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Taxation ? Delinquent Taxes ? Release of Penalty and Interest ? Statute ? Unconstitutionality. Taxation ? Delinquent Taxes ? Penalties ? Interest ? Release or Diminution Prohibited by Constitution. 1. A tax demand, lawfully levied and assessed (including penalty and interest charge imposed for failure to make timely payment) is a liability within the meaning of section 39, Article V of the state Constitution, prohibiting the legislature from releasing or in any way diminishing any obligation or liability held or owned by the state or any municipal corporation therein, and providing that such obligation or liability can be extinguished only by payment. Same ? Taxes Levied Against Persons, not Property. 2. Taxes are levied against the person, not against the property, the owner being taxed because of his ownership, the property but serving as the basis for computing the measure of his liability and as security for the discharge of the lien which the tax imposes. Same ? Counties Governmental Agencies of State ? Release of Penalties or Interest on Delinquent Taxes Unauthorized. 3. While a county is not a municipal corporation and therefore does not fall within the prohibition of section 39, Article V of the Constitution, against legislative action authorizing the diminution or release, by the state or municipal corporation therein, of any obligation of liability owned by either, it is a governmental agency of the state and as such cannot do what the state is prohibited from doing. - Page 236 Constitution ? Legislature cannot Do Indirectly What Prohibited from Doing Directly. 4. The legislature in the enactment of laws cannot do indirectly what the Constitution prohibits it from doing directly. Taxation ? Release of Penalty and Interest on Delinquent Taxes ? Statute ? Invalidity. 5. Held, on mandamus, that Chapter 63, Laws of 1923 (repealed by Chapter 77, Laws of 1925), permitting redemption of real property from tax sale upon payment of the original tax and interest thereon from date of sale, while the statutes under which the tax became delinquent provided for a penalty of ten per cent and interest at one per cent per month, was void as offending against the provision of section 39, Article V, of the Constitution forbidding the release or diminution of any obligation or liability due the state, and that therefore defendant county treasurer properly refused to permit redemption of lands on tender of the amount authorized by Chapter 63.

Professional & Technical
4 February
LawApp Publishers

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