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The Canal Law of 1851 authorizing the raising of a loan to the State on certificates pledging the canal revenues for payment of principal and interest, and excluding in terms any other liability on the part of the State than that contained in the statute, with the provision that the State shall not be liable, in any event, to make up any deficiency in the revenues, or to redeem the certificates, and that the certificates should in no event or contingency be so construed as to create a debt or liability of the State, is repugnant to this section. People v. Newell, 7 N. Y. 9.
The act of 1872, chapter 700, authorizing, subject to the approval of the people at the next general election, the creation of a debt for purposes therein named, violates this section in providing for the creation of a debt for many different objects. People ex rel. Hopkins v. Board of Supervisors of Kings Co., 52 N. Y. 556.
This section only relates to State finances and taxes, and not to taxes for municipal improvements. People ex rel. v. Havemeyer, 3 Hun, 97; People v. Supervisors of Chenango, 8 N. Y. 317; Darlington v. Mayor of New York, 31 id. 164. And, therefore, the legislature may direct the issue of town bonds to defray the expense of constructing highways therein without the consent of the inhabitants of such town. People ex rel. v. Flagg, 46 id. 401.
Credit or money of the State not be given Art. VIII, § 9: "Neither the credit nor the money of the State shall be given or loaned to or in aid of any association, corporation or private undertaking. This section shall not, however, prevent the legislature from making such provision for the edu cation and support of the blind, the deaf and dumb, and juvenile delinquents, as to it may seem proper. Nor shall it apply to any fund or property now held, or which may hereafter be held, the State for educational purposes."
[Section 10 of article VIII of the amended Constitution of 1846, without change.]
This provision has reference to moneys raised by taxation throughout the State and paid out of the State treasury, and does not prevent the legislature from authorizing a board of supervisors to impose a tax for the relief of poor through the instrumentality of a charitable institution. Shepherd's Fold v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 96 N. Y. 137; White v. The Inebriates' Home for Kings Co., 141 id. 123.
Counties, cities and towns not to give or loan money or credit; limitation of indebtedness.— Art. VIII, § 10: "No county, city, town or village shall hereafter give
any money or property, or loan its money or credit to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation, or become directly or indirectly the owner of stock in, or bonds of, any association or corporation; nor shall any such county, city, town or village be allowed to incur any indebtedness except for county, city, town or village purposes. This section shall not prevent such county, city, town or village from making such provision for the aid or support of its poor as may be authorized by law. No county or city shall be allowed to become indebted for any purpose or in any manner to an amount which, including existing indebtedness, shall exceed ten per centum of the assessed valuation of the real estate of such county or city subject to taxation, as it appeared by the assessment-rolls of said county or city on the last assessment for State or county taxes prior to the incurring of such indebtedness; and all indebtedness in excess of such limitation, except such as may now exist, shall be absolutely void, except as herein otherwise provided. No county or city whose present indebtedness exceeds ten per centum of the assessed valuation of its real estate subject to taxation,. shall be allowed to become indebted in any further amount until such indebtedness shall be reduced within such limit. This section shall not be construed to prevent the issuing of certificates of indebtedness or revenue bonds issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes for amounts actually contained, or to be contained in the taxes for the year when such certificates or revenue bonds are issued and payable out of such taxes.
"Nor shall this section be construed to prevent the issue of bonds to provide for the supply of water; but the term of the bonds issued to provide the supply of water shall not exceed twenty years, and a sinking fund shall be created on the issuing of the said bonds for their redemption, by raising annually a sum which will produce an amount equal to the sum of the principal and interest of said bonds at their maturity. All certificates of indebtedness or revenue bonds issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes, which are not retired within five years after their date of issue, and bonds issued to provide for the supply of water, and any debt hereafter incurred by any
portion or part of a city, if there shall be any such debt, shall be included in ascertaining the power of the city to become otherwise indebted. Whenever hereafter the boundaries of any city shall become the same as those of a county, the power of the county to become indebted shall cease, but the debt of the county at that time existing shall not be included as a part of the city debt. The amount hereafter to be raised by tax for county or city purposes, in any county containing a city of over one hundred thousand inhabitants, or any such city of this State, in addition to providing for the principal and interest of existing debt, shall not in the aggregate exceed in any one year two per centum of the assessed valuation of the real and personal estate of such county or city, to be ascertained as prescribed in this section in respect to county or city debt."
