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enforcement of laws relating to children or animals. The act of 1893 superseded a large number of provisions exempting nonbusiness corporations. Whether it superseded subdivisions 3, 4 and 5 of section 4, of title 1, chap. 13 of the Revised Statutes has not been determined by the courts, but as those subdivisions are repealed by this chapter, all sorts of benevolent, religious and educational corporations are brought within its provisions. Thus by subdivision 5 of section 4, title 1, chap. 13, part I, of the Revised Statutes, all the real and personal property of a public library is exempt without regard to whether it is used for library purposes. By this section all of the real property of such a corporation is taxable unless used exclusively for such a purpose.
Subdivision 3 of section 4, title 1, chap. 13, rt I, of the Revised Statutes was as follows: "Every building erected for the use of a college, incorporated academy or other seminary of learning and in actual use for either of such purposes, every building for public worship, every schoolhouse, courthouse and jail used for either of such purposes; and the several lots whereon such buildings are situated and the furniture belonging to each of them."
The following decisions were rendered under this subdivision, but for the most part they are of little aid in construing the act of 1893 or this section, and should all be considered with reference to the principle that, unless specially exempted by law, property of such corporations is taxable if organized for profit or not used exclusively for carrying out thereupon one or more of the objects of the corporation.
Premises in the city of New York, occupied by the lessee as a boarding and day-school for young ladies - held liable to taxation, and not exempt therefrom under the statute. Chegaray v. Jenkins, 3 Sandf. Super. Ct. 409 (1850), affirmed on another ground in 5 N. Y. 376 (1851).
It was doubted, whether under 1 R. S. 288, § 4, subd. 3, buildings erected for the use of "seminaries of learning" other than such as are used by corporations created for educational purposes; and whether " schoolhouses," other than those used for public schools, are exempt from taxation.
Ruggles, Ch. J., intimated that the exemption embraced all such buildings, and Foote, J., was of the contrary opinion. Id.
See, also, Hebrew Free School Assoc. v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 99 N. Y. 488 (1885).
A building erected for the use of and occupied as a private boardingschool is not exempt from taxation by the statute, the dictum of Ruggles, Ch. J., to the contrary in 5 N. Y. 376, overruled; Chegaray v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 13 id. 220 (1855), reversing S. C., 2 Duer, 529.
The schoolhouses referred to in this statute are those for the public common schools. Buildings erected and used for private, unincorporated seminaries of learning are not exempt from taxation. Id.
Premises used as a parochial school, the title to which was in the name of the pastor of the parish-held to be exempt. Church of St. Monica v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 13 N. Y. St. Repr. 308 (1887).
Incorporation not necessary to secure exemption of schoolhouse. Id. Vacant lots appropriated as a situation for house of public worship, not exempt. Trinity Church v. Mayor of New York, 10 How. Pr. 138 (1854), Sp. T.
Under 1 R. S., 5th ed., 906, § 5, subd. 3, the word "lots" is not in its meaning to be restricted to a single city lot. It is intended to embrace the whole of the land on which the exempted buildings stand so far as it is directly devoted to the promotion of the objects of the institution occups ing them, either by supporting its buildings, supplying its daily wants or affording means of recreation. People ex rel. Academy of the Sacred Heart v. Commissioners of Taxes, 6 Hun, 109, 1st Dept. (1875); affirmed in 64 N. Y. 656 (1876).
Where the title passed in June after the initiatory proceedings to assess were taken, but before confirmation of the tax in September,-held, that a sale therefor should be set aside, since the tax did not become a lien until it was confirmed. Washington Heights Methodist Episcopal Church v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 20 Hun, 297, 1st Dept. (1880).
The fact that the sexton of a chapel resided on the top floor thereof without paying rent did not preclude it from the exemption, allowed by statute. Shaarai Berocho v. Mayor, 46 N. Y. St. Repr. 233; S. C., 18 N. Y. Supp. 792 (1892).
