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A refusal by the treasurer of a corporation to answer questions put to him by the assessors where the record does not disclose the question nor the subject to which they related, is no justification for erroneous assessment. People ex rel. Sloan v. Barker, 76 Hun, 454; S. C., 58 N. Y. St. Repr. 495; 27 N. Y. Supp. 1082 (1894).
The deduction of "nontaxable assets" from the indebtedness of a corporation in assessing it for taxation is illegal. Id.
A joint-stock association formed under Laws of 1849, chap. 258, and Laws of 1854, chap. 245, is a corporation within the tax laws, and liable to taxation on its capital. Sandford v. Supervisors of New York, 15 How. Pr. 172 (1858).
A joint-stock company organized in 1853, held not taxable on its capital under 1 R. S., title 4, chap. 13, part 1. People ex rel. v. Coleman, 133 N. Y. 279; S. C., 45 N. Y. St. Repr. 217 (1892).
A foreign corporation whose property, invested in business in this State, is assessed for taxation, is not entitled to any deduction on account of debts due here or elsewhere. People ex rel. Milling Co. v. Barker, 67 N. Y. St. Repr. 755; S. C., 33 N. Y. Supp. 1019 (1895).
A foreign corporation whose nominal capital was $1,000,000, $595,000 of which had been paid in, furnished the commissioner of taxes with a sworn statement showing debts of $464,212, and a balance due of $20,132, and stating "the capital is worth par," whereupon it was assessed under Laws 1855, chap. 37, § 1, for $100,000, and applied for a review on certiorari, claiming that the amount should be reduced to the balance shown, the evidence furnished not having been contradicted. Held, that the statement of the value of the capital was an admission of the value of the estate of the corporation, and deducting the amount of its debts left more than the assessed amount subject to taxation. Held, also, that on certiorari the position could not first be taken by the relator that the statement was incorrect. People ex rel. German, etc., Co. v. Barker, 75 Hun, 6; S. C., 57 N. Y. St. Repr. 1; 26 N. Y. Supp. 971 (1894).
A corporation having acquired a fund from earned premiums of insurance paid to it, could not, under its charter, divide it among its members, and it had no other assets. Held, that it was taxable on such fund as capital. Mutual Ins. Co. of Buffalo v. Supervisors of Erie, 4 N. Y. 442 (1851).
A fund accumulated by a mutual insurance company from its profits, which is to continue liable for losses, but for which certificates are issued to members, is to be taxed as a part of the company's capital. Sun Mut. Ins. Co. v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 8 N. Y. 241 (1853).
Corporations not created by the laws of this State are to be regarded as nonresidents, and if they transact business here are to be taxed on all sums invested in their business the same as if they were residents. International Life Assurance Soc. v. Commrs. of Taxes, 28 Barb. 318 (1858).
To exempt personal property of a corporation from local taxation because it is outside the State, the change of location must be permanent
and unequivocal. People ex rel. Pacific Mail S. S. Co. v. Commrs. of Taxes of New York, 64 N. Y. 541 (1876); affirming 5 Hun, 200.
The investment by a steamship company, located and taxable in this State, in vessels owned by and being built for it without the State does not exempt it from taxation upon those vessels. Id.
Moneyed or stock corporations deriving an income or profit from their capital are liable to taxation, although the income be not equal to the expenditures for the year preceding the assessment. People ex rel. Commercial Ins. Co. v. Supervisors of New York, 18 Wend. 605 (1836).
A foreign manufacturing corporation which has a place in this State for the sale of its goods is liable to assessment and taxation not only upon the furniture and fixtures of its store, but also upon the goods kept therein for sale. People ex rel. Martin Bros. Co. v. Barker (Sp. T.), 14 Misc. 402 (1895).
To ascertain the valuation for purposes of taxation in a certain town, referee ascertained from the reports of railroad commissioners the rentals for the year, divided that sum by the number of miles of railroad, capitalized the sum represented by each mile at six per cent., and after deductions for cost of equipment and for bonds, assessed the amount according to the mileage within the town. Held, that this method was proper. People ex rel. D., L. & W. R. R. Co. v. Reid, 64 Hun, 553; S. C., 46 N. Y. St. Repr. 408; 19 N. Y. Supp. 528 (1892).
In determining the value of the real estate of a railroad for the purpose of taxation, the estimate should include its original cost, and cost of present reproduction, as well as its earning capacity. People ex rel. D. & H. Canal Co. v. Ganley, 29 N. Y. St. Repr. 130; S. C., 8 N. Y. Supp. 563 (1890).
