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ness of whatever kind, whether issued by incorporated or unincorporated companies, towns, cities, villages, townships, counties, States or other incorporations, or by the United States, held by persons residing in this State, whether for hemselves or others."
If these sections embrace all the statutory laws of the State, together they tax investments in bonds held by residents, because of jurisdiction over the person of the owner, and those held by residents for other owners, and if such reside out of the State, because of jurisdiction over the property held within the State.
Section 2744 undertakes to make provision for the taxation of corporations generally, and is as follows:
“Sec. 2744. [Corporations generally; their returns.] The president, secretary, and principal accounting officer of every canal or slackwater navigation company, turnpike company, plank-road company, bridge company, insurance company, telegraph company, or other joint stock company, except banking or other corporations whose taxation is specifically provided for, for whatever purpose they may have been created, whether incorporated by any law of this State or not, shall list for taxation, verified by the oath of the person so listing, all the personal property, which shall be held to include all such real estate as is necessary to the daily operations of the company, moneys and credits of such company or corporation within the State, at the actual value in money, in manner following: In all cases return shall be made to the several auditors of the respective counties where such property may be situated, together with a statement of the amount of said property which is situated in each township, village, city or ward therein. The value of all movable property shall be added to the stationary and fixed property and real estate, and apportioned to such wards, cities, villages, or townships, pro rata, in proportion to the value of the real estate and fixed property in said ward, city, village or township, and all property so listed shall be subject to and pay the same taxes as other prop
erty listed in such ward, city, village or township. It shall be the duty of the accounting officer aforesaid to make return to the auditor of State during the month of May of each year of the aggregate amount of all property by him returned to the several auditors of the respective counties in which the same may be located. It shall be the duty of the auditor of each county, on or before the first Monday of May, annually, to furnish the aforesaid president, secretary, principal accounting officer, or agent, the necessary blanks for the purpose of making aforesaid returns; but no neglect or failure on the part of the county auditor to furnish such blanks shall excuse any such president, secretary, principal accountant, or agent, from making the returns within the time specified herein. If the county auditor to whom returns are made is of the opinion that false or incorrect valuations have been made, or that the property of the corporation or association has not been listed at its full value, or that it has not been listed in the location where it properly belongs, or in cases where no return has been made to the county auditor, he is hereby required to proceed to have the same valued and assessed: provided, that nothing in this section shall be so construed as to tax any stock or interest in any joint stock company held by the State. [73 v. 139, § 16; (S. & C. 1446).)”
This section is broad in its terms, and requires the return of the property, among others, of insurance companies, whether incorporated by the laws of Ohio or not, and such companies are required to list for taxation “all the personal property, which shall be held to include all such real estate as is necessary to the daily operations of the company, moneys and credits of such company or corporation within the State, at its actual value in money."
The Supreme Court of Ohio has expressly held that this section applies to foreign as well as domestic corporations. Hubbard v. Brush, 61 Ohio St. 252; Lander v. Burke, 65 Ohio St. 532, 542. This section, therefore, requires of both foreign and domestic
Opinion of the Court.
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.