St. Louis Southwestern Ry. Co. v. Crunk, No. 61172

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtMORGAN
Citation594 S.W.2d 625
PartiesST. LOUIS SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY, a corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Thomas CRUNK, Collector of Dunklin County, Missouri, and Jesse Woodard, Successor Collector of Dunklin County, Missouri, Defendants-Respondents.
Decision Date11 March 1980
Docket NumberNo. 61172

Page 625

594 S.W.2d 625
ST. LOUIS SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY, a corporation,
Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Thomas CRUNK, Collector of Dunklin County, Missouri, and
Jesse Woodard, Successor Collector of Dunklin
County, Missouri, Defendants-Respondents.
No. 61172.
Supreme Court of Missouri, En Banc.
March 11, 1980.

Page 626

David E. Blanton, King E. Sidwell, Blanton, Rice, Sickal, Gilmore & Winchester, Sikeston, for appellant.

Stephen R. Sharp, Pros. Atty., Kennett, for respondents.

MORGAN, Judge.

This is an action for recovery of certain taxes and penalties, paid under protest, which was tried to the court under a stipulation of facts. On appeal there is yet no dispute as to the facts, and the stipulation thereof has been amended only to include references to the judgment as entered.

We quote therefrom as follows:

Dunklin County through respondent Thomas Crunk, Collector, mailed to appellant, St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company at Tyler, Texas, a notice of taxes due for the year 1975 in the sum of $221,647.10. Appellant mailed to respondent its check in the sum of $221,647.10, together with a notice of protest concerning an excessive school tax levy which is not at issue before the Court on this appeal, from its office in Tyler, Texas. Payment was deposited in the United States mail service, duly stamped and post-marked December 30, 1975, addressed to the Tax Collector of Dunklin County, Treasurer Ex Officio Collector, Dunklin County Courthouse, Kennett, Missouri 63857.

Respondent, Collector of Dunklin County, Missouri, made regular mail calls at the United States Post Office in Kennett, Missouri, to pick up mail addressed to him or the Collector at such times as his office as Collector was open until January 5, 1976, on which date the above referred to mail and tendered tax payment and notice of protest were received by him as Collector.

Page 627

The tendered check and notice of protest were thereafter returned to appellant with the explanation by the respondent that the tendered payment was late and would not be accepted unless the late penalty in the sum of $4,432.94 was paid in addition to the tax claimed to be due by the appellant.

On January 22, 1976, appellant delivered to the respondent the amount of taxes claimed by the respondent to be due by the appellant in the sum of $221,647.10 plus $2,216.47 alleged interest and $2,216.47 alleged commission, at which time notice of protest was delivered to the respondent to the alleged excess school taxes (not at issue in this appeal) and the notice of protest relative to the interest payment and the commission payment in the sum of $4,432.94.

This proceeding for the recovery of the sums paid under protest was instituted in the Circuit Court of Dunklin County, Missouri, within ninety days after January 1, 1976. The Court without jury considered the evidence on a stipulation of facts and held that the payment of the tax was not timely and that the appellant was subject to the penalty.

The Court further entered judgment for appellant concerning the $2,894.80 excessive school tax which is not at issue in this appeal except that it is pertinent as the basis of calculating the penalty, if any, which is the subject of this appeal. From this adverse ruling that the payment of the tax was not timely and that penalty was assessed based upon the excessive school tax, the appellant takes appeal.

It should be noted that the petition filed by appellant (taxpayer) sought refunds based on two separate grounds: (1) that there had been no readjustment 1 of the prior levy when the county assessment had increased by at least ten per cent as provided in § 137.073, RSMo; and (2) that payment of the taxes actually due had been timely and that no penalties should have attached.

The trial court found for the taxpayer on point one and ordered a refund of "the sum of $2,894.80, representing taxes paid under protest (because there had been no readjustment), together with such interest as may have accrued as a result of the payment having been made to the Collector, if the same has been invested." The record reflects a refund being made and "receipt of the sum of $3,343.46" by the taxpayer. The latter suggests that the readjustment problem "is not at issue in this appeal except that it is pertinent as the basis of calculating the penalty, if any, which is the subject of this appeal."

Next, we consider whether or not payment of the property taxes actually due for 1975...

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1 practice notes
  • Bloomer's Estate, Matter of, No. 62367
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • September 8, 1981
    ...Air Lines, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 377 S.W.2d 444, 448 (Mo. banc 1964). See also St. Louis Southwestern Railway Co. v. Crunk, 594 S.W.2d 625, 628 (Mo. banc 1980). "When the language of a statute is unambiguous and conveys a plain and definite meaning, the courts have no business to lo......
1 cases
  • Bloomer's Estate, Matter of, No. 62367
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • September 8, 1981
    ...Air Lines, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, 377 S.W.2d 444, 448 (Mo. banc 1964). See also St. Louis Southwestern Railway Co. v. Crunk, 594 S.W.2d 625, 628 (Mo. banc 1980). "When the language of a statute is unambiguous and conveys a plain and definite meaning, the courts have no business to lo......

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