Gast Realty & Inv. Co. v. Schneider Granite Co. - 240 U.S. 55 (1916)
U.S. Supreme Court
Gast Realty & Inv. Co. v. Schneider Granite Co., 240 U.S. 55 (1916)
Gast Realty & Investment Company
v. Schneider Granite Company
Argued January 21, 1916
Decided January 31, 1916
240 U.S. 55
The legislature may create taxing districts to meet the expense of local improvements without encountering the Fourteenth Amendment unless its action is palpably arbitrary or a plain abuse.
The law does not attempt an imaginary exactness or go beyond reasonable probabilities in establishing taxing districts.
A law establishing a taxing district under which there is no reasonable presumption that substantial justice will be done, but under which parties will probably be disproportionately taxed, cannot stand as constitutional against one actually so taxed.
The ordinance of St. Louis authorized by the charter of that city levying part of the cost of paving on property fronting on the street, but
based on area, without providing for equal depth of the assessment district results necessarily, and not merely incidentally, in subjecting owner of property having greater depth than that adjoining them to greater and disproportionate taxation, and is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.
This decision is limited to the particular ordinance before the Court, and to those who, like the property owner in this case, have suffered from inequalities which have no justification in law.
259 Mo. 153 reversed.
The facts, which involve the construction and constitutionality under the Fourteenth Amendment of certain provisions in the charter and a street paving ordinance of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, are stated in the opinion.