State ex rel. Kansas City P. & L. Co. v. Smith., No. 34641.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtTipton
Citation111 S.W.2d 513
PartiesSTATE OF MISSOURI AT THE RELATION OF KANSAS CITY POWER & LIGHT COMPANY, Relator, v. FORREST SMITH, STATE AUDITOR, Appellant.
Decision Date03 January 1938
Docket NumberNo. 34641.
111 S.W.2d 513
STATE OF MISSOURI AT THE RELATION OF KANSAS CITY POWER & LIGHT COMPANY, Relator,
v.
FORREST SMITH, STATE AUDITOR, Appellant.
No. 34641.
Supreme Court of Missouri.
Court en Banc, January 3, 1938.

Appeal from Jackson Circuit Court.Hon. Daniel E. Bird, Judge.

AFFIRMED.

Roy McKittrick, Attorney General, and Olliver W. Nolen, Assistant Attorney General, for appellant; J.W. Thurman of counsel.

(1) The sales of electricity to Kansas City, Glasgow and Sweet Springs (municipalities), for power purposes such as water pumping, are taxable. Such sales constitute a sale for domestic, industrial or commercial use within the meaning of the act. City of Ardmore v. Oklahoma Tax Comm., 58 Pac. (2d) 584; City of Ardmore v. State Tax Comm., 32 Pac. (2d) 728; Oklahoma G. & E. Co. v. Oklahoma Tax Comm., 58 Pac. (2d) 124. (2) The sale of electrical current to the Kansas City Public Service Company for propelling its street cars, is a commercial or industrial use of electricity within the meaning of the act. (a) Commercial and industrial consumer. 2 Words & Phrases, First Series, pp. 1287-1301; Wells Fargo & Co. v. Northern Pac. Railroad Co., 23 Fed. 469; Carver Mercantile v. Hulme, 19 Pac. 213; Bashford-Burmister v. Aqua-Fria Copper Co., 35 Pac. 983; Demaree v. Bridges, 65 N.E. 601; Denver & R.G. Railroad Co. v. United States, 249 Fed. 822; 4 Words & Phrases, pp. 3569-3570. (b) The State and municipalities have power to tax privately owned public utilities. Secs. 4889-4915, R.S. 1929; 2 Pond, Public Utilities, sec. 423; Savannah T. & D.H. Ry. v. Major, 37 S.E. 393; Puget Sound P. & L. Co. v. Seattle, 291 U.S. 618, 78 L. Ed. 1025, 54 Sup. Ct. 542. (c) The classification as made by the Public Service Commission is for the purpose of convenience, and is not binding on this court. State ex rel. Laundry, Inc., v. Pub. Serv. Comm., 34 S.W. (2d) 37; State ex rel. Jenkins v. Brown, 19 S.W. (2d) 481; State ex rel. United Railroad v. Pub. Serv. Comm., 270 Mo. 420. (3) Sales of electrical current to municipalities for the lighting of city halls, fire stations, city hospitals, court houses, jails and other public buildings is a sale to domestic, commercial or industrial consumers within the meaning of the act. Oklahoma G. & E. Co. v. Oklahoma Tax Comm., 58 Pac. (2d) 124; Erie v. Gas Co., 78 Kan. 348; Spring Valley Waterworks v. San Francisco, 52 Cal. 111; Kimball v. Water Co., 107 Me. 467: Pejepscott Paper Co. v. Lisbon, 127 Me. 161.

Johnson, Lucas, Landon, Graves & Fane for Kansas City Power & Light Company.

(1) The Kansas City Public Service Company for the electricity sold it for the operation of its street railway system, and the cities of Kansas City, Glasgow and Sweet Springs for the electricity sold them for the operation of their municipal water plants, are not "domestic, commercial or industrial consumers" of electricity within the terms of the Additional Revenue for Emergency Act of 1933-34. In determining the construction to be placed upon the sales tax law the following rules of law are applicable. (a) The legislative intent as evidenced by the terms of limitation employed. State ex inf. Conkling ex rel. Hendricks v. Sweaney, 270 Mo. 692; State ex rel. Koeln v. Lesser, 237 Mo. 318. (b) The term "domestic, commercial or industrial consumers" must be accorded its ordinary and generally accepted meaning, and in determining that meaning the interpretation habitually placed upon such language by the public officials required to interpret the same in the enforcement of regulatory laws involving such language, is entitled to the utmost respect. Likewise the interpretation of such language uniformly given by the utilities to which it is solely applicable should be considered. State ex rel. Barrett v. First Natl. Bank, 297 Mo. 410; State v. Long-Bell Lbr. Co., 321 Mo. 461, 12 S.W. (2d) 80; State ex rel. Union E.L. & P. Co. v. Baker, 316 Mo. 863; State ex rel. Kinloch Tel. Co. v. Roach, 269 Mo. 442. (2) Taxing statutes must be strictly construed in favor of the taxpayer, and the courts are powerless to extend the scope of the Additional Revenue for Emergency Act of 1933-34 to consumers not expressly included within its language. State ex rel. Compton v. Buder, 308 Mo. 260; State ex rel. Natl. Life Ins. Co. v. Hyde, 292 Mo. 352; State ex rel. Koeln v. Lesser, 237 Mo. 318. (3) The Attorney General of Missouri, in an opinion rendered the appellant construing the very language here in controversy in this same Additional Revenue for Emergency Act, has recognized that the term "domestic, commercial or industrial consumers" is limited in scope, does not embrace all classes of consumers of electricity and that those classes of consumers not included are exempt. The respondent cannot consistently contend otherwise in this case.

