George Crane Morehouse.

The supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe online

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Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 35 of 96)
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instance of the comptroller, and in such action the court may issue an
injunction restraining the further prosecution of the business of- the
corporation named therein until such tax due and unpaid, together
with interest and the costs of the action, are paid, and until the
return required by this act is made.

§ 4. The lands and real estate of such insurance companies shall
continue to be assessed and taxed where situated for State, city,



OoRPOBATiosrs — Assessment akd Taxation of. 317

town, county, village, school or other local purposes ; but the per-
sonal -property, franchise cmd business of all insurance companies
incorporated under the laws of this State, or any other State or country
and doing business in this State, and the shares of stock of said
companies shall hereafter be exempt from all assessment or taxation
except as in this act prescribed ; provided that this section shall not
affect the fire department tax of two per cent now required to be
paid.

§ 6. The taxes imposed by this act, and the revenue derived there-
from, shall be paid into the treasury for account of the general
fund, and shall be applicable to the payment of the ordinary and
current expenses of the State. ^

§ 6. This act shall take effect immediately.

This statute is quite peculiar in its phraseology.

Its title purports to relate to the taxation of fire and marine insurance com-
panies.

The fourth section says: " The personal property, franchise and business of all
insurance companies * * * * doing business in this State and the shares of
stock of said companies shall hereafter be exempt from aU assessment, or tax-
ation, except as in this act prescribed," to- wit, the State tax on franchise.

Heretofore such companies were liable to pay
1. The State tax.

Laws of 1880, chap. 542, as amended by Laws of 1881, chap. 361.

3. The county and town, or city taxes.

What the judicial construction of the act may be it is not for the editor to say.

It is quite evident that it attempts to rid those companies of their share of the
county and town taxes, under the false title set forth in the statute.

This act was before the court and it says, " We are unable to say it is uncon-
stitutional."

Dutchess County Mutual Life Insurance Co. y. City of Po'keepsie, 51 Hun, 695.

Meld, also, where the plaintifE, a mutual insurance company, incorporated un-
der the laws of this State, was assessed and paid taxes on its personal property,
that such taxes were illegally imposed.

Id. See the Decision under S 407, ante.

FOREIGN FIRE INSURANCE COMPANIES.

The capital of a foreign fire insurance company was determined by the superin-
tendent of the insurance department, who issued a certificate thereof. Such capi-
tal, as determined and certified, was assessed at the place where the principal
office of such company was located.

Laws of 1871, chap. 883, §§ 2, 8, 7. See, also, Laws of 1866, chap. 82o.

Tax on Premiums of Fire Insurance Com-
panies* — There shall be paid to the treasurer of the lire depart-
ment of every city or village of this State, whether incorporated or
unincorporated, having a fire department company or organization
for the use and benefit of such fire department, and when no treas-
urer of a fire department exists, then to the treasurer or other finan-
cial officer of such city or village, who, for the purpose of this act,



318 SuPBRVisoKs' Manual.

shall have the same powers as the treasurers of fire departments, on
the first day of February of each year, by every person who shall act
as agent for or on behalf of any individual or association of indi-
viduals, or corporation not incorporated by or under the laws of this
State, whose business is insuring against loss or injury by fire upon
property in this State, although such individual, association or cor-
poration may be incorporated for that purpose by any other State or
country, the sum of two dollars upon the hundred dollars, and at
that rate upon the amount of all premiums which during the year,
or part of a year, ending on the last preceding thirty-first day of De-
cember shall have been received by such agent or person, or received
by any other person for him, for any insurance effected or procured
by him as such agent or broker against loss or injury by fire, upon
property situate within the corporate limits of such city or village.

Chap. 465, Laws of 1875, as amended bj chap. 604, Laws of 1886.

These provisions do not apply to the cities of New York or Buffalo.
Id., § 5, as amended by chap. 520, Laws of 1887.

The limits of any unincorporated village in this State shall he determined for
the purposes of this act by the town board of the town in which such village is
situated.

S 7, chap. 604, Laws of 1886.

TAXATION OF BUSINESS CAPITAL OF NON-RESIDENTS.
The statute on this subject is set out in full at § 267, and the decisions thereon.

