State v. Cunningham

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtValliant
PartiesSTATE ex rel. MORRIS, County Collector, v. CUNNINGHAM.
Decision Date05 February 1900
55 S.W. 249
153 Mo. 642
STATE ex rel. MORRIS, County Collector,
v.
CUNNINGHAM.
Supreme Court of Missouri, Division No. 1.
February 5, 1900.

TAXATION — TAX BILL — EVIDENCE — BOARD OF EQUALIZATION — POWERS — JUDGMENT — FRAUD.

1. Though, in a suit to collect a tax, the tax bill is prima facie evidence of its validity, it is not conclusive, and hence defendant may show that it is not based on a valid assessment.

2. Under Rev. St. 1889, §§ 7518-7520, creating the county board of equalization, and prescribing their duties, their sole power is to equalize valuations and assessments, and hear appeals from the judgments of the assessor, and they have nothing to do with making a list of the property, or adding property to the list returned, except in the proceeding contemplated in section 7537, when the assessor gives a written notice to them that a person has made a false list with intent to defraud.

3. In a suit on a personal tax bill, defendant may attack the judgment of the board of equalization on the ground of fraud, by showing that such board added to the list of property given in by him, and returned by the assessor, other property, and, in order to conceal their real act, falsified their record so as to not show their addition of the property, but to make it appear as an increase in the valuation of the property returned.

Appeal from circuit court, Jasper county; Joseph D. Perkins, Judge.

Suit on personal tax bill by the state, on the relation of Morris, collector of Jasper county, against F. W. Cunningham. From a judgment in favor of plaintiff, defendant appeals. Reversed.

This is a suit on a personal tax bill against the defendant. The petition is in the usual form. The answer, among other defenses, pleads that the defendant's personal property was regularly assessed at $955, and the assessment duly returned by the county assessor, but that the board of equalization of Jasper county, with intent to perpetrate a fraud on defendant, added to the list of property given in by him and returned by the assessor certain other property, to wit, notes held by defendant's bank, and thereby swelled the assessment from $955 to $20,000, and, in order to conceal their real act, falsified their record so as to not show their addition of other property, but to make it appear as an increase in the valuation of the property returned by the assessor; that no record was ever kept of the assessment as made by the board of equalization; that the board's acts in this respect were unlawful and oppressive, in that it made no such assessment of such notes held by the other banks of the county, although there were other such banks holding such notes of much larger amounts than those held by defendant. The reply denied the allegations of the petition, and averred that the board of equalization increased the defendant's assessment as it had a right to do, and gave him notice thereof, and in conformity to the notice he appeared before the board of equalization and the board of appeals, and made a showing to have the assessment reduced, which was refused, and he took no further steps to correct the proceedings of the boards, and the action was therefore res adjudicata, and could not be examined into in this suit; and whether or not the assessments were uniform and equal with other assessments is also a matter which cannot be now looked into. Upon the trial the plaintiff introduced in evidence the tax bill, and rested. The defendant introduced his original assessment list as given in by him and returned by the assessor, which was made out on the printed form used for that purpose, in which the various kinds of personal property are divided into classes, as required in section 7531, Rev. St. 1889, as amended by Act March 28, 1893, from second to tenth, inclusive. Under this classification, the list showed, in class second, horses, cattle, and hogs aggregating in value $95; in class third, farm implements, etc., $10; in class fourth, clocks, watches, sewing machines, household furniture, etc., aggregating in value $810; and in class tenth, "all other property not above enumerated," $40, — making a total assessment of $955. The statutory classification which this list followed makes especial call for solvent notes, and devotes two classes to them alone; class seventh being solvent notes unsecured by mortgage, and class eighth being solvent notes secured by mortgage. On the list returned by the assessor both these classes were left

[55 S.W. 250]

blank, and on the assessment made by the board of equalization they are also left blank. Defendant also offered in evidence the page of the book kept by the board of equalization showing the assessment of the defendant, as follows:

Horses, No. 2, value, dollars.......... $ 70 00
                Asses and jennets......................
                Mules .................................
                Neat cattle, No. 1, value, dollars..... 15 00
                Sheep .................................
                Hogs, No. 2, value, dollars............ 10 00
                All other live stock...................
                Brokers and exchange dealers...........
                Corporate companies
...

