State v. Cudahy Packing Co.

Citation115 N.W. 645,103 Minn. 419
Decision Date28 February 1908
CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)

103 Minn. 419
115 N.W. 645


Supreme Court of Minnesota.

Feb. 28, 1908.

Appeal from District Court, Hennepin County; F. V. Brown, Judge.

Action by the state against the Cudahy Packing Company. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant appeals. Affirmed.

Syllabus by the Court

The Minneapolis city board of equalization increased the defendant's original assessment by $10,000. Thereafter the state board further increased the assessment by $6,330. On appeal from the judgment for the full amount of the tax, it is held:

(1) Neither the courts nor any state official have the power to repeal or amend the clear and positive requirement of statute that all property shall be assessed at its true and full value in money.

(2) That the tangible property of defendant was assessed at approximately its full value, although other property, in accordance with the direction of the State Auditor, was assessed for less, is no valid objection to the resulting tax.

(3) The Minneapolis board of equalization has charter power to amend the assessment roll by adding taxable property not included in the assessor's list.

(4) The action of the city and state boards of equalization is designed to secure a just demand on the part of the city to be collected by proceedings judicial in their nature. The provisions with reference thereto, and especially with reference to the giving of notice of meetings, are directory, and not mandatory.

(5) Failure to give such notice is no defense to a tax, unless it is shown to have resulted prejudicially, as in an unfair or unequal assessment.

[115 N.W. 645]

Moritz Heim, for appellant.

E. T. Young, A. J. Smith, and W. C. Leary, for the State.


The trial court found that: The personal property of the defendant was valued at $10,400 by the assessor of the city of Minneapolis. Thereafter the city board of equalization increased that assessment $10,000. Thereafter the state board of equalization further increased the assessment by $6,630. The resulting tax of $810.90 was justly and properly levied. Judgment was accordingly entered for the tax, together with the penalty. This appeal was taken from the judgment. Defendant expressly admits: ‘In fact [it] had personal property consisting of cash, book accounts, and stock of all kinds, including the soap in storage, of the cash value of $27,902.77.’ The entire assessment was $27,030.

1. The defendant insists that the court will take judicial notice that property in this state is not assessed for its actual cash value; that the assessor assessed other personal property at 50 per cent., in pursuance of the instructions contained in the circular issued by the State Auditor; and that, inasmuch as the defendant was assessed for approximately the full value of its property, it had been discriminated against. There is obviously no merit in this contention. The statutes of this state distinctly provide that ‘all property shall be assessed at its true and full value in money.’...

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