Butters v. City of Oakland
263 U.S. 162 (1923)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Butters v. City of Oakland, 263 U.S. 162 (1923)

Butters v. City of Oakland

No. 16

Submitted October 3, 1923

Decided November 12, 1923

263 U.S. 162

Syllabus

1. Where a state statute authorizes municipal authorities to define the district to be benefited by a street improvement and to assess the cost of the improvement upon the property within the district in proportion to benefits, their action in establishing the district and in fixing the assessments on included property, after due hearing of the owners as required by the statute, when not arbitrary or fraudulent, cannot be reviewed under the Fourteenth Amendment upon the ground that other property benefited by the improvement was not included and taxed. P. 263 U. S. 164.

2. The fact that a city council, in revising public improvement assessments upon appeal, reduced those laid on certain areas and made up the amount of the reduction by distributing it over and assessing it upon the entire district does not, in itself, establish that an assessment thus increased was, to the extent of the increase, arbitrary and not according to benefits. P. 263 U. S. 165.

3. The California Improvement Act of 1911, as construed by the state supreme court, while authorizing collection of street improvement taxes, does not interfere with the taxpayer's right to compensation for damages caused to his abutting property by a change of grade, or his right to enjoin the doing of the work until such damages have been ascertained and paid. P. 263 U. S. 166.

4. The theoretical possibility that improvement taxes laid in proportion to estimated benefits may be greater than the benefits to be actually received by land so taxed is not enough to overturn this established method of assessment. P. 263 U. S. 166.

53 Cal.App. 294 affirmed.

Error to a judgment of the district court of appeal of California, which affirmed a judgment against the present plaintiffs in error in their suit to enjoin the defendants from making or recording an assessment of street improvement taxes against the plaintiffs' properties.

Page 263 U. S. 163

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