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in the hands of such supervisor, collector or treasurer belonging to the district, to meet such order or draft, and a violation of this provision by any trustee shall be a misdemeanor and punishable as such. If, at the time of the employment of a qualified teacher for a term of school, there shall be no public moneys in the hands of the supervisor, collector or treasurer applicable to the payment of teacher's wages, or if there shall not be a sufficient amount in the hands of either or all such officers to enable the trustee or trustees to pay the teachers' wages as they fall due, and the district meeting has failed or neglected to authorize a tax to pay the same, the trustee or trustees of such school district are hereby authorized and empowered, and it shall be their duty, to collect by district tax an amount sufficient to pay the wages of such teacher for such term, but not to exceed four months in advance.
Collection of residue of wages by tax.-13. To divide such public moneys apportioned to the district, whenever authorized by a vote of their district into two or more portions for each year; to assign and apply one of such portions to each term during which a school shall be kept in the district, for the payment of teachers' wages during such term; and to collect the residue of such wages not paid by the proportion of public money allotted for that purpose, by district tax as herein provided.
Drawing of moneys.-14. To draw upon the supervisor, the collector or treasurer, when duly qualified to receive and disburse the same, for the school and library moneys, by written orders signed by the sole trustee, or where there are three trustees, signed by a majority of said trustees as prescribed by subdivisions one and two of section four of title three of this act.
Tax for balance of wages.-15. After having paid toward the wages of such teachers as are qualified, the public moneys of the district legally applicable thereto, by giving them orders on the supervisor, collector or treasurer therefor, to collect the residue of such wages by a district tax, or, if the same shall have been already collected, to give such teacher an order on the collector or treasurer for the balance of his or her wages still remaining unpaid. But it shall be a misdemeanor, and punishable as such, for a trustee or trustees to give an order upon the collector or treasurer unless there shall be in the hands of said collector or treasurer, at the time, sufficient money belonging to the district to meet the same.
§ 48. Directs trustees to provide waterclosets, and levy tax therefor without vote of district.
49. Directs trustees to provide fire-escapes, and to raise money therefor by tax, "as other moneys are raised for school purposes."
§ 50. Directs trustees to incur various minor expenditures, and the same are made a charge on the district.
May raise any legal sum by tax.-§ 51. When trustees are required or authorized by law, or by vote of their district, to incur any expense for such district, and when any expenses incurred by them are made, by express provision of law, a charge upon such district, they may raise the amount thereof by tax in the same manner as if the definite sum to be raised had been voted by a district meeting.
$55. Requires trustees to render report at annual meeting of moneys received and manner expended.
Of the Assessment of District Taxes, and the Collection of such Taxes; and of the Collector, his Powers, Duties and Liabilities.
Assessment and tax-list therefor.-§ 62. Within thirty days after a tax shall have been voted by a district meeting, the trustees shall assess it, and make out the tax-list therefor, and annex thereto their warrant for its collection. But they may at the same time assess two or more taxes so voted, and any tax or taxes they are authorized to raise without such vote, and make out one tax-list and one warrant for the collection of the whole. They shall also prefix to their tax-list, a heading showing for what purpose the different items of the tax are levied.
See Form of town tax-roll, Form No. 5.
Section 79, post, forbids the trustees to deliver the tax-list and warrant to the collector until the thirty-first day after the tax was voted. Section 64 provides that the valuations shall be ascertained, so far as possible, from the last assessment-roll of the town, after revision by the assessors. The heading to the tax-list should show, not the items of each account, but the particular purpose for which the item of tax is raised, as $20 for repairing schoolhouse. For form of tax-list, see form of assessment-roll for town, which can readily be adapted for this purpose. § 64.
In addition to the persons assessed by the assessment-roll of the town, the trustees should assess any persons liable to taxation who are not named in the assessment-roll.
Where the trustees issued their warrant for a tax, the amount of which had not been specified by the vote of the district meeting,- held, that
they were liable as trespassers, since the power to fix the amount could not be delegated to them. Robinson v. Dodge, 18 Johns. 351 (1820).
If a school district warrant departs in its form from the statutory requirements it is void, and the collector as well as the trustees are trespassers. Clark v. Hallock, 16 Wend. 607 (1837).
A party assessed for school tax cannot object to the validity of the warrant under which his goods were sold, that after the delivery of the warrant to the collector, the sum assessed to him is reduced in amount by one of the trustees of the district. Folsom v. Streeter, 24 Wend. 266 (1840).
The form of a warrant for the collection of school taxes directing the collector to levy the same by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the delinquent in the same manner as in warrants issued by the board of supervisors to the collectors of taxes,- held sufficient. Id.
Where the process is regular upon its face, it is a complete justification to the officer executing it. If a defect of jurisdiction appears upon the face of the process, the officer acts at his peril. Abbott v. Yost, 2 Den. 86 (1846).
An objection that the warrant directed the collection of an amount one dollar more than the tax voted was overruled in Williams v. Larkin, 3 Den. 114 (1846).
Where the warrant directed the collector to collect the amount of the assessment, together with five per cent. for his fees,- held, that this was an excess of authority on the part of the trustees, and that the warrant being irregular on its face, was no protection to the collector. Stroud v. Butler, 18 Barb. 327 (1854).
Unless the warrant is renewed, the collector's powers under it cease on the expiration of the time limited therein, and a levy and sale thereafter constitute a trespass. Id.
The requirements of the statute that the tax be assessed and the taxlist made out and the warrant attached, within thirty days after the meeting, is directory merely. Thomas v. Clapp, 20 Barb. 165 (1855).
