of legislative enactments when that can be done by reasonable construction. Scandrett v. Shoshone County, 63 Idaho 46, 116 P.2d 225; State ex rel. Wright v. Headrick, 65 Idaho 148, 139 P.2d To construe § 18-6607 as requiring or permitting the district judge i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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