Vink v. Work

Decision Date27 May 1902
Docket Number19,598
Citation64 N.E. 83,158 Ind. 638
PartiesVink, Treasurer, v. Work
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

From Marshall Circuit Court; A. C. Capron, Judge.

Suit by Julia E. Work against Charles C. Vink, treasurer of Marshall county, to enjoin the collection of taxes on certain property claimed by plaintiff as exempt from taxation. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals. Transferred from Appellate Court, under § 1337u Burns 1901.


E. C Martindale and S. N. Stephens, for appellant.

S Parker, for appellee.


Dowling, C. J.

This was a proceeding by the appellee against the appellant, the treasurer of Marshall county, to enjoin the collection of certain taxes alleged to have been assessed against the property of the appellee without authority of law. The complaint was in two paragraphs. A demurrer to each was overruled. The court made a special finding of the facts, and stated its conclusions of law thereon, to each of which conclusions the appellant excepted. Motion for a new trial overruled, and judgment for appellee on the conclusions of law. By his assignment of errors the appellant questions the correctness of the several rulings of the court adverse to him.

The facts set out in the first paragraph of the complaint were these: The appellee was the owner of a tract of land in Marshall county, Indiana, which was particularly described, containing less than forty acres. She owned said land prior to April 1, 1899, and within six months preceding that date she constructed buildings thereon, and equipped the same as and for a home and school for orphan and indigent children. From and after February 17, 1899, said real estate, with all the improvements and personal property thereon, constituted an institution for the care and education of orphan and homeless children, for whom trained and competent nurses and teachers were there provided by appellee. The compensation of appellee for keeping and educating the said children and defraying the expenses of the said institution was obtained from municipalities and from charitable bodies or persons upon whom the duty of maintaining the poor was imposed by law or who had voluntarily assumed the responsibility of caring for those admitted to the said school. Appellee was the sole owner of the said property and institution, and had the exclusive management and control thereof. The said property was assessed for taxation in Center township, in said county, for the year 1899, upon a valuation of said land at $ 450, upon the said improvements at $ 750, and upon said personal property at $ 340. This assessment was placed upon the tax duplicates of the county by the auditor, and returned by him to the appellant, the treasurer of said county, who has the same, and threatens to collect the taxes so assessed against said property to the amount of $ 19.23, and who will do so unless restrained by the court. Appellee has paid all taxes lawfully assessed against her for which she or her property is liable. Prayer for a perpetual injunction.

The second paragraph differs but slightly from the first. It describes the property as a home and charitable institution for orphan, homeless, and indigent children, maintained there by public and private charity. Exemption of the said property from taxation was asserted by appellee upon the ground that the buildings, real estate, and personal property described in the complaint were set apart for educational and charitable purposes by her.

The Constitution requires the General Assembly to prescribe such regulations as shall secure a just valuation for taxation of all property, both real and personal, excepting such only for municipal, educational, literary, scientific, religious, or charitable purposes, as may be especially exempted by law. Constitution, Art. 10, § 1. In pursuance of the authority conferred upon it by this provision, the General Assembly enacted that: "The following property shall be exempt from taxation: * * * Fifth. Every building used and set apart for educational, * * * or charitable purposes by any * * * individual * * *, and the tract of land on which such building is situated; also the lands purchased with the bona fide intention of erecting...

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