City of Phoenix v. Kolodziejski
399 U.S. 204 (1970)

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U.S. Supreme Court

City of Phoenix v. Kolodziejski, 399 U.S. 204 (1970)

City of Phoenix v. Kolodziejski

No. 1066

Argued March 31, 1970

Decided June 23, 1970

399 U.S. 204

Syllabus

The City of Phoenix held an election in June, 1969 ,at which the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance various municipal improvements was approved. Under Arizona law, only real property taxpayers were permitted to vote. Six days after the election, this Court held, in Cipriano v. City of Houma,395 U. S. 701, that restricting the franchise to property taxpayers in elections on revenue bonds violated the Equal Protection Clause. In August, 1969, appellee, who owned no realty, challenged the franchise restriction and attacked the validity of the June election. The District Court, finding no significant difference between revenue bonds and general obligation bonds, held the nonproperty owner exclusion unconstitutional. It declared the June bond election invalid, since the authorization for the issuance of the bonds was not final on the date of the Cipriano decision.

Held:

1. The Equal Protection Clause does not permit a State to restrict the franchise to real property taxpayers in elections to approve the issuance of general obligation bonds, as the differences between the interests of property owners and nonproperty owners are not sufficiently substantial to justify excluding the latter from voting. Pp. 399 U. S. 207-213.

2. This decision will apply only to authorizations for general obligation bonds that are not final as of the date of this decision. Pp. 399 U. S. 213-215.

Affirmed.

Page 399 U. S. 205

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