The relator having commenced to build in December before the tax was assessed,-held, that the property was exempt from that time. Any estate in possession with the right to the use and enjoyment of the lands, would entitle the relator to the exemption, if a church were erected. Id.
A building leased to the board of education of a city for use as 8 schoolhouse,- held, taxable to the owner.
The word "schoolhouse " in the statute had sole reference to those buildings with the site which the district would have been bound to pay a tax upon as owner but for the exemption. People ex rel. Rorke v. Assessors of Brooklyn, 32 Hun, 457, 2d Dept. (1884); affirmed in 97 N. Y. 648 (1885).
A tax against real estate owned and ordinarily used by the plaintiff, an incorporated seminary of learning, but leased from July 1 to September 1 for other purposes,- held, illegal, because the tax was imposed after the lease had expired, and a lease during the asua! vacation period did not waive or forfeit the exemption. Temple Grove Seminary v. Cramer, 98 N. Y. 121 (1885); affirming 26 Hun, 309.
Under Laws of 1852, chap. 282, if real estate taxed is not exclusively the property of a society claiming exemption, but the latter is a lessee, while the fee is in an individual liable to taxation, it is not exempt, and it is immaterial whether the society is a religious society or not. Hebrew Free School Assoc. v. Mayor, 99 N. Y. 488 (1885); Hebrew Benev. Soc. v. Mayor, 11 Hun, 116 (1877).
Where a religious corporation has acquired title to land, and commenced building a church in June, and the assessment on the property was not confirmed until August 29,- held, that its statutory exemption protected it from the tax. Wardens of St. James Church v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 41 Hun, 309, 1st Dept. (1886).
The farm on which a college building was situated being used for the maintenance and support of the college, and wholly devoted to its purposes, held, to be within the exemption accorded to premises occupied by seminaries of learning. People ex rel. Seminary of Our Lady, etc., v. Barber, 42 Hun, 27 (1886).
The objects for which the plaintiff was incorporated were the improvement of the spiritual, mental and social condition of young men by the support and maintenance of lectures, sermons, libraries, reading-rooms, social meetings and such other meetings and services as might conduce thereto. It erected and used a building for public worship, social and religious meetings, and for imparting religious and secular instruction, including a library, lecture-room, gymnasium, etc. Held, that the building was exempt from taxation. Where the erection of a building exempt from taxation, when occupied, had been commenced before the assessment was laid, held, that the assessment was invalid. Young Men's Christian Association v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 44 Hun, 102 (1887).
A schoolhouse to be exempt must be a public common school. Where an orphan asylum holds religious services to which the public are not invited, it is not a building for public worship so as to be exempt, but it is an almshouse, and as such exempt. Laws 1838, chap. 232; Laws 1852, chap. 282; Laws 1882, chap. 410; Laws 1866, chap. 136. The decision below (38 Hun, 593) erroneously allowed the exemption as that of a schoolhouse and place of worship. Association of Colored Orphans v. Mayor, 104 N. Y. 581 (1887).
Exemption from taxation does not necessarily embrace exemption from assessment for a local improvement. Buffalo City Cemetery v. City of Buffalo, 46 N. Y. 506 (1871); Matter of St. Joseph's Asylum, 69 N. Y. 353 (1877); Roosevelt Hospital v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 84 id. 108 (1881). For various applications of the rules touching exemptions, see 13 Alb. L. J. 222, 345.
R. S., pt. I, chap. XIII, tit. I, § 4, as am. by Laws 1866, chap. 136, is as follows: "Every poorhouse, almshouse, house of industry, and every house belonging to a company incorporated for the reformation of offenders, or to improve the moral condition of seamen, and the real and personal property used for such purposes belonging to or connected with the same."
This provision is repealed, and superseded as to corporations by subdivision 7 preceding.
See Roosevelt Hospital v, Mayor, 84 N. Y. 108 (1881); affirming 18 Hun, 582.
The Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum in the city of New York, first incorporated as a charitable society (Laws 1832, chap. 14), but since empowered to maintain and educate children committed to its charge by their parents or the public authorities (Laws 1860, chap. 316),- held, exempt as a house of industry. Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 11 Hun, 116 (1877).
