Territory of Arizona v. Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Co.

Decision Date02 April 1910
Docket NumberCivil 1130
Citation13 Ariz. 198,108 P. 960
PartiesTHE TERRITORY OF ARIZONA, at the Relation and to the Use of J. N. GATES, Tax Collector in and for the County of Cochise, in the Territory of Arizona, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. THE COPPER QUEEN CONSOLIDATED MINING COMPANY, a Corporation, Defendant and Appellee
CourtArizona Supreme Court

108 P. 960

13 Ariz. 198

THE TERRITORY OF ARIZONA, at the Relation and to the Use of J. N. GATES, Tax Collector in and for the County of Cochise, in the Territory of Arizona, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
THE COPPER QUEEN CONSOLIDATED MINING COMPANY, a Corporation, Defendant and Appellee

Civil No. 1130

Supreme Court of Arizona

April 2, 1910


[108 P. 961] [Copyrighted Material Omitted] [108 P. 962]

APPEAL from a judgment of the District Court of the Second Judicial District, in and for Cochise County. Fletcher M. Doan, Judge. Affirmed.

This is a special statutory proceeding, brought under Act No. 92 of the Laws of 1903 of the territory of Arizona to enforce a lien for territorial and county taxes for the year 1901 upon the property described in the complaint, amounting, with interest and costs, to the sum of $120,039.35, on the eighth day of June, 1904, together with interest thereon at the rate of ten per cent per annum until paid, and the further sum of four per cent of the amount found due as the tax collector's fee, and the further sum of twenty-five per cent upon the amount found due as the tax attorney's fee. The case was tried in the lower court without a jury. Judgment was entered in favor of the defendant and appellee, that the plaintiff and appellant take nothing by its action, and that the defendant and appellee recover its costs, from which judgment the appellant has prosecuted this appeal. A motion for new trial, made on the usual statutory grounds, was denied. Notice of appeal from the judgment and order denying new trial was given, and thereupon this appeal was perfected.

The facts disclosed by the evidence are substantially as follows:

During the time provided by law for the assessment of property for territorial and county taxes in the year 1901, the appellee listed and returned to the assessor of Cochise county for assessment certain patented claims belonging to the appellee, namely, Atlanta, Ace of Spades, Amazon, Baxter, Best Piece, Copper Queen, Copper Jack, Copper King, Copper Prince, Copper Bullion, Cumberland, Cave (Dividend-Wedge-Ellie-Coon), East Side, Frank Cogswell, General, Golden Gate, Goddard, Gardner, Hendricks, Hayes, Holbrook, Howell, Harrison, Iron Monster, Little New York, Little Joker, Lookout, Mammoth, Malvina, New York, Neptune, North Star, Ophir, Rucker, Sun Rise, Space, Surprise, Silver Spray, Silver Bear, Sunrise, Sunny Side, Sacramento, Tip Top, Triangle, Uncle Sam, Wade Hampton, Wood Chopper, White Tail Deer, Bisbee, Bell Isle, Columbia, Copper Monarch, Copper Crown, Copper Globe, Cuprite, Hardscrabble, Keystone, Lucky Jack, Raymond, Stars and Stripes, South View, Tack, Union, and Virginia. The tax list so returned appeared upon its face to be verified by the oath of the superintendent of the mining company, but was in fact not so verified.

The assessment as entered and shown upon the original assessment-roll is as follows:

Value of

LANDS AND CITY AND TOWN PROPERTY

Lands and

Value of

NAME OF

Number

Town

Improve-

TAXPAYER.

DESCRIPTION OF

of Acres.

Property.

ments.

Copper Queen

Bisbee

Consolidated

65 Patented Mining Claims.

Mining Co.

Atlanta, Ace of Spades, Amazon,

Baxter, Best Piece, Copper Queen,

Copper Jack, Copper King, Cop-

per Prince, Copper Bullion, Cum-

berland, Cave, Dividend, Wedge,

Ella Coon, East Side, Frank Cogs-

well, General, Golden Gate, God-

dard, Gardner, Hendricks, Hayes,

Hollbrook, Powell, Harrison, Iron

Monster, Little New York, Little

Joker, Lookout, Mammoth, Mal-

vina, New York, Neptune, North

Star, Ophir, Rucker, Sunrise,

Space, Surprise, Silver Spray,

Silver Bear, Sun Rise, Sunny

Side, Sacramento, Tip Top, Tri-

angle, Uncle Sam, Wade Hamp-

ton, Wood Chopper, White Tail

Deer, Bisbee, Belle Isle, Colum-

bia, Copper Monarch, Copper

Crown, Copper Globe, Cuprite,

Hardscrabble, Keystone, Lucky

Jack, Raymond, Stars and Stripes,

South View, Tack, Union, Vir-

ginia

636

3,180.00

55,431.00

A portion of the claims so included are in no sense contiguous.