Where it appears that property of a town has been assessed at about forty per cent. of its actual value, the court will reduce an assessment upon railroad property to an equivalent basis, to prevent inequality. People v. Zoeller, 15 N. Y. Supp. 684 (1891).
Laws 1885, chap. 201, requiring tax assessors to assess property at its value did not change or repeal the act of 1853, chap. 463, providing that the property of a certain railroad should for purposes of taxation be estimated and assessed at a certain sum and no more. People ex rel. R. R. Co. v. Carter, 52 Hun, 458; S. C., 24 N. Y. St. Repr. 104; 5 N. Y. Supp. 507; 117 N. Y. 625 (1889).
An assessment against a railroad will not be held to be excessive on the ground that it is unable to pay the tax out of its net income, where such inability is the result of an excessive issue of stock and bonds. Brooklyn El. Co. v. Brooklyn (Sp. T.), 16 Misc. 416 (1896).
The rule reiterated, that in determining the value of the property of a telegraph company, the assessors may take into account the costs, earnings and expense of the system, of which the portion located in their
city is a part. People ex rel. W. U. Tel. Co. v. Dolan, 32 N. Y. St. Repr. 599 (1890).
The provisions of Laws 1886, chap. 659, superseded the provisions of Laws 1881, chap. 597, as to the assessment of real property of telegraph companies. People ex rel. W. U. Tel. Co. v. Dolan, 126 N. Y. 166; S. C., 37 N. Y. St. Repr. 28; affirming 11 N. Y. Supp. 35 (1891). The proper method of assessment of such real property is to take the cost of the articles, considering them land, which are in their nature personal property, and add to that cost the value of the interest in the land on which the polls stand and the value of the right to erect such polls based upon the cost which the company incurred in securing such right. The property is not to be regarded as a part of a whole, nor as a complete telegraph line in operation. Its value for telegraph purposes, and its position with its connections, and its productive capacity, are not considerations entering into the value of the property under the acts. Id.
For cases, generally, on taxation of corporations, see Columbian Mfg. Co. v. Vanderpoel, 4 Cow. 556 (1825); Ontario Bank v. Bunnell, 10 Wend. 186 (1833); Webb v. Rice, 1 Hill, 606 (1841); Bank of Watertown v. Assessors Town of Watertown, 25 Wend. 686 (1841); People ex rel. McMaster and Harvey v. Supervisors Niagara, 4 Hill, 20 (1842); Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. v. Mayor New York, 7 id. 261 (1843); Suprs. Niagara v. People, id. 504 (1844); Sun Mut. Ins. Co. v. Mayor New York, 8 Barb. 453 (1850); Sun Mut. Ins. Co. v. Mayor of New York, 5 Sandf. 10 (1850); Sandford v. Board of Supervisors of New York, 15 How. Pr. 173 (1858); Oswego Starch Factory v. Dolloway, 21 N. Y. 449 Bank of Commonwealth V. Commrs., 32 ple ex rel. Bank of Commonwealth V. How. Pr. 182 (1860); People ex rel. Bank of Commonwealth V. Commrs. of Taxes and Assessments, 23 N. Y. 192 (1861); People ex rel. Lincoln v. Assessors Town Barton, 44 Barb. 148 (1865); People ex rel. Lincoln v. Town Barton, 29 How. Pr. 371 (1865); People ex rel. Cagger v. Dolan, 36 N. Y. 61 (1867); People ex rel. B. R. R. v. Barker, 48 id. 79 (1871); People ex rel. Dunkirk R. R. v. Cassity, 46 id. 52 (1871); People ex rel. W. Gas-Light Co. v. Assessors, 16 Hun, 197 (1878).
(1860); People ex rel Barb. 509 (1860); peoCommrs. of Taxes, 20
§ 32. Assessment of agent, trustee, guardian or executor - If a person holds taxable property as agent, trustee, guardian, executor or administrator, he shall be assessed therefor as such, with the addition to his name of his representative character, and such assessment shall be carried out in a separate line from his individual assessment.
[Revisers' Note.- R. S., pt. I, chap. 13, tit. II, § 10; 8th ed., 1097, without change of substance, except that “ agent is added.]
In order that an executor may be entitled to have just debts deducted from the aggregate of personal property held by him they must be legal, valid and incontestable obligations. To reduce or nullify an assessment, affirmative proof that it is erroneous in whole or in part must be given. People ex rel. Osgood v. Commrs. of Taxes and Assessments, 99 N. Y. 154 (1885); S. C., 34 Hun, 506 (1885).