§ 410. The State Tax on Franchise, Etc. — In
1880 a new and distinct system was introduced in this State, for the
purpose of raising moneys from corporations for the use of the
State, by which domestic and foreign corporations doing business
within the State, except certain ones, were to make returns, or
reports, to the comptroller, and to pay a certain sum to State oflBcers
for State purposes.

The corporations, etc., included in this system were ;

OK FRANCHISE.

Every corporation, joint-stock company, or association whatever,
now or hereafter incorporated, organized, or formed under, by, or
pursuant to law in this State or in any other State or country, and
doing business in this State, except only savings banks and institu-
tions for savings, life insurance companies, banks, foreign insurance
companies, manufacturing or mining corporation?, or companies
wholly engaged in carrying on manufacture, or mining ores within
this State, and agricultural and horticultural societies or associations,
■which exceptions, however, shall not include gas companies, trust



Corporations — Assessment and Taxation op. 319

companies, electric or steam heating, lighting and power companies,
shall be liable to and shall pay a tax, as a tax upon its franchise or
business, into the State treasury annually, to be computed as follows :
If the dividend or dividends made or declared by such corporation,
joint-stock company or association, during any year ending with the
first day of November, amount to six or more than six per centum
upon the par value of its capital stock, then the tax to be at the rate
of one-quarter mill upon the capital stock for each one per centum
of dividends so made or declared ; or if no dividend be made or de-
clared, or if the dividend or dividends made or declared do not
amount to six per centum upon the par value of said capital stock,
then the tax to be at the rate of one and one-half mills upon each
dollar of the valuation of the said capital stock made in accordance
with the provisions of the first section of this act ; and in case any
such corporation, joint-stock company, or association shall have more
than one 'kind of capital stock, as, for instance, common and pre-
ferred stock, and upon one of said stocks a dividend or dividends,
amounting to six or more than six per centum upon the par value
thereof, has been made or declared, and upon the other no divi-
dend has been made or declared, or the dividend or dividends
made or declared thereon amount to less than six per centum upon
the par value thereof, then the tax shall be at the rate of one-quarter
mill for each one per centum of dividend made or declared upon
the capital stock upon the par value pi which the dividend or divi-
dends made or declared amount to six or more than six per centum,
and in addition thereto tax shall be charged at the rate of one and
one-half mills upon each dollar of a valuation, made also in accord-
ance with the provisions of this act, of the capital stock upon which
no dividend was made or declared, or upon the par value of which
the dividend or dividends made or declared did not amount to six
per centum.

§ 3, chap. 542, Laws of 1880, as amended by chap. 353, Laws of 1889.

Second. Every insurance company and every association organ-
ized or incorporated by or under any law of this State, and of every
person or partnership doing an insurance business in this State,
except life insurance companies and purely mutual beneficial associ-
ations, whose fund for the benefit of members, their families or
heirs, is made up entirely of contributions of their members and the
accumulated interest thereon ; and

Every company or association organized under the laws of any
other State or country, and every person or partnership doing an
insurance business in this State, except as aforesaid ; and

Every corporation formed for railroad, canal, steamboat, ferry,
express, navigation or transportation purposes, and every elevated
railway company, and every other corporation, joint-stock company
or association now or hereafter incorporated or organized by or under



320 Supervisors' Manual.

any law of this State, or now or hereafter incorporated or organized
by or nnder the laws of any other State or country, and doing busi-
ness in this State, and owning, operating or leasing to or from
another corporation, joint-stock company or association, any railroad,
canal, steamboat, ferry, express, navigation, pipe-line or transportar
tion route or line, or elevated railway or other device for the trans-
portation of freights or passengers, or in any way engaged in the
business of transporting freights or passengers, and every telegraph
company or telephone company incorporated under the laws of this
or any other State, and doing business in this State, and every ex-
press company or association, palace-car or sleeping-car company or
association, incorporated or unincorporated, doing business in this
State, are required to pay a State tax to the State officers.

Id>,§§6aud6.

The corporations, joint-stock companies and associations mentioned
in this act as taxable, shall hereafter be exempt from assessment and
taxation for State purposes, except upon their real estate and as
herein provided ; but they shall in all other respects be liable to as-
sessment and taxation as heretofore.
Id., § 8.