TIPTON, J.


This is an appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, wherein that court on certiorari quashed the record of appellant, the State Auditor, in levying an additional sales tax assessment on respondent for the sale of electrical current pursuant the Additional Revenue Emergency Act, Laws of Missouri, Extra Session 1933-34, page 155.

Respondent is engaged in selling and furnishing electricity or electrical current, and the sole question in this case is whether it (respondent) is liable for tax on the sale of electrical current sold to Kansas City, the city of Sweet Springs, and the city of Glasgow, where it is used to pump water for their municipally operated waterworks systems, and for tax on the sale of electrical current sold to the Kansas City Public Service Company, used in propelling its street cars over its street railway system in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas...

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10 practice notes
  • American Bridge Co. v. Smith, No. 38677.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • February 7, 1944
    ..."which exempts sales in interstate commerce transactions ..." State ex rel. Kansas City Power and Light Company v. Smith, 342 Mo. 75, 111 S.W. 2d 513. Subsequently to the amendment, this court stated, in the case of Mississippi River Fuel Corporation v. Smith, supra (a case in which the cou......
  • Seltenreich v. Town of Fairbanks, No. 6926.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Alaska
    • March 4, 1952
    ...New International Dictionary, Second Edition, cited with approval in State Ex. rel. K. C. Power and Light Company v. Smith, 342 Mo. 75, 111 S.W.2d 513, 515; Dessen v. Department of Labor, etc., 190 Wash. 69, 66 P.2d 867, 869 (the oyster The housing industry which sprang up during World War ......
  • Universal Holding Co. v. North Bergen Tp., No. A--537
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • March 31, 1959
    ...Falls v. Cleveland, 75 S.D. 548, 70 N.W.2d 62, 64--65 (Sup.Ct.1955); State ex rel. Kansas City Power & Light Co. v. Smith, 342 Mo. 75, 111 S.W.2d 513, 515 (Sup.Ct.1938); Phillips v. Board of Appeals, 286 Mass. 469, 190 N.E. 601 (Sup.Jud.Ct.1934); Jones v. Robertson, 79 Cal.App.2d 813, 180 P......
  • Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors v. Porter, No. 11227.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 24, 1946
    ...263 U.S. 197, 44 S.Ct. 15, 68 L.Ed. 255; United States v. Public Service Co., 10 Cir., 143 F.2d 79; State ex rel. v. Smith, 342 Mo. 75, 111 S.W.2d 513; Marks Co. v. United States, 12 Ct.Cust. App. 110; In re Yakima Fruit Growers, 20 Wash.2d 202, 146 P.2d 800; and see Schreffler v. Bowles, 1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • American Bridge Co. v. Smith, No. 38677.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • February 7, 1944
    ..."which exempts sales in interstate commerce transactions ..." State ex rel. Kansas City Power and Light Company v. Smith, 342 Mo. 75, 111 S.W. 2d 513. Subsequently to the amendment, this court stated, in the case of Mississippi River Fuel Corporation v. Smith, supra (a case in which the cou......
  • Seltenreich v. Town of Fairbanks, No. 6926.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Alaska
    • March 4, 1952
    ...New International Dictionary, Second Edition, cited with approval in State Ex. rel. K. C. Power and Light Company v. Smith, 342 Mo. 75, 111 S.W.2d 513, 515; Dessen v. Department of Labor, etc., 190 Wash. 69, 66 P.2d 867, 869 (the oyster The housing industry which sprang up during World War ......
  • Universal Holding Co. v. North Bergen Tp., No. A--537
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • March 31, 1959
    ...Falls v. Cleveland, 75 S.D. 548, 70 N.W.2d 62, 64--65 (Sup.Ct.1955); State ex rel. Kansas City Power & Light Co. v. Smith, 342 Mo. 75, 111 S.W.2d 513, 515 (Sup.Ct.1938); Phillips v. Board of Appeals, 286 Mass. 469, 190 N.E. 601 (Sup.Jud.Ct.1934); Jones v. Robertson, 79 Cal.App.2d 813, 180 P......
  • Mechanical Farm Equipment Distributors v. Porter, No. 11227.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 24, 1946
    ...263 U.S. 197, 44 S.Ct. 15, 68 L.Ed. 255; United States v. Public Service Co., 10 Cir., 143 F.2d 79; State ex rel. v. Smith, 342 Mo. 75, 111 S.W.2d 513; Marks Co. v. United States, 12 Ct.Cust. App. 110; In re Yakima Fruit Growers, 20 Wash.2d 202, 146 P.2d 800; and see Schreffler v. Bowles, 1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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