Section 11 of article VIII of the amended Constitution of 1846, amended. The most important changes are: (1) applying the limitation of indebtedness to all cities and counties; (2) providing that certificates or bonds issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes, not retired within five years, water bonds, and debts incurred by a part of a city shall be included in ascertaining the power to contract further indebtedness; and (3) providing that power of a county to contract a debt shall cease when the boundaries of county and city shall become the same.
The legislature has power to compel a town to pay bonds issued for a local improvement, although the statute under which they were issued is unconstitutional. Knapp v. Town of Newton, 1 Hun, 268; Town of Cherry Creek v. Becker, 123 N. Y. 161.
This section does not prohibit the legislature from enacting a statute authorizing two cities to construct a public bridge connecting them. People ex rel. v. Kelly, 76 N. Y. 475.
An issue of bonds to raise money to make immediate payment for local improvements, to be reimbursed by a subsequent assessment on the landowners benefited, is not a loaning of city "credit or money" within the prohibition of this section. People ex rel. v. Banks, 67 N. Y. 568.
The caring for the poor of a city through the instrumentality of a private corporation is not prohibited by this section, and is not a gift of city money. The Shepherd's Fold v. Mayor of New York, 96 N. Y. 137. And an act providing that a part of city excise money be paid to the use of an inebriate asylum for the care of the inebriates of a certain locality is making a provision for the support of the poor. White v. The Inebriate Home for Kings Co., 141 id. 123.
The creation of a liability on towns for damages occasioned by defective highways and bridges is not a gift of the money or property of the towns
to or in aid of an individual within the meaning of this section. Bidwell v. Town of Murray, 40 Hun, 190.
An act authorizing a town holding railroad bonds to exchange them for common stock in the same railroad is unconstitutional. Town of Wheatland v. Taylor, 29 Hun, 70.
The creation of a debt for the purchase of lands outside the city limits for a park, is for a "city purpose," and, therefore, valid. Matter of Mayor, etc., of New York, 99 N. Y. 569.
And the creation of a debt for the construction and operation of an electric-light system by a city for its own and the use of its inhabitants is for a "city purpose." Hequembourg v. City of Dunkirk, 49 Hun, 550. Municipalities have the right to compromise a claim which they dispute, but which in the end they deem wise and prudent to acknowledge in part. Hills v. Peekskill Savings Bank, 101 N. Y. 490.
Stocks and bonds created by the city of New York and held by the commissioners of the sinking fund are not debts to be met in the future by taxation, and are not such debts as the municipality can be called upon to pay. Banks for Savings in New York City v. Grace, 102 N. Y. 313.
The issue of bonds by city for a water supply is for a city purpose," and, therefore, not within the prohibition of this section. Sweet v. City of Syracuse, 129 N. Y. 316.
This section only imposes a limitation upon water bonds, the issue of which passes the limit of indebtedness, and water bonds issued within such limit may be made to run for a longer period than twenty years. City of Rochester v. Quintard, 136 N. Y. 221.
In determining the limit of indebtedness, the valuation of real estate in the city and county is to be taken distributively and not collectively. Adams v. East River Savings Institution, 136 N. Y. 52.
Organization of cities and villages.-Art. XII, § 1: "It shall be the duty of the legislature to provide for the organization of cities and incorporated villages, and to restrict their power of taxation, assessment, borrowing money, contracting debts, and loaning their credit, so as to prevent abuses in assessments, and in contracting debt by such municipal corporations.
Section 9 of article VIII of the amended Constitution of 1846, without change.
This provision is merely a direction to the legislature for the exercise of a power which had been restricted by former Constitutions. Bank of Chenango v. Brown, 26 N. Y. 467.
This section authorizes the legislature to restrict the power of incurring indebtedness by municipal corporations, and the degree of such restriction is in the discretion of the legislature. Sweet v. City of Syracuse, 129 N. Y. 316, 331.
The legislature is not prohibited from authorizing a municipal corporation to incur an indebtedness of a new and unusual character. Bank of Rome v. City of Rome, 18 N. Y. 38; Grant v. Courter, 24 Barb. 232; Benson ▼. Mayor of Albany, id. 248.
By this section local legislative powers may be delegated to villages and cities. Consumers' Gas Co. v. Spring Co., 61 Hun, 135; Wallerstein v. Judge, 24 N. Y. St. Repr. 814.