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taxing districts, and within these districts the rule of absolute uniformity must be applicable. A State tax is to be apportioned through the State, a county tax through the county, a city tax through the city; while in the case of local improvements, benefiting in a special and peculiar manner some portion of the State or of a county or city, it is competent to arrange a special taxing
district, within which the expense shall be apportioned. [* 496] School districts and road districts are * also taxing dis
tricts for the peculiar purposes for which they exist, and villages may have special powers of taxation distinct from the townships of which they form a part. Whenever it is made a requirement of the State constitution that taxation shall be upon property according to value, such a requirement implies an assessment of valuation by public officers at such regular periods as shall be provided by law, and a taxation upon the basis of such assessment until the period arrives for making it anew. Thus, the Constitutions of Maine and Massachusetts require that there shall be a valuation of estates within the Commonwealth to be made at least every ten years; the Constitution of Michigan requires the annual assessments which are made by township officers to be equalized by a State board, which reviews them for that purpose every five years ;2 and the Constitution of Rhode Island requires the legislature “from time to time” to provide for new valuations of property for the assessment of taxes in such manner as they may deem best.3 Some other constitutions contain no provisions upon this subject; but the necessity for valuation is nevertheless implied, though the mode of making it, and the periods at which it shall be made, are left to the legislative discretion.
There are some kinds of taxes, however, that are not usually assessed according to the value of property, and some which could not be thus assessed. And there is probably no State which does not levy other taxes than those which are imposed upon property." Every burden which the State imposes upon its citizens with a view to a revenue, either for itself or for any of the municipal governments, or for the support of the governmental machinery in any of the political divisions, is levied under the power of taxation, whether imposed under the name of tax, or under some other designation. The license fees which are sometimes required to be paid by those who follow particular employments are, when imposed for purposes of revenue, taxes ; the tolls upon persons or property, for making use of the works of public improvement owned and controlled by the State, are a species of tax; stamp duties when imposed are taxes; and it is not uncommon, as we have already stated, to require that corporations shall pay a certain sum annually, in proportion to their * capital (* 497] stock, or by some other standard, and which is the mode regarded by the State as most convenient and suitable for the taxation of such organizations. It is evident, therefore, that the constitutional requirements sometimes met with, that taxation upon property shall be according to value, do not include every species of taxation; but all special cases like those we have here referred to are, by implication, excepted.
1 Constitution of Maine, art. 9, 8 Constitution of Rhode Island, $ 7; Constitution of Mass., Part 2, art. 4, § 15. c. 1, § 1, art. 4.
4 See Bright v. McCulloch, 27 Ind. 2 Constitution of Mich., art. 14, 223; Ould v. Richmond, 23 Grat.
But in addition to these cases, there are others where taxes are levied directly upon property, which are nevertheless held not to be within the constitutional provisions. Assessments for the opening, making, improving, or repairing of streets, the draining of swamps, and the like local works, have been generally made upon property, with some reference to the supposed benefits which the property would receive therefrom. Instead, therefore, of making the assessment include all the property of the municipal organization in which the improvement is made, a new and special taxing district is created, whose bounds are confined to the limits within which property receives a special and peculiar benefit, in consequence of the improvement. Even within this district the assessment is sometimes made by some other standard than that of value; and it is evident that if it be just to create the taxing district with reference to special benefits, it would be equally just and proper to make the taxation within the district have reference to the benefit each parcel of property receives, rather than to its relative value. The opening or paving of a street may increase the value of all property upon or near it; and it may be just that all such property should contribute to the expense of the improvement: but it by no means follows that each parcel of the property will receive from the improvement a benefit in proportion to the previous value. One lot upon the street may be greatly increased in value, another at a little distance may be but slightly benefited ; and if no constitutional provision interferes, there is consequently abundant reason why the tax levied within the taxing district should have reference, not to value, but to benefit.