A charitable corporation organized under special acts to take charge of foundlings and other infants and provide for their support, and moral, physical, intellectual and industrial education, and providing lying-in wards, etc.,- held, exempt from taxation as an almshouse. New York Infant Asylum v. Supervisors of Westchester, 31 Hun, 116, 2d Dept. (1883).
Where a benevolent society leased its land, exempted from taxation by law, with covenants of renewal, the lessees to erect buildings which the lessors were to take at an appraised valuation, at the expiration of any term if they elected then to resume possession, rental being a percentage on the appraised valuation of the land alone, lessees to pay ordinary taxes, -held, that the exemption of the land did not extend to such buildings, which were properly assessed to the lessees. People ex rel. Muller v. Assessors of Brooklyn, 93 N. Y. 308 (1883); affirming, 15 N. Y. Week. Dig. 249. And see 27 Hun, 559.
The relator incorporated by Laws of 1851, chap. 170, for the “ purpose of affording pecuniary and other relief to such persons, natives of Switzerland or of Swiss origin, as may be in the United States, and in need of assistance," purchased real estate and held the same exclusively "to give a temporary home, asylum and relief to the sick, necessitous and others who may be proper objects of its bounty in accordance with its charter." Upon this state of facts, and where the relator derived no income from said premises, and constantly relieved persons who would otherwise be likely to be a charge upon the city and county of New York,- held, that under 2 R. S. 982, § 4, subd. 4, the property should be exempt from taxation as an almshouse. People ex rel. Swiss Benev. Soc. v. Commrs. of Taxes, 36 Hun, 311 (1885).
8. Real property of an incorporated association of present or former volunteer firemen actually and exclusively used and occupied by such corporation and not exceeding in value fifteen thousand dollars.
[Revisers' Note.- R. S., pt. I, chap. 13. tit. 1, § 4, subd. 10, as added by
9. All dwelling-houses and lots of religious corporations while actually used by the officiating clergymen thereof, but the total
amount of such exemption to any one religious corporation shall not exceed two thousand dollars. Such exemption shall be in addition to that provided by subdivision seven of this section.
[Revisers' Note.-R. S., pt. I, chap. 13, tit. I, § 4, subd. 11, as added by
The last sentence was added by the committee of the senate. The subdivision is probably necessary. It is doubtful if the use of a dwellinghouse by a minister can be deemed a use for religious purposes under the terms of subdivision 7.
10. The real property of an agricultural society permanently used by it for exhibition grounds.
[Revisers' Note.- L. 1856, chap. 183; R. S., 8th ed., 1086,
11. The real property of a minister of the gospel or priest who is regularly engaged in performing his duties as such, or permanently disabled, by impaired health from the performance of such duties, or over seventy-five years of age, and the personal property of such minister or priest, but the total amount of such exemption on account of both real and personal property shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars.
[Revisers' Note.-R. S., pt. I, chap. 13, tit. I, § 4, subd. 8; 8th ed., 1083, R. S., pt. I, chap. 13, tit. I, § 5; 8th ed., 1083,
without change of substance.]
The senate committee struck from the section the words "when occupied by him" after the word "age" in line 4. The section appears to have been amended by the commission to conform to the decision in Prosser v. Secor, 5 Barb. 607, by requiring a minister to be regularly engaged in his duties, or permanently disabled, etc.
Weaver v. Devendorf, 3 Den. 117 (1846), was an action against assesBors brought by a minister of the gospel, whose taxable property was valued at $1,800, and who claimed that he had not been allowed the statutory exemption, and that the assessors had assessed his property at a higher rate than that of other inhabitants of the town. It appeared that the plaintiff's property exceeded in value the statutory limit. The court held that the function of assessors in determining the value of property was judicial, where such value was not sworn to as authorized by law, and its erroneous exercise did not render them liable in damages. To enable a minister of the gospel to maintain an action against assessors, for assessing his property, and thereby subjecting him to the