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see People v. Pacheco, 27 Cal. 177, and cases there cited.
Growing crops are personal property and cannot be exempted from taxation. People v. Gerke, 35 Cal. 677. As to the power of the legislature in passing curative acts for the purpose of validating assessments see People v. McCreery, 34 Cal. 437.
Under the act of 1864 [Stats. p. 347], for the widening of Kearney street in San Francisco the supervisors were authorized to assess the expenses upon the owners of houses and lands and railroad corporations and companies that might be benefited thereby, and to determine what portions of the city and what railroads would be benefited. Held, the act did not require a different rule for apportionment of expense on railroads from that applied to other property and was not on that ground unconstitutional. Appeal of N. B. & M. R. R. Co., 32 Cal. 501; see also Appeal of Piper, Id. 530.
The property of the C. P. R. R. Co. within this state is subject to taxation, and the state revenue law is not unconstitutional because there is a want of uniformity between the particular laws prevailing in the several counties, with regard to the enforcement of delinquent taxes. The constitution authorizes the legislature to pass a law directing the district attorney to bring an action in the name of the people to recover delinquent taxes, and such law does not interfere with the constitutional
duties of the tax collectors. People v. C. P. R. R. Co., 43 Cal. 398.
not an assessment.
A charge levied upon all the land of a district to be used in constructing levees to protect the district from overflow, is a tax, and The fact that such levees may injure instead of benefit some land, does not render the tax unequal or void for want of uniformity. If such statute, however, exempts personal property from the tax, it is unconstitutional, because not levied on all the property in the district. People v. Whyler, 41 Cal. 351.
Bonds of the United States are not subject to taxation, but bonds of the state of California are private property, and shall be taxed. People v. Home Ins. Co., 29 Cal. 534.
The words "taxation" and "assessment" do not have the same signification. Taxation represents a power which the legislature takes from the law of its creation to impose taxes for the support of the government, and assessment is employed to represent local burdens imposed by municipal corporations for street improvements. The latter cannot be exercised as an independent or principal power like that of taxation, but only as an incident to the power organizing municipalities. The owner cannot be made liable by means of assessment for more than the value of his land. Personal liability cannot be created through an assessment. Taylor v. Palmer, 31 Cal. 241. With reference to this note, see Williams v. Corcoran, 46 Cal. 555; appeal of N. B. & M.
R. R. Co., 32 Id. 528; Matter of Market Street, 49 Id. 549; Beaudry v. Valdez, 32 Id. 279; Gaffney v. Gough, 36 Id. 105; Coniff v. Hastings, Id. 292-3; Himmelman v. Steiner, 38 Id. 179. And see also Taylor v. Donner, 31 Cal. 481, and Chambers v. Satterlee, 40 Id. 514.
Where the sheriff is by law also made tax collector, he is elected to two distinct offices. As the tax collector is not authorized to apFoint an under tax collector, the under sheriff cannot perform the duties of tax collector. Lathrop v. Brittain, 30 Cal. 680.
While the legislature cannot by law transfer the duties of tax collector from a person elected to that office to one who was not, it may provide for the election of a tax collector who shall go into office before the term of the former tax collector expires. Mills v. Sargeant, 36 Cal. 379.
An act making the treasurer ex officio tax collector instead of the sheriff, is unconstitutional in so far as it attempts to transfer the office prior to an election of treasurer. People v. Kelsey, 34 Cal. 470.
The offices of sheriff and tax collector are made distinct by the constitution, but they may be united in the same person. [Merrill v. Gorham, 6 Cal. 41; People v. Edwards, 9 Id. 292.] The sheriff being made ex officio collector of foreign miners' license, may be deprived of that office before expiration of his term. The constitution has fixed no period of tenure to office of tax collector. So far as it exists in the sheriff, it is created by the leg
islature, and the legislature may take it away or otherwise control it. [People v. Haskell, 5 Cal. 357.] A legislative act authorizing su pervisors to appoint collector of foreign miners' license, is not unconstitutional. Although assessors and tax collectors are constitutional officers, it does not follow that all revenue shall pass through their hands. The legislature may require taxes to be paid direct into the treasury. Taxes of the character of foreign miners' license are not necessarily involved in the duties of the tax collector. People v. Squires, 14 Cal. 13, cited with approval in Miner v. Solano County, 26 Cal. 118; Cohen v. Wright, 22 Id. 320; People v. Banvard, 27 Id. 475.
The aim had in view in declaring that taxation shall be equal and uniform, and that assessors shall be elected in the several districts to be assessed, does not involve the mere local proceedings of municipalities. A street assessment in San Francisco, under the consolidation act, though an exercise of the taxing power, is not in itself that taxation here required to be laid upon property in proportion to value. This distinction has become settled in this state. Chambers v. Satterlee, 40 Cal. 514.
Assessors are limited to the districts for for which they are elected, and cannot assess property elsewhere. People r. Placerville & S. V. R. R. Co., 34 Cal. 656; People r. Hastings, 29 Cal. 450.
State taxes are not debts within the mean
ing of the act of congress making greenbacks legal tender for all debts. Perry v. Washburn, 20 Cal. 318.
A tax is a debt in the nature of a personal debt due from the property owner, and not a charge alone upon property, created by or depending upon the regularity of the proceedings given by statute, and informal assessments may be corrected by act of the legislature. People v. Seymour, 16 Cal. 333. Cited and explained in Perry v. Washburn, 20 Cal. 351; approved in Guy v. Washburn, 23 Id. 116; City of Oakland v. Whipple, 39 Id. 115.
The general power of the legislature to tax, is not restricted as to mode, nor is there any limitation of time under the constitution; unless restrained by the constitution, the legislature possesses plenary power over the subject of taxation. The act of April 3, 1860 [Stats. p. 139], to enforce collection of taxes for the years 1858, 1859, is constitutional. People v. Seymour, supra, cited in Tebbs v. Wetherby, 23 Id. 58, and approved in Guy v. Washburn, 23 Id. 116.
The power of municipalities, under their charters to impose license taxes upon all classes of business, has been held not to be governed or restrained by the provision of section 16, article I, as to impairing the obligation of contracts. The question seems to have arisen first in People v. Coleman, 4 Cal. 46. The power to levy and collect such taxes were further confirmed in Sacramento v. Cal. Stage Co., 12 Cal. 134; Sacramento v. Crocker,