It has been objected, however, to taxation upon this basis, that inasmuch as the district upon which the burden is imposed is compelled to make the improvement for the benefit of the general public, it is, to the extent of the tax levied, an appropriation of private property for the public use ; and as the persons taxed, as a part of the public, would be entitled of right to the enjoyment of the improvement when made, such right of enjoyment could not be treated as compensation for the exaction made, and such exaction would therefore be opposed to those constitutional principles which declare the inviolability of private property. But those principles have no reference to the taking of property under the right of taxation. When the constitution provides that private
property shall not be taken for public use without just [* 498] compensation made therefor, it has reference to an
appropriation thereof under the right of eminent domain. Taxation and eminent domain indeed rest substantially on the same foundation, as each implies the taking of private property for the public use on compensation made ; but the compensation is different in the two cases. When taxation takes money for the public use, the tax-payer receives, or is supposed to receive, his just compensation in the protection which government affords to his life, liberty, and property, and in the increase in the value of his possessions by the use to which the government applies the money raised by the tax,' and either of these benefits will support the burden.
But if these special local levies are taxation, do they come under the general provisions on the subject of taxation to be found in our State constitutions ? The Constitution of Michigan provides that “ the legislature shall provide an uniform rule of taxation, except on property paying specific taxes; and taxes
1 People v. Mayor, &c. of Brook- Northern Indiana R. R. Co. v. Conlyn, 4 N. Y. 422; Williams v. Mayor, nelly, 10 Ohio, n. s. 165; Washing. &c. of Detroit, 2 Mich. 565; Scovills ton Avenue, 69 Penn. Sţ. 353; s. C. v. Cleveland, 1 Ohio, N. 8. 126; 8 Am. Rep. 255.
shall be levied upon such property as shall be prescribed by law;”) and again: “ All assessments hereafter authorized shall be on property at its cash value.”2 The first of these provisions has been regarded as confiding to the discretion of the legislature the establishment of the rule of uniformity by which taxation was to be imposed ; and the second as having reference to the annual valuation of property for the purposes of taxation, which it is customary to make in that State, and not to the actual levy of a tax. And a local tax, therefore, levied in the city of Detroit, to meet the expense of paving a public street, and which was levied, not in proportion to the value of property, but according to an arbitrary scale of supposed benefit, was held not invalid under the constitutional provision.*
So the Constitution of Illinois provides that “ the General Assembly shall provide for levying a tax by valuation, so that every person and corporation shall pay a tax in proportion to the value of his or her property; such value to be ascertained by some person or persons to be elected or appointed in such manner as the General Assembly shall direct, and not otherwise,”' &c. The charter of the city of Peoria provided that, when a public street was opened or improved, commissioners should [* 499] be appointed by the county court to assess upon the property benefited the expense of the improvement in proportion to the benefit. These provisions were held to be constitutional, on the ground that assessments of this character were not such taxation as was contemplated by the general terms which the constitution employed. And a similar view of these local assessments has been taken in other cases. 6 1 Art. 14, § 11.
benefits received, it could not be 2 Art. 14, § 12.
made on the basis of frontage. This 8 Williams o. Mayor, &c. of De- case was followed in Wright v. Chitroit, 2 Mich. 560. And see Wood- cago, 46 III. 44. bridge v. Detroit, 8 Mich. 274.
• People v. Mayor, &c. of Brook4 Art. 9, $ 2.
