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tary, and other regulations as are not in conflict with general laws.

Ark. XII, 4.

General laws.-A law cannot be general in any correct sense of the term, but must be local or special, which by reason of a local option is repealed, or has its vitality suspended in one locality, but remains in full force and vigor in another, or that in the same locality is law or not law, according to the changing fancies of the local authority. A city ordinance requiring payment of a license for the sale of spirituous liquors does not violate this provision.2 1 People v. Cooper, 83 Ill. 585. 2 Ex parte Hurl, 49 Cal. 557. See Ante, p. 226, LOCAL OPTION LAWS.

§ 12. The Legislature shall have no power to impose taxes upon counties, cities, towns, or other public or municipal corporations, or upon the inhabitants or property thereof, for county, city, town, or other municipal purposes, but may, by general laws, vest in the corporate authorities thereof the power to assess and collect taxes for such purposes.

Neb. IX, 7.

§ 13. The Legislature shall not delegate to any special commission, private corporation, company, association, or individual, any power to make, control, appropriate, supervise, or in any way interfere with, any county, city, town, or municipal improvement, money, property, or effects, whether held in trust or otherwise, or to levy taxes or assessments, or perform any municipal functions what


Colo. V, 35; Pa. III, 20.

Delegation of powers.—That the legislature shall not delegate to a special commission, etc., is prospective only. A grant of an easement in a street made to a corporation is purely a grant of corporate powers, and cannot be made to private corporations by special act.2 The legislature cannot authorize a municipal corporation to confer special franchises not common to all similar corporations under the general law,3 Where there is a grant of power in the constitution to a department of government or to a constitutional or statutory officer or tribunal, without defining the manner of its exercise, the legislature may prescribe the rule.4

1 Perkins v. Slack, 86 Pa. St. 270.
2 San Francisco v. S. V. W. W. 48 Cal. 493.

3 Waterloo T. Co.v. Cole, 51 Cal. 381; San Francisco v. S. V. W.W. 18 Cal. 493. 4 Austin v. Gulf C. &c. R. R. Co. 45 Tex. 234.

§ 14. No State office shall be continued or created in any county, city, town, or other municipality, for the inspection, measurement, or graduation of any merchandise, manufacture, or commodity; but such county, city, town, or municipality may, when authorized by general law, appoint such officers.

N. Y. V, 8; Pa. III, 27; See Pinkham v. Tapscott, 17 N. Y. 141.

§ 15. Private property shall not be taken or sold for the payment of the corporate debt of any political or municipal corporation.

Colo. X, 14; Mo. X, 13; Neb. IX, 7.

§ 1.6. All moneys, assessments, and taxes belonging to or collected for the use of any county, city, town, or other public or municipal corporation, coming into the hands of any officer thereof, shall immediately be deposited with the Treasurer, or other legal depositary, to the credit of

such city, town, or other corporation respectively, for the benefit of the funds to which they respectively belong.

§ 17. The making of profit out of county, city, town, or other public money, or using the same for any purpose not authorized by law, by any officer having the possession or control thereof, shall be a felony, and shall be prosecuted and punished as prescribed by law. Ark. XVI, 3; Mo. X, 17; Pa. IX, 14.

§ 18. No county, city, town, township, Board of Education, or school district, shall incur any indebtedness or liability in any manner, or for any purpose, exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided for it for such year, without the assent of two-thirds of the qualified electors thereof voting at an election to be held for that purpose, nor unless, before or at the time of incurring such indebtedness, provision shall be made for the collection of an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such indebtedness as it falls due, and also to constitute a sinking fund for the payment of the principal thereof within twenty years from the time of contracting the same. Any indebtedness or liability incurred contrary to this provision shall be void.

II. IX, 12; Mo. X, 12. For amendment of $ 18, 1892, see p. 127.

Construction. This section is a restriction on legislative discretion in the authorizing of county and municipal indebtedness to aid railroad and other improvements. It fixes the boundary beyond which the legislature cannot go, but within which its authority is still supreme. There is no warrant for the creation of county indebtedness beyond the limit prescribed and sanctioned by at least two-thirds of the votes cast.2 and any attempt to evade

the restriction is unconstitutional and void.3 The legislature may require counties to issue bonds for the amount of its indebtedness.4 A county cannot ratify an act which it was not originally authorized to perform.5

1 Reineman v. C. C. & B. H. R. R. 7 Neb. 310.
2 Reineman v. C. C. & B. H. R. R. 7 Neb. 310.
3 Chester & L. N. G. R. R. v. Caldwell Co. 72 N. C. 486.
4 Jefferson Co. v. People, 5 Neb. 136.
5 Treadway v. Schnauber, 1 Kako. 237.

§ 19. No public work or improvement of any description whatsoever shall be done or made, in any city, in, upon, or about the streets thereof, or otherwise, the cost and expense of which is made chargeable or may be assessed upon private property by special assessment, unless an estimate of such cost and expense shall be made, and an assessment, in proportion to benefits, on the property to be affected or benefited, shall be levied, collected, and paid into the city treasury before such work or improvement shall be commenced, or any contract for letting or doing the same authorized or performed. In any city where there are no public works owned and controlled by the municipality, for supplying the same with water or artificial light, any individual, or any company duly incorporated for such purpose under and by authority of the laws of this state, shall, under the direction of the Superintendent of Streets, or other officer in control thereof, and under such general regulations as the municipality may prescribe for damages and indemnity for damages, have the privilege of using the public streets and thoroughfares thereof, and of laying down pipes and conduits therein, and connections therewith, so far as may be necessary for introducing into and supplying such city

and its inhabitants either with gas-light or other illuminating light, or with fresh water for domestic and all other purposes, upon the condition that the municipal government shall have the right to regulate the charges thereof. For amendment of $ 19, 1885, see p. 127.

2provements. — Measures calculated to produce a public benefit through the medium of a corporation is within the reserved powers of a State.1 A statute allowing a municipal corporation to set off a claim for benefits against damages is valid. A municipal corporation may repair or build court-houses or jails.3

1 Stockton & V. R. R. Co. v. Stockton, 41 Cal. 189. 2 Baldwin v. Newark, 9 Vroom, 158; Loweree v Newark, 9 Vroom, 151. 3 McLin v. Newbern, 70 N. C. 12.

Street assessments. The power to levy and collect assessments for municipal improvements rests alone upon constitutional authority. “Assessment” includes all the steps necessary to be taken in the legitimate exercise of the power.2 The legislature may authorize cities and villages to levy a special assessment, for improvement of streets, upon property peculiarly and specifically benefited in proportion to such benefits.3. Assessments may be made against the property peculiarly benefited, but only to the extent of such peculiar benefits.4 The legislature may confer this power upon other municipal corporations than those designated.5 The foundation of the power to tax specially is the benefit conferred on the owners of the property. The act of taxation must itself distribute the burden or provide the standard by which such distribution is to be made.7 Legislation which provides for a fair and equal assessment of property benefited will be sustained, but not where such assessment is impossible.8 A local assessment for a general public benefit is unconstitutional,! but the expense of improving a sidewalk may be charged wholly to the owner.10 The corporate authorities are alone entitled to judge whether extending a street is necessary or not. 11 An assessment on property in proportion to its frontage is not unconsti tutional.12 The frontage rule of valuation cannot be applied where the street or improvement is made through rural or suburban districts.13" An assignment upon adjacent lots, of their share for improvement of a street, is in

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