State v. Peterson, No. 23928.

CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)
Citation159 Minn. 269,198 N.W. 1011
Decision Date02 May 1924
Docket NumberNo. 23928.
PartiesSTATE v. PETERSON.

159 Minn. 269
198 N.W. 1011

STATE
v.
PETERSON.

No. 23928.

Supreme Court of Minnesota.

May 2, 1924.


Appeal from District Court, Kittson County; Andrew Grindeland, Judge.

Proceeding by the State against Ed. Peterson to enforce payment of taxes. From an order denying a motion for new trial, and from the judgment dismissing the proceeding, the plaintiff appeals. Appeals consolidated, judgment and order reversed, and cause remanded.


Syllabus by the Court

Section 16, c. 461, Laws 1921, providing for the taxation of motor vehicles, once used on the public streets and highways, on a more onerous basis than other personal property, is not in contravention of section 3, art. 16, of the Constitution. (See Laws 1919, c. 531.)

Respondent's automobile was taxable in the year 1922 under the provisions of chapter 461, although it was not used on the public highways in that year. It became subject to future taxation under the act when it was registered and operated on the public highways in the year 1921.

The tax imposed by the act is not a privilege tax, but a tax on property. In imposing it, the Legislature had power to classify motor vehicles for the purpose of their future taxation upon the basis of prior registration and use of the public highways.

The contemporaneous interpretation of a constitutional provision by the first Legislature assembled after its adoption is entitled to great weight.


[198 N.W. 1011]

C. L. Hilton, Atty. Gen., Jas. E. Markham, Deputy Atty. Gen., and A. D. Bornemann, Co. Atty., of Hallock, for appellant.

I. Steenson, of Drayton, N. D., for respondent.


LEES, C.

This is an appeal from an order denying a motion for a new trial and also from the judgment dismissing a proceeding under chapter 461, Laws 1921, to enforce the payment of a tax on the respondent's automobile. The appeals were consolidated and heard on the same record and briefs.

The ultimate question to be determined is whether section 16 of the act contravenes section 3, art. 16, of the state Constitution (see Laws 1919, c. 530), commonly known as the Babcock Amendment, reading in part as follows:

‘The Legislature is hereby authorized to provide, by law, for the taxation of motor vehicles using the public streets and highways of this state, on a more onerous basis than other personal property.’

Pursuant to this grant of authority, the Legislature enacted chapter 461, declaring in section 16 that--

‘Every motor vehicle * * * shall be deemed to be one using the public streets and highways and hence as such subject to taxation under this act if such motor vehicle has, prior to the date set for registration thereof, used such public streets or highways, or shall actually use them, or if it shall come into the possession of an owner other than as a manufacturer, dealer, warehouseman, mortgagee or pledgee.’

Respondent was the owner of a Dodge car. It was registered under the act and used on the public highways in the year 1921. In the month of August it was so damaged that it could not be operated without out repairs. Respondent did not have them made, choosing to store the car instead. He kept it in a shed on his premises during the whole of the year 1922. This circumstance is the basis for his contention that in that year the car was taxable only as other personal property is taxed.

Taxation of a certain class of property is one of the subjects covered by the Babcock Amendment. The tax authorized is in lieu of all other...

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17 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Transport Mfg. Co. v. Bates, No. 41456.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 14 Noviembre 1949
    ...Lines v. Public Service Comm., 23 Fed. Supp. 865; Stebbins v. Riley, 268 U.S. 137, 69 L. Ed. 884, 45 S. Ct. 424; State v. Peterson, 159 Minn. 269, 198 N.W. 1011, 114 A.L.R. 855; Sec. 5728, R.S. 1939; Cape Girardeau v. Groves Motor Co., 346 Mo. 762, 142 S.W. (2d) 1040. (5) If the exemption c......
  • Hassler v. Engberg, No. 35328
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 6 Abril 1951
    ...constitutional amendment which on its face appeared to make it a property tax. The question came before this court in State v. Peterson, 159 Minn. 269, 198 N.W. 1011, as to whether L.1921, c. 461, § 16, contravened Minn. Const. art. 16, § 3, commonly known as the Babcock amendment, which re......
  • Am. Ry. Express Co. v. Holm, No. 25720.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 10 Diciembre 1926
    ...Fairley v. City of Duluth, 150 Minn. 374, 185 N. W. 390, 32 A. L. R. 1258;Dohs v. Holm, 152 Minn. 531,189 N. W. 418;State v. Peterson, 159 Minn. 269, 198 N. W. 1011;State v. Oligney, 162 Minn. 302, 202 N. W. 893. This court is definitely on record holding that it is both a property and a pr......
  • American Ry. Express Co. v. Holm, No. 25720.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 10 Diciembre 1926
    ...Fairley v. City of Duluth, 150 Minn. 374, 185 N. W. 390, 32 A. L. R. 1258; Dohs v. Holm, 152 Minn. 531, 189 N. W. 418; State v. Peterson, 159 Minn. 269, 198 N. W. 1011; State v. Oligney, 162 Minn. 302, 202 N. W. 893. This court is definitely on record holding that it is both a property and ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • State ex rel. Transport Mfg. Co. v. Bates, No. 41456.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 14 Noviembre 1949
    ...Lines v. Public Service Comm., 23 Fed. Supp. 865; Stebbins v. Riley, 268 U.S. 137, 69 L. Ed. 884, 45 S. Ct. 424; State v. Peterson, 159 Minn. 269, 198 N.W. 1011, 114 A.L.R. 855; Sec. 5728, R.S. 1939; Cape Girardeau v. Groves Motor Co., 346 Mo. 762, 142 S.W. (2d) 1040. (5) If the exemption c......
  • Hassler v. Engberg, No. 35328
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 6 Abril 1951
    ...constitutional amendment which on its face appeared to make it a property tax. The question came before this court in State v. Peterson, 159 Minn. 269, 198 N.W. 1011, as to whether L.1921, c. 461, § 16, contravened Minn. Const. art. 16, § 3, commonly known as the Babcock amendment, which re......
  • Am. Ry. Express Co. v. Holm, No. 25720.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 10 Diciembre 1926
    ...Fairley v. City of Duluth, 150 Minn. 374, 185 N. W. 390, 32 A. L. R. 1258;Dohs v. Holm, 152 Minn. 531,189 N. W. 418;State v. Peterson, 159 Minn. 269, 198 N. W. 1011;State v. Oligney, 162 Minn. 302, 202 N. W. 893. This court is definitely on record holding that it is both a property and a pr......
  • American Ry. Express Co. v. Holm, No. 25720.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • 10 Diciembre 1926
    ...Fairley v. City of Duluth, 150 Minn. 374, 185 N. W. 390, 32 A. L. R. 1258; Dohs v. Holm, 152 Minn. 531, 189 N. W. 418; State v. Peterson, 159 Minn. 269, 198 N. W. 1011; State v. Oligney, 162 Minn. 302, 202 N. W. 893. This court is definitely on record holding that it is both a property and ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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