Asylum v. New Orleans
105 U.S. 362 (1881)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Asylum v. New Orleans, 105 U.S. 362 (1881)

Asylum v. New Orleans

105 U.S. 362

Syllabus

An institution in the City of New Orleans for the relief of destitute females and helpless children of all religious denominations was incorporated April 20, 1853, by an act of the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana, which declares that from and after its passage, all the property, real and personal, belonging to the institution "is hereby exempted from all taxation either by the state, parish, or city in which it is situated, any law to the contrary notwithstanding." By means of donations, the institution erected an asylum, and has always fulfilled the objects for which it was established. In the year 1874, certain property -- a cotton press -- was devised to it, the revenues of which have been faithfully applied to enable it to carry on its work. Under a statute enacted in pursuance of article 118 of the state constitution of 1868 (infra, p. 105 U. S. 364), the city in 1876 imposed upon that property a tax the validity of which was sustained by the court below.

Held:

1. That imposing the tax without granting any compensation or indemnity was not a legitimate exercise of the power of dissolving corporations which is reserved in a provision of the Code of Louisiana.

2. That the statute and the provision, as they were construed and applied to the circumstances of this case, are in violation of the tenth section of the first article of the Constitution of the United States.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 105 U. S. 363

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