And are exempt from assessment and taxation for State purposes (except npon
their reai estate); in other words, are not liable to pay, except on real estate, that
part of the State taxes included in the levy made by the board of supervisors, but
are liable for the county and tov?u taxes included in said levy.

People, exrel. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., v. Davenport, 25 Hun, 680; S. C, 91 N-
Y. 674; People, exrel. Eastern Trans. Line, v. Comrs., 26 Hun, 446; 98N. Y.67.

The amount of capital stock which shall be the basis for tax is the amount
thereof employed within this State.

Id., § 11, as amended by Laws of 1885, chap. 501,

Defendant, a foreign corporation, organized under the laws of Utah, for the pur-
pose of carrying on the business of mining and other business incidental thereto.
It mined silver ore in that territory, which was manufactured into base bullion ;
this was shipped to Chicago and there refined . It was then shipped to the United
Slates Assay OflSce in New York city where it was refined into standard silver
bars, for doing which defendant paid two per cent of the silver . In action to re-
cover taxes and penalties under said act, held, that defendant was not a manu-
facturing corporation, carrying on manufacture within this State, within the ex-
ception in said act ; that conceding it was a manufacturing corporation, this was
not suflBcient to exempt it from taxation under said act ; it must also carry on
manufacture in the State.

People v. Horn SJlver Mining Co., 105 N. Y. 76.

This act is constitutional.

People T. Gold & Stock Tel. Co., 98 N. Y. 67; People v. New York Floating Dry
Dock Co., 63 How. 451.

Racing* Associations also pay a State tax to the comp-
troller.

Chap. 479, Laws of 1887.



Corporations — Assessment and Taxation of. 321

§411. Application for Reduction.— Corporations
may apply to the assessors for a reduction of their assessments in the
same manner as private persons heretofore given.

Laws of 1857, chap. 536, S S.

§ 412. Exemption. — Corporations are entitled to the same
exemptions of property from taxes as individuals.

People T. Gommisstoners of Taxes, 23 N. T. 192.

§ 413. Duty of Board of Supervisors as to
Incorporated Companies. — The amount of taxes &&■
sessed on all incorporated companies liable to taxation shall be set
down by the board of supervisors in the fifth column of the corrected
assessment-roll, and shall form a part of the moneys to be collected
by the collector.

2 R. S. 1037, 1 15.

The board of supervisors, having completed the assessment, shall
transmit to the comptroller, with the aggregate valuations of the
real and personal estate in their county, a statement showing the
names of the several incorporated companies liable to taxation in such
county ; the amount of the capital stock paid in, and secured to be
paid in, by each ; the amount of real and personal property of each
as put down by the assessors, or by tliem ; and the amount of taxes
assessed on each. In those counties in which there is no such com-
pany, the boards of supervisors shall cerfify such fact to the comp-
troller with their returns of the aggregate valuations of real and
personal estate.

2 R. S. 1038, §16.
See Assessment-roll, § 351 .

The supervisor is to make a list of corporations for the comp-
troller.
See § 68, ante.

In counties containing more than 300,000 inhabitants, special pro-
visions are applicable in relation to assessment and collection of
taxes, etc.

See chap. 411, Laws of 1885.
41



CHAPTER VII.

EQUALIZATION.

Sec. 414. Equalization bj the board of su- Sec. 421. Appeal from equalization by su-
pervisors, pervisor.

415. Aggregate Taluation . 422. Proofs thereon .

416. Assessment-roll to be delivered to 423. Nature of evidence.

clerk. 424. Appeal where heard.

417. To publish proceedings. 425. Costs on appeal.

418. Clerk to transmit return to comp- 426. Procedure on appeal.

troller. 427. Form of notice of appeal and

419. Board of equalization in the affidavit.

county of Oneida — Laws relating Decision of State Board review-

thereto . able on certiorari.