lyn, 4 N. Y. 419; Matter of Mayor, 5 City of Peoria v. Kidder, 26 III. &c. of New York, 11 Johns. 77; 357. See also Canal Trustees v. Chi- Sharp v. Spier, 4 Hill, 76; Livingston cago, 12 III. 406. In the subsequent v. Mayor, &c. of New York, 8 Wend. case of Chicago o. Larned, 34 III. 203, 85; Matter of Furman St., 17 Wend. it was decided, after very full argu- 649; Nichols v. Bridgeport, 23 Conn. ment and consideration, that, while 189; Schenley v. City of Alleghany, taxation for these local assessments 25 Penn. St. 128; Wray v. Pittsburg, might constitutionally be made in 46 Penn. St. 365; Hammett v. Philaproportion and to the extent of the delphia, 65 Penn. St. 146; 8. c. 3 Am. But whatever may be the basis of the taxation, the requirement that it shall be uniform is universal. It applies as much to these local assessments as to any other species of taxes. The difference is only in the character of the uniformity, and in the basis on which it is established. But to render taxation uniform in any case, two things are essential. The first of these is that each taxing district should confine itself to the objects of taxation within its limits. Otherwise there is, or may be, duplicate taxation, and of course inequality. Assessments upon real estate not lying within the taxing districts would be void, and Rep. 615; Washington Avenue, 69 vides that “all taxes levied on propPenn. St. 353; s. C. 8 Am. Rep. 255; erty in this State shall be assessed in McBride v. Chicago, 22 I. 574; Chi- exact proportion to the value of such cago v. Larned, 34 III. 203; City of property; provided, however, that the Lexington v. McQuillan's Heirs, 9 General Assembly may levy a poll Dana, 513; Barnes v. Atchison, 2 tax not to exceed one dollar and fifty Kan. 454; Hines v. Leavenworth, cents on each poll, which shall be 3 Kan. 186; St. Joseph v. O'Dono- applied exclusively in aid of the pubghue, 31 Mo. 315; Egyptian Levee lic school fund.” This, it was deCo. v. Hardin, 27 Mo. 495; St. Joseph cided, would preclude the levy of a 0. Anthony, 30 Mo. 537; Burnet v. local assessment for the improvement Sacramento, 12 Cal. 76; Yeatman v. of a street by the foot front. Mayor Crandell, 11 La. Ann. 220; Wallace of Mobile v. Dargan, 45 Ala. 310. v. Shelton, 14 La. Ann. 498; Richard- The cases of Weeks v. Milwaukee, son v. Morgan, 16 La. Ann. 429; 10 Wis. 242, and Lumsden v. Cross, 10 Hill v. Higdon, 5 Ohio, n. 8. 243; Wis. 282, recognize the fact that these Marion v. Epler, 5 Ohio, n. s. 250; local burdens are generally imposed Reeves v. Treasurer of Wood Co., under the name of assessments instead 8 Ohio, N. s. 333; Northern Ind. of taxes, and that therefore they are R. R. Co. v. Connelly, 10 Ohio, N. 8. not covered by the general provisions 159; Baker v. Cincinnati, 11 Ohio, in the constitution of the State on N. 8. 534; Maloy v. Marietta, 11 Ohio, the subject of taxation.
And see N. 8. 636; State v. Dean, 3 Zab. 335; Bond v. Kenosha, 17 Wis. 284; Hale State v. Mayor, &c. of Jersey City, v. Kenosha, 29 Wis. 599. An exemp4 Zab. 662; Bond v. Kenosha, 17 tion of church property from taxation Wis. 289; City of Fairfield v. Ratcliff, will not preclude its being assessed 20 lowa, 396; Municipality No. 2 v. for improving streets in front of it. White, 9 La. Ann. 447; Cumming v. See post, p. *514, note. Police Jury, 9 La. Ann. 503; Northern 1 But sometimes, when a parcel of Liberties v. St. John's Church, 13 real estate lies partly in two districts, Penn. St. 107; McGee v. Mathis, 21 authority is given by law to assess Ark. 40; Goodrich v. Winchester, the whole in one of these districts, &c. Turnpike Co., 26 Ind. 119; Emery and the whole parcel may then be v. Gas Co., 28 Cal. 345; Palmer v. considered as having been embraced Stumph, 29 Ind. 329 ; Dergan v. Bos- within the district where taxed, by ton, 12 Allen, 223. In Alabama a an enlargement of the district bounds recent decision has been made the to include it. Saunders v. Springother way. The constitution pro- stein, 4 Wend. 429.