State v. Superior Court for Stevens County, 13754.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtCHADWICK, J.
Citation161 P. 77,93 Wash. 433
PartiesSTATE ex rel. FIRST THOUGHT GOLD MINES, Limited, v. SUPERIOR COURT FOR STEVENS COUNTY et al.
Docket Number13754.
Decision Date22 November 1916

161 P. 77

93 Wash. 433

STATE ex rel. FIRST THOUGHT GOLD MINES, Limited,
v.

SUPERIOR COURT FOR STEVENS COUNTY et al.

No. 13754.

Supreme Court of Washington

November 22, 1916


Department 1. Original mandamus proceedings by the State of Washington, on the relation of the First Thought Gold Mines, Limited, a corporation, against the Superior Court for Stevens County, Washington, and W. H. Jackson, judge thereof. Writ issued.

L. C. Jesseph, of Colville, for relator.

Howard W. Stull and H. Wade Bailey, both of Colville, for defendants.

CHADWICK, J.

This case is an aftermath of the case of First Thought Gold Mines, Ltd., v. Stevens County, reported in 91 Wash. at page 437, 157 P. 1080, reference to which should be made for all material antecedent facts. When the remittitur went down, counsel for the appellant, relator here, prepared a judgment for an amount equal to an assessment at the established rate upon the values fixed by this court. The prosecuting attorney[93 Wash. 434] objected to the form of the judgment, in that it did not provide for interest at the rate of 15 per cent. per annum covering the period of delinquency. The court was of opinion that the judgment should have provided for the payment [161 P. 78] of interest at the rate of 15 per cent. per annum on the taxes found by this court to be due, and accordingly refused to sign the judgment. Whereupon the appellant sued out an original writ of mandamus in this court to compel the entry of the judgment.

It is provided that all delinquent taxes shall draw interest at the rate of 15 per cent. per annum from the date of delinquency. Rem. 1915 Code, § 9219. There seems to have been no provision made by statute for the payment of interest, or the remission of interest, where the tax is questioned either in whole or in part, and we are driven to the general principles of the law as they are to be gathered from the adjudged decisions.

Cottle v. Union Pacific R. Co., 201 F. 39, 119 C. C. A. 371, is one of the best considered cases that has been called to our attention, and from the many authorities cited therein we gather the following as established principles: That a tax, void entirely, gives no rights and will carry no penalties either by way of interest or otherwise; that a tax valid in part and void in part will carry a penalty, either by way of interest or otherwise, to the extent that it is valid, if the amount of the tax which is valid can be reasonably ascertained, and, unless tender is made of the amount legally due, interest and penalties will attach from the date of delinquency; that where the amount of the tax is not divisible or the amount that ought to be paid cannot be readily ascertained, as where the tax is so excessive as to warrant a holding that it is arbitrary and therefore constructively fraudulent as to the excess, the tax is nevertheless legal within the legal power to tax, and is void only as to the unlawful excess. It is also well established that interest upon a delinquency is no part of a tax. It is sustained only as a penalty to insure prompt payment. [93 Wash. 435] People ex rel. v. Peacock, 98 Ill. 172. And this is so whether the penalty be in the way of interest, the addition of a certain per cent., or by doubling the tax. Desty on Taxation, § 130.

Interest upon delinquent taxes is a penalty, and not interest, within the general acceptation that it is a consideration for the forbearance of money. Evansville & Terre Haute R. Co. v. West, 139 Ind. 254, 37 N.E. 1009. This principle is most frequently illustrated in that line of cases holding that, where the Legislature passes a law for the taxation of property theretofore omitted as a subject of taxation, it cannot provide for interest from some antecedent date, but must provide some future time within which the tax must be paid after which interest may be demanded. In other words, even the state cannot take more than the actual tax, whether under the guise of interest or otherwise, until the taxpayer has failed or omitted to perform a duty imposed by law.

Where a taxpayer has suffered an excessive assessment, he may tender a sum that he considers to be fair, considering the value of his...