Under the charter of Long Island City (Laws 1871, chap. 461, title 6, § 6), assessors have the same powers and restrictions as assessors of towns. Held, that the assessment of lands held in trust under the will of R. M. Blackwell, deceased, to Blackwell, R. M., est.," was void. Trowbridge v. Horan, 78 N. Y. 439 (1879).
Although an assessment in the form of "estate of Mary W. Cryder " is invalid, yet, if subsequently changed by order of the court to one agent, the true owner, it should not be stricken from the roll. It does not clearly appear in this case whether such order was made under Laws 1871, chap. 695, giving powers to supervisors, upon recommendation of county court, to correct erroneous assessments. People ex rel. Gibson v. Board of Assessors Town of Flushing, 6 N. Y. St. Repr. 3 (1886), G. T.
§ 33. Assessment of omitted property.-The assessors of any tax district shall, upon their own motion, or upon the application of any taxpayer therein, enter in the assessment-roll of the current year any property shown to have been omitted from the assessment-roll of the preceding year, at the valuation of that year, or if not then valued, at such valuation as the assessors shall determine for the preceding year, and such valuation shall be stated in a separate line from the valuation of the current year.
[Revisers' Note.-L. 1865, chap. 453, § 1; R. S., 8th ed., 1111.
The original law provides that the omitted property shall be assessed on the application of three taxpayers. Section 33 authorized the assessors to make the assessment on their own motion or on the application of one taxpayer. Otherwise there is no change of substance.]
Under Laws 1865, chap. 453, § 1, the duty of the assessors is ministerial merely, and they have no discretionary power. If the property was valued the year it was omitted, they must enter it at such valuation. If not, and it was upon the roll of the year next preceding the year it was omitted, they must enter it at the valuation upon the roll of the earlier year. If it was not valued in one of those years they have no power to enter it. The valuation required is that upon the previous roll. The assessors cannot increase it. People ex rel. Oswald v. Goff, 52 N. Y. 434 (1873).
The provisions of Laws 1865, chap. 453, do not authorize reassessment of omitted taxes without notice, nor after the completion of the roll for the current year. Overing v. Foote, 65 N. Y. 263 (1875).
A corporation liable to taxation under Laws 1880, chap. 542, having been inadvertently omitted from assessment for city and county purposes, for one year, held, that it could be taxed therefor under the provisions of Laws 1865, chap. 453, upon the roll of the succeeding year. People ex rel. Brooklyn City R. R. Co. v. Assessors of Brooklyn, 92 N. Y. 430 (1883). A tax against a resident returned as unpaid, held to be chargeable, in the subsequent year, against the land assessed only. Jewett v. Lamphear, 20 N. Y. Weekly Dig. 232 (1884).
The provisions of Laws 1865, chap. 453, being a part of the general system of taxation, are not subject to the constitutional objection that they do not require a notice or hearing, since the general notice of the completion of the assessment-roll covers them. People ex rel. Brooklyn City R. R. Co. v. Assessors of Brooklyn, 92 N. Y. 430 (1883).
§ 34. Debts owing to nonresidents of the United States, how assessed. Every agent in any county of a nonresident creditor having debts owing to him, taxable in any county of the state, shall annually, on or before June first, furnish to the county treasurer of the county where the debtor resides, a true and accurate statement verified by his oath, of such debts owing on the first day of May next preceding in each town or ward in such county. The county treasurer shall, immediately upon the receipt of such statement, make out and transmit to the assessors of every tax district in the county in which any such debtor resides, a copy of so much of such statement as relates to the tax district of such assessors, with the name of the creditor. The assessors on receipt of such statement from the county treasurer shall, within the time in which they are required to complete the assessment-roll, enter therein the name of such nonresident creditor, and the aggregate amount due him in such tax district on the first day of May next preceding, in the same manner as other personal property is entered on the roll, adding the name of the debtor owing such debt. Any agent neglecting or refusing without good cause to furnish such statement to the county treasurer shall forfeit to the county in which the debtor resides the sum of five hundred dollars, recoverable by the district attorney, if the existence of such debts was known to the agent.
[Revisers' Note.-L. 1851, chap. 371, §§ 2-5; R. S., 8th ed., 1084,
without change of substance, except that the date for rendering the statement is changed from July 25 to June 1.
The act from which this section is derived (L. 1851, chap. 371), makes debts due to nonresidents of the United States for the purchase of real property,