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11 practice notes
  • State v. Phillips Pipe Line Co., No. 34757.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 2, 1936
    ...it may be shown in defense that the taxing authorities did not have jurisdiction to assess the tax. State ex rel. Morris v. Cunningham, 153 Mo. 642, 55 S.W. 251; State ex rel. Koeln v. Title Guar. Trust Co., 261 Mo. 448, 169 S.W. 29; Crone v. Dawson, 19 Mo. App. 214; Wyeth Hardware Co. v. L......
  • Norborne Land Drain. Dist. v. Egypt Township, No. 29691.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 3, 1930
    ...are not based on a valid assessment. 19 C.J. 757; Hillside Securities case, 268 Mo. 654; State v. Bank, 160 Mo. 648; State v. Cunningham, 153 Mo. 642. (c) Plaintiff's evidence is insufficient because there is no proof of any demand as required by statute, Sec. 4396, R.S. 1919; 19 C.J. 755; ......
  • Ferguson v. Bd. of Equalization of Madison County, No. 38022.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 6, 1942
    ...Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Charles, 47 Mo. 465; Railroad v. McGuire, 49 Mo. 483; Cooley on Taxation (First Ed.) 291; Morris v. Cunningham, 153 Mo. 642; State ex rel. Van Raalte v. Board of Equalization, City of St. Louis, 256 Mo. 455; Secs. 22, 23, Art. 6, Constitution of Missouri; Davidson v. S......
  • Simmons Hardware Co. v. City of St. Louis, No. 18196.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • December 1, 1916
    ...provisions of section 11623 of the Revised Statutes of 1909. In allowing the writ, the court, quoting from State ex rel. v. Cunningham, 153 Mo. 642, 55 S. W. 249, "By these [statutory provisions] we see that the law first appeals to the conscience of the property owner to furnish an honest ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • State v. Phillips Pipe Line Co., No. 34757.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 2, 1936
    ...it may be shown in defense that the taxing authorities did not have jurisdiction to assess the tax. State ex rel. Morris v. Cunningham, 153 Mo. 642, 55 S.W. 251; State ex rel. Koeln v. Title Guar. Trust Co., 261 Mo. 448, 169 S.W. 29; Crone v. Dawson, 19 Mo. App. 214; Wyeth Hardware Co. v. L......
  • Norborne Land Drain. Dist. v. Egypt Township, No. 29691.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 3, 1930
    ...are not based on a valid assessment. 19 C.J. 757; Hillside Securities case, 268 Mo. 654; State v. Bank, 160 Mo. 648; State v. Cunningham, 153 Mo. 642. (c) Plaintiff's evidence is insufficient because there is no proof of any demand as required by statute, Sec. 4396, R.S. 1919; 19 C.J. 755; ......
  • Ferguson v. Bd. of Equalization of Madison County, No. 38022.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 6, 1942
    ...Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Charles, 47 Mo. 465; Railroad v. McGuire, 49 Mo. 483; Cooley on Taxation (First Ed.) 291; Morris v. Cunningham, 153 Mo. 642; State ex rel. Van Raalte v. Board of Equalization, City of St. Louis, 256 Mo. 455; Secs. 22, 23, Art. 6, Constitution of Missouri; Davidson v. S......
  • Simmons Hardware Co. v. City of St. Louis, No. 18196.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • December 1, 1916
    ...provisions of section 11623 of the Revised Statutes of 1909. In allowing the writ, the court, quoting from State ex rel. v. Cunningham, 153 Mo. 642, 55 S. W. 249, "By these [statutory provisions] we see that the law first appeals to the conscience of the property owner to furnish an honest ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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