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16 practice notes
  • Jones v. Williams, No. 6051.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • 23 Diciembre 1931
    ...is a means to insure prompt payment of the tax, and it is not a part of the tax. State ex rel. First Thought Gold Mines v. Superior Ct., 93 Wash. 433, 161 P. "And from State ex rel. Pierce v. Coos County, 115 Or. 300, 237 P. 678, 679, we quote: `We have heretofore held that the increas......
  • Parsons v. Detroit & Canada Tunnel Co., No. 5356.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • 31 Julio 1936
    ...163; Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co. v. Rowley (D.C.) 1 F.Supp. 729; Lowther v. Moore, 191 Ky. 284, 229 S.W. 705; State v. Superior Ct., 93 Wash. 433, 161 P. The true cash value of the tunnel property in question depends solely upon its earning capacity. Its depreciated cost or reproduction cos......
  • State ex rel. McKittrick v. Bair, No. 33115.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 23 Junio 1933
    ...Oil Co., 101 Pa. 150; Colby v. City of Medford, 85 Ore. 485, 167 Pac. 500; State ex rel. First Thought Gold Mines v. Superior Court, 93 Wash 433, 161 Pac. 77; Pierce v. Coos County, 115 Ore. 300; State v. Railroad Co., 100 Tex. 153; Henry v. McKay, 3 Pac. (2d) 145, 77 A.L.R. 1025; League v.......
  • Bradbury & Stamm Const. Co. v. Bureau of Revenue, No. 7105
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • 11 Junio 1962
    ...De Armond, 131 Or. 563, 569, 284 P. 166, 168, 68 A.L.R. 422; State ex rel. First Thought Gold Mines v. Superior Court for Stevens County, 93 Wash. 433, 161 P. 77; Biles v. Robey, 43 Ariz. 276, 30 P.2d 841; State ex rel. Crutcher v. Koeln, 332 Mo. 1229, 61 S.W.2d 750; Henry v. McKay, 164 Was......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Jones v. Williams, No. 6051.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • 23 Diciembre 1931
    ...is a means to insure prompt payment of the tax, and it is not a part of the tax. State ex rel. First Thought Gold Mines v. Superior Ct., 93 Wash. 433, 161 P. "And from State ex rel. Pierce v. Coos County, 115 Or. 300, 237 P. 678, 679, we quote: `We have heretofore held that the increas......
  • Parsons v. Detroit & Canada Tunnel Co., No. 5356.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • 31 Julio 1936
    ...163; Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co. v. Rowley (D.C.) 1 F.Supp. 729; Lowther v. Moore, 191 Ky. 284, 229 S.W. 705; State v. Superior Ct., 93 Wash. 433, 161 P. The true cash value of the tunnel property in question depends solely upon its earning capacity. Its depreciated cost or reproduction cos......
  • State ex rel. McKittrick v. Bair, No. 33115.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 23 Junio 1933
    ...Oil Co., 101 Pa. 150; Colby v. City of Medford, 85 Ore. 485, 167 Pac. 500; State ex rel. First Thought Gold Mines v. Superior Court, 93 Wash 433, 161 Pac. 77; Pierce v. Coos County, 115 Ore. 300; State v. Railroad Co., 100 Tex. 153; Henry v. McKay, 3 Pac. (2d) 145, 77 A.L.R. 1025; League v.......
  • Bradbury & Stamm Const. Co. v. Bureau of Revenue, No. 7105
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • 11 Junio 1962
    ...De Armond, 131 Or. 563, 569, 284 P. 166, 168, 68 A.L.R. 422; State ex rel. First Thought Gold Mines v. Superior Court for Stevens County, 93 Wash. 433, 161 P. 77; Biles v. Robey, 43 Ariz. 276, 30 P.2d 841; State ex rel. Crutcher v. Koeln, 332 Mo. 1229, 61 S.W.2d 750; Henry v. McKay, 164 Was......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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