At a meeting of the county board of equalization, on July 17, 1901, the assessed valuation of the property of appellee was equalized by an increase on the mining claims named:

Silver Spray mine

$1,000,000 00

Holbrook mine

1,000,000 00

Hoist and improvements thereon

10,000 00

Copper Queen mine

50,000 00

Copper Jack

50,000 00

Baxter mine

250,000 00

Atlanta mine

250,000 00

Dividend mine

350,000 00

Rucker mine

200,000 00

Making a total of

$3,160,000 00

In addition the personal property, machinery, merchandise, etc., was increased in the sum of $358,895, making a total raise of $3,464,895. Thereafter the rate of taxation for county and territorial purposes was duly fixed and levied upon all of the taxable property in Cochise county at $3.20 upon each $100 of valuation. The tax so levied upon the property of the appellee as raised amounted to the sum of $122,657.09. Upon this increase being made, the appellee filed an injunction suit in the district court of Cochise county, prior to September, 1901, to enjoin the collection of the tax upon the ground that said increase had been fraudulently made, and that it was an overvaluation of its property. It therein tendered the full sum of $14,133.12, being the amount of the tax upon all of its property, real and personal, upon the assessment for said year prior to the increase made by the board of equalization. The district court granted an injunction against the collection of that portion of the tax here in controversy upon the payment of the sum tendered by the plaintiff of $14,133.12, and also the additional sum of $9,589.20, subsequently paid, which was the amount of the tax upon the increase made upon certain personal property herein, which increase the court found to be valid. The court in said suit found as one of its findings of fact that the increase of the board of equalization upon the mining claims was not based upon any information or evidence had or obtained by them, but was made arbitrarily and capriciously, and for the purpose of imposing upon the plaintiff an unjust share of the burden of taxation. The sum of $14,133.12 so paid by the plaintiff to the county for the tax levied upon the original assessment, which the appellee had admitted was due, and tendered in its injunction suit, was accepted by the county treasurer and ex-officio tax collector "on account of any moneys which might ultimately be determined as due from said company for its tax for said year." An appeal was taken by the county from this decree to this court. The opinion reversing the decree of the district court is reported under the name of the County of Cochise v. Copper Queen Consolidated Min. Co., 8 Ariz. 221, 71 P. 946 (opinion on rehearing, 8 Ariz. 459, 76 P. 595). This court there held that the only remedy against excessive taxation at that time, as the cause of action accrued before the Revised Statutes of 1901 became operative, was that afforded under the jurisdiction of a court of equity, but reversed the decree, and remanded the case for new trial, on the ground that the complaint was defective in not expressly averring that the property was assessed in excess of its full cash value.

Subsequent to the rendition of this decision an effort was made to compromise the claim of the county, and an agreement of compromise was made under resolution of the board of supervisors adopted July 7, 1904, whereby the Copper Queen Company agreed to pay, and did pay, the further sum of $5,661.44 in full settlement of the taxes for the year 1901. Thereupon the injunction suit was dismissed by the appellee. This $5,661.44 so paid has been retained by the county. Subsequently a proceeding in mandamus was instituted (Territory ex rel. Clark, Attorney General, v. Paines, Tax Collector, 93 P. 281) to compel the tax collector to commence suit against the Copper Queen Company for the collection of the balance of the tax remaining unpaid, upon the ground that the compromise so made was unauthorized and void. This court held that the board of supervisors had no authority to compromise said tax, and granted the writ. This action was instituted pursuant to the mandate.

There is testimony offered tending to show that the raise made by the county board of equalization was not based upon any evidence of the value of the claims so raised, and was in fact arbitrary. The appellee also offered evidence which was uncontradicted that certain of the mines which were thus raised were assessed far in excess of their full cash value. Inasmuch as it has not been necessary to consider the question of the admissibility of this evidence under the defense interposed by the appellee, it is not necessary to further state the evidence bearing thereon.

W. G. Gilmore, Pickett, Bowman & Pickett and E. S. Clark, for Appellant.

A taxpayer is generally held to be estopped from claiming that an assessment is void or defective when it appears that the assessment was based upon a statement or return made by him to the assessor, and when in completing the assessmentroll, the assessor uses the...

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7 cases
  • Brinton v. Johnson
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • July 27, 1922
    ... ... 470, 102 P. 234; Territory v. Copper Queen etc. Min ... Co., 13 Ariz. 198, ... ...
  • Skaggs v. State
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • June 28, 1922
    ... ... which the law was taken (see Territory v ... Delinquent Tax List, 3 Ariz. 117, 21 P ... Territory, 9 ... Ariz. 50, 76 P. 636; Copper Queen C.M. Co. v ... Territory, 9 Ariz. 383, 84 ... ...
  • Meneice v. The Blackstone Mining Company, Ltd., 6932
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • January 14, 1942
    ... ... identified from such description. (Territory v. Copper ... Queen Consolidated Mining Company (Ariz.) ... time in the Territory of Arizona; and it is [63 Idaho 417] ... not thought that the ... ...
  • Yuma County v. Arizona Edison Co.
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • May 19, 1947
    ... ... sec. 9, p. 237; Copper Queen Consol. Min. Co. v ... Board, 7 Ariz. 364, 65 P ... As ... pointed out in Territory v. Copper Queen Consol. Min ... Co., 13 Ariz. 198, 108 P ... ...
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