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insurance companies that they return the personal property mentioned which is within the State. What is meant by "personal property," in this connection? Referring to section 2730 we find it provided that the terms "personal property," when used in the title, shall be held to mean and include, among other things, the capital stock, undivided profits and all other means not forming a part of the capital stock of every company.
In the case of domestic corporations, and assuming that this statute applies, as has been held by the Supreme Court of Ohio, with equal force to foreign corporations, this definition of personal property must be held to include not only the paid-in capital stock of the company, but as well the bonds, or securities in which it may be invested.
This question was before the Supreme Court of Ohio in Jones v. Davis, 35 Ohio St. 474.
In that case the act of May 11, 1878, was before the court. It contained provisions similar to those of the Revised Statutes, requiring personal property of every description, moneys and credits, investments in bonds, stock, joint stock companies, or otherwise, to be listed in the name of the person who is the owner thereof on the day preceding the second Monday of April in each year.
Section 11 of that act made provisions similar to those found in section 2744, requiring incorporated companies to list for taxation all their personal property which, by the terms of the statute, was made to include all such real estate as was necessary to the daily operation of the company, and all its moneys and credits within the State at their actual value in money. After citing Bank Tax Case, 2 Wall. 200, and Farrington v. Tennessee, 95 U. S. 679, Judge Boynton, delivering the opinion of the court, said:
"For the purposes of taxation, the capital stock is represented by whatever it is invested in. Personal property, by the express wording of the statute, is made to include the capital stock of a corporation; and the provision above referred
to requires all corporations doing business in this State, except banking and others whose taxation is specifically provided for, to list all their personal property, including in the return thereof all such real estate as is necessary to the daily operation of their business, together with their moneys and credits of every description within the State. That the legislature intended, by this description of property, to embrace the capital stock of the company is too obvious to be misunderstood. No other meaning can be drawn from the language employed, and no other construction is better calculated to do justice." In Lee v. Sturges, 46 Ohio St. 153, 160, Judge Spear, speaking for the court, said:
"It may be assumed that 'capital stock' and 'capital and property' mean practically the same thing. Primarily the 'capital stock' is the money paid in by the stockholders in compliance with the terms of their subscriptions. It soon, however, takes the form of real estate, or personal property, or both, including machinery, buildings, credits, rights in action, etc. So that it may here be taken to mean personal property, and such real estate as may be necessary to the daily operations of the company, and its moneys and credits. The capital is thus represented by the property in which it has been invested."
We think this language pertinent in the consideration of the case before us. While technically the bonds deposited with the insurance commissioner are investments in bonds, they are also a part of the capital stock of the company invested in Ohio, and require to be so invested for the security of domestic policyholders, and, for the purposes of taxation, to be considered a part of the capital stock of the company and included within the definition of "personal property," as given in section 2730.
This conclusion is reinforced by the decision in Hubbard v. Brush, 61 Ohio St. 252. In that case the Supreme Court of Ohio held that a foreign corporation transacting business in Ohio was required to return its property within the State where
it was carrying on business, although the corporation was organized under the laws of West Virginia.
The court admitted that the situs of intangible property is ordinarily at the local residence of the corporation, within the State where it was incorporated. Nevertheless, as the promissory notes and book accounts and other evidence of indebtedness must be presumed to have been in the company's office in this State, they were taxable as personal property under section 2744.
In the course of the opinion Judge Bradbury said:
"Where foreign corporations voluntarily bring their property and business into this State to avail themselves of advantages found here which they believe will enhance the probabilities that the business they intend to pursue will be profitable, they should not be heard to complain of laws which tax them as domestic corporations are taxed by the State. We hold, therefore, that the provisions of section 2744, which make it the duty of foreign corporations to list for taxation in this State, their choses in action, where they are held within this State and grow out of the business they conduct herein, is a valid exercise of the taxing powers vested in the State."
Under section 2744, corporations, foreign and domestic, are required to return all personal property for taxation, which, among other things, the statute expressly declares shall include moneys and credits of such company or corporation within the State. If the construction contended for shall prevail, a corporation, with capital invested in bonds, would escape taxation, while one holding its investments in notes or certificates of deposit in bank will be compelled to return them for taxation-a condition of things so manifestly unjust that we cannot hold it to have been within the intent of the legislature in framing taxing laws unless the statutes clearly admit of no other construction. The purpose of the Ohio constitution and statutes passed in pursuance thereof, as has been frequently declared by the Supreme Court of Ohio, is to tax by a uniform rule all property owned or held within the State.
A narrow construction, which will defeat this purpose, should not be adopted.
The statutes, specifically mentioning "investments in bonds," were intended to reach and tax, and not to exempt, that class of personal property. The purpose to tax all real and personal property, declared in the statute, was further emphasized by express mention of certain classes of property, such as investments in bonds, so that by no process of exclusion could such securities escape the burdens imposed upon all property owned or held within the State.
The sections taxing individuals holding such securities were not intended to put limitations upon other sections of the law taxing the property of corporations held within the State and enjoying the protection of its laws, and affording a basis for credit in the transacting of business. There is no reason why the law should tax such securities in the hands of individual residents, whether owned or held by them for others, and permit them to escape taxation when they represent invested capital of incorporated companies, sharing the protection of the Government and equally bound in morals, at least, to help bear the burdens of the State.
That such securities might justly be taxed was freely admitted in the argument at bar, and the sole contention was that the lack of statutory power to tax these securities is a casus omissus in legislation which the courts cannot supply.
It may be conceded that no tax can be levied without express authority of law, but the statutes are to receive a reasonable construction with a view to carrying out their purpose and intent.
We have examined the decisions of the Supreme Court of Ohio, cited by counsel, construing the statutes of the State, and believe none of them to be inconsistent with the conclusions we have reached, and those above cited, in our opinion, are direct authority for the construction given. All the sections must be construed together to attain the object and intent of the law. Section 2731, standing alone, might limit the
right to tax investments in bonds to residents of the State. It is certainly enlarged by section 2730 to include such investments when held for others by residents within the State. Read with sections 2734, 2735, 2744 and 2746, we think the purpose is manifest to require the return and taxation of all personal property, except the small exemptions allowed, within the jurisdiction of the State.
But it is urged if section 2744 could otherwise be held to require a return of these bonds by the insurance company, that the company comes within the exception of the statute excluding banking or other corporations whose taxation is specifically provided for in other parts of the Title. And it is argued that section 2745 of the Revised Statutes of Ohio makes express provision for the taxation of foreign insurance companies.
Examination of this section shows that it imposes a tax upon the business of the company in Ohio, and is not a property but a privilege tax. An insurance company is required to return in each county the amount of the gross premium receipts of its agency for the previous calendar year, and under certain regulations the company is taxed upon the amount of business done.
This section does not levy a tax upon property. There are subsequent statutory provisions of a special character, upon which the exception of section 2744 may operate, taxing the property of railroad companies, banks, express, telegraph and telephone companies, etc., but there is no other provision imposing a property tax upon foreign insurance companies within the State.
The requirement that these bonds should be deposited for the security of the local policyholders brought a part of the capital of such company into the State of Ohio upon the strength of which it transacts its business and obtains credit within the State. Clearly, such property is not intended to be taxed within the provisions reaching the business done in the State of Ohio under section 2745.