420. Form of report.

§ 414. Equalization by tlie Board of Super-
visors. — The board of supervisors of each county in this State at
their annual meeting shall examine the assessment-rolls of the sev-
eral towns in their county, for the purpose of ascertaining whether
the valuations in one town or ward bear a just relation to the valu-
ations in all the towns and wards in the county ; and they may increase
or diminish the aggregate valuations of real estates in any town or
ward by adding or deducting such sum upon the himdred as may,
in their opinion, be necessary to produce a just relation between all
the valuations of the real estates in the county ; but they shall, in
no instance, reduce the aggregate valuations of all the towns and
wards below the aggregate valuation thereof as made by the
assessors.

2 R. S. 996, § 81.
See Decisions under § 418.

§ 4 1 5. AggvegSLte Valuation.— They shall also add up
and set down the aggregate valuations of the real and personal
estates in the several towns and wards as corrected by them ; and
shall cause their clerk to transmit to the comptroller, by mail, a cer-
tificate of such aggregate valuations, showing separately the aggre-
gate amount of real and personal estates in each town or ward, as
corrected by the board.

Id., S 34.
See Decisions under § 418.



Bqfalizatiok. 323

§ 416. Copy of Corrected Assessment-Roll to
be Delivered. — They shall cause the corrected assessment-
roll of each town or ward, or a copy thereof, to be delivered to each
of the supervisors of the several towns or wards, who shall deliver
the same to the clerk of their city or town, to be kept by him for
the nse of such city or town.

Id., i 35.
See Decisions under § 418.

Delivery to Collector.— The boards of supervisors of
the several counties in this State shall cause the corrected assessment-
roll of each town or ward in their respective counties, or a fair copy
thereof, to be delivered to the collector of such town or ward on or
before the fifteenth day of December in each year.

Id., § 36.
See ante, § 354, and Decisions thereunder.

§ 417. To Publisli Proceeding's.— It is the duty of
the board of supervisors annually to publish in one or more public
newspapers in such county their proceedings upon the equalization
of the assessment-roll.

Laws of 1839, chap. 369 ; 2 B. S. 929.

§418. Clerk to Transmit Return to Comp-
troller. — The clerk of the board of supervisors of the several
coimties in this State shall, on or before the second Monday in De-
cember in each year, transmit to the comptroller by mail, in the
form which shall be prescribed by the comptroller, a certificate or re-
turn of the aggregate valued amount of real and personal estate in
each town or ward, as corrected by the board of supervisors. The
clerk who shall neglect or refuse to make such return shall forfeit
to the people of this State the sum of $50.

Laws of 1886, chap. 117 ; 2 R. S. 997

If it is deemed necessarj^ to add to the aggregate valuation of real
estates in any town or ward, the strict letter of the law requires them,
instead of adding a gross sum to the aggregate valuation, to add to
the assessed valuation a specified sum upon each hundred dollars.
Thus, where a board of supervisors, deeming it necessary to add
$800,000 to the aggregate valuation of the real estate of a particu-
lar town, resolved to add the sum in gross, it was held that the board
should have voted to add $19.54 to eveiy hundred dollars, amounting
in the aggregate to $300,000 ; but that adding a gross sum was not
such a material departure from the statute as would vitiate the tax.

Talmadge T. Bd. of Supra, of Rensselaer Co., 21 Barb. 611.



324 Supervisors' Manual.

The duties imposed by the tax laws upon boards of supervisors, of
examining the assessment-rolls and equalizing the valuation of the
real estates in the different towns and wards are quasi judicial, and
cannot be delegated, but must be performed by the board as such.

Bellinger t. Gray, 51 N. Y. 610.

In equalizing assessments, the board cannot make allowances for omissions
of taxable persons or property, from the roll by assessors.

People, ex rel. Suprs. of Monroe Co., v. Hadley, 1 Abb. N. C. 441.

They are simply to equalize valuations as between the several towns and
wards in the county. They deal with the towns and wards as units. If tie as-
sessors have omitted persons or property, they cannot take the fact of such omis-
sion or whether personal property was assessed below the true value into con-
sideration, for the purpose of increasing the valuation in the town or ward where
the omission occurred.

Id.

The power of equalization by the board is confined to real property only.

Id.; People, exrel. Board of Supervisors of Westchester Co., v. Hadley, 76N. T.8S7.

They are confined to the valuation of real estate.
Id.