The signing of the warrant is but a ministerial duty and requires no meeting of the trustees. The levy and assessment end their judicial function. Id.
A warrant signed by two of the three trustees is sufficient. Id.
A direction in the warrant to collect five per cent. for the collector's fees does not invalidate it, although he is entitled to five per cent. only after the expiration of the two weeks. Id.
While the statute provides that the warrant shall be under the hands of the trustees of a district or a majority of them, the tax-list itself need not be signed by the trustees. A tax warrant, valid on its face, and issued by the trustees of a school district in pursuance of a previous order of the supervisors, will justify the collector in taking property thereon, even though such order was void. Doolittle v. Doolittle, 31 Barb. 512 (1860).
School taxes are to be levied upon the same property and in the same manner as those for town, county and State purposes. Chadwick v. Crapsey, 35 N. Y. 196 (1866).
Assessment by two only of the three trustees void. Lamoreaux v. O'Rourke, 3 Abb. Ct. App. Dec. 15 (1866).
An assessment made by two trustees without notice to the third, who, however, subsequently signed the warrant for collection,- held void. Keeler v. Frost, 22 Barb. 400 (1856); compare Porter v. Robinson, 30 Hun, 209.
A trustee having appointed a collector, but not in the form prescribed by law, and having issued a warrant to him,- held, that the trustee was not liable for the acts of the collector in enforcing the warrant, he being merely an officer de facto and not de jure. Hamlin v. Dingman, 5 Lans. 61 (1871).
When the trustees assess property not on the last assessment-roll of the town, or change an assessment thereon, they must do so upon notice to the persons interested as town assessors are required to do, and an omission to give notice is a jurisdictional defect making them liable in damages. Jewell v. Van Steenburgh, 58 N. Y. 85 (1874).
It seems that the presumption of regularity of official conduct does not relieve them from proof of such notice when sued for the consequences of such act. Id.
The appearance of the party interested, at the hearing, is a waiver of such notice. Id.
Where the trustee had assessed land without notice, and property had been sold to satisfy the tax,- held, that the trustee was liable in damages, though the collector was protected by his warrant. Baley v. Wortsman, 2 N. Y. St. Repr. 246 (1886).
Taxes, how apportioned and assessed.-§ 63. School district taxes shall be apportioned by the trustees upon all real estate within the boundaries of the district which shall not be by law exempt from taxation, except as hereinafter provided, and such property shall be assessed to the person or persons, or corporation owning or possessing the same at the time such tax-list shall be made out, but land lying in one body and occupied by the same person, either as owner or agent for the same principal, or as tenant under the same landlord, if assessed as one lot on the last assessment-roll of the town after revision by the assessors, shall, though situated partly in two or more school districts, be taxable in that one of them in which such occupant resides. This rule shall not apply to land owned by nonresidents of the district, and which shall not be occupied by an agent, servant or tenant residing in the district. Such unoccupied real estate shall be 'assessed as nonresident, and a description thereof shall be entered in the tax-list. The trustees shall also apportion the district taxes upon all persons residing in the district, and upon all
corporations liable to taxation therein, for the personal estate owned by them and liable to taxation. They shall also apportion the same upon nonresident stockholders in banks or banking associations situated in their districts for the amount of stock owned by them therein, and upon individual bankers doing business in their district in accordance with the provisions of chapter four hundred and nine of the laws of eighteen hundred and eighty-two, as amended by sections two, three and four of chapter seven hundred and fourteen of the laws of eighteen hundred and ninety-two.
While the trustees must apportion only the sum voted, and not add thereto the amount of the collector's fees, the fact that they made such addition, held not to make them liable as trespassers for a sale by the collector, since their act was a judicial one, but that the taxpayer aggrieved should have appealed to the superintendent of schools, or have brought certiorari to correct the error. Easton v. Calendar, 11 Wend. 90 (1833).
Held, also, that their omission to insert the names of some of the taxpayers did not make them so liable, in the absence of bad faith in so doing. Id. See, also, Colton v. Beardsley, 38 Barb. 42 (1860).
In apportioning the tax among the several towns the school trustees act judically, and if, instead of equalizing the tax according to Laws 1847, chap. 480, § 72, they take the last assessment-rolls of the towns as a basis of apportionment, this will not render their proceedings void, nor make them liable for the taking of property under the warrants. Hill v. Sellick, 21 Barb. 207 (1855), overruling Alexander v. Hoyt, 7 Wend. 89 (1831).
If they have general authority in a given case an error in exercising it will not make their action a nullity, It stands until set aside. Id. The same property is subject to taxation for school purposes as is liable to taxation under the general laws for town, county and State purposes. Chadwick v. Crapsey, 35 N. Y. 201 (1866).
The authority of school trustees in apportioning a tax involves the exercise of discretion and cannot be delegated, even by one of the trustees to the others. Keeler v. Frost, 22 Barb. 400 (1856); compare Porter v. Robinson, 30 Hun, 209 (1883).
Valuations of taxable property. § 64. The valuations of taxable property shall be ascertained, so far as possible, from the last assessment-roll of the town, after revision by the assessors; and no person shall be entitled to any reduction in the valuation of such property, as so ascertained, unless he shall give notice of his claim to such reduction in writing to the trustees of the district before the tax-list shall be made out.
In Alexander v. Hoyt, 7 Wend. 89 (1831), it was decided that the trustees of a school district were liable in trespass for the taking of property