It seems the price paid on private sale of real estate and a, comparison of the
difference between the consideration stated in transfers of real estate and the as-
sessed valuation thereof, is not conclusive or cogent evidence to show that the
assessed valuation in one county is nearer the real value than in the other.

People, ex rel. Mayor, v. McCarthy, 102 N. T. 630.

The same rule would seem applicable for boards of supervisors, in comparing
the valuations of towns.

The court says, " the price paid on sales of real estate, between individuals, is
not, in any view, competent evidence of value. "

Id. 688.

" Prices obtained upon public sales are, for obvious reasons, considered some
proof of the value of the property sold, and are receivable as evidence upon the
question of value."

Id. 639.

The valuation of property is necessarily a matter of opinion among men, and
must, under all circumstances, be finally determined by the judgment of indi-
viduals, and the scheme of the statute seems to be to leave its decision to the of-
ficers selected for that purpose, and to make their determination conclusive evi-
dence of such value, for the purposes of taxation.

Id. 642-3.

Except for the provision of the statute authorizing parties whose property is
assessed, to appear before the town, ward or city assessors, and make affidavit as
to the circumstances and value of property assessed to them respectively, no pro-
vision is made for the hearing of such parties, by any of the administrative bodies
engaged in perfecting the valuation of taxable property, and it is to be implied
by irresistible inference, therefore, that the law contemplates that such bodies
shall proceed in the performance of their duties, upon their own knowledge,
information and judgment, and so far as they may be deficient therein that they
will, in their own way, inform themselves of such facts, as it may be necessary to
know, in order to discharge their duties intelligently."

Id. 643.



Equalization. 325

§419.

Many inquiries having been made as to the county board o( equalization in
Oneida county, the law relating to it is here inserted.

LAWS OF 1881, CHAP. 673.
AN ACT to create a board of equalization in the county of Oneida.

Section 1. At the annual sessions of the board of supervisors of the county of
Oneida, the said board shall, within the first three days thereof, appoint a com-
mittee of three persons in each of the assembly districts therein, which shall be
known and designated as the board of equalization in and for said county.

§ 2. The said committee for each of said districts shall be nominated by the rep-
resentatives within the same, subject to confirmation by the board, and no city,
town or ward shall be represented in said board of equalization by more than one
person in each year.

§ 3. The said committee shall be chosen in equal numbers as near as can be done
from each of the two leading political parties, and no person holding the office
of supervisor, or any office arising from or connected with the board of super-
visors, shall be eligible thereto.

§ 4. No person shall be eligible to such appointment who was not assessed
upon the assessment-rolls of the city or town in which he resides made next pre-
ceding such appointment, for a freehold estate in his own right to an amount in
cities not less than $1,000, and in towns not less than $500,or who holds any
county office, the compensation of which is determined and provided by said
board of supervisors, or who is not at the time a resident of the assembly district
from which the selection shall be made.

§ 5. The said board of equalization shall meet annually within the first twenty-
five days (Sundays excepted) of the annual sessions of the board of supervisors,
at the place where such annual sessions shall be held, and shall equalize the
assessed valuation of the real estate of said county in the manner and in the form
which boards of supervisors are authorized and required to do, and shall report
the result of their action to the board of supervisors, and such result, concurred
in by at least seven members of said board of equalization, shall be the equalized
valuation in said county, and shall be conclusive and final for such year. The
day for the meeting of said board of equalization as herein provided, shall be
designated by the board of supervisors, and upon notice thereof by the chairman
or clerk of said board, the board of equalization shall convene as herein required,
and enter upon the discharge of such duties.

As amended by chap. 298, Laws of ]88Y.

§ 6. The members of said board of equalization shall, previous to entering upon
the discharge of the duties hereby conferred, take ,and subscribe the constitu-
tional oath of office, which shall be filed in the office of the clerk of said board
of supervisors.

§ 7. The said board of equalization shall each be paid a compensation of $3
per day for each day actually and necessarily employed in the discharge of their
duties, and mileage at the rate of eight cents per mile for once going to and returning
from the sessions of said committee, computing the distance by the usual traveled
route, but the aggregate per diem to each member shall not exceed five days.

§ 8. If any member of the committee appointed inr pursuance of this act shall



Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 35 of 96)