Hepburn v. School Directors - 90 U.S. 480 (1874)


U.S. Supreme Court

Hepburn v. School Directors, 90 U.S. 23 Wall. 480 480 (1874)

Hepburn v. School Directors

90 U.S. (23 Wall.) 480

Syllabus

1. Under the Act of Congress of February 10, 1868, enacting that the legislature of each state may direct the manner of taxing all the shares of national banks located within said state, subject to the restriction that "the taxation shall not be at a greater rate than is assessed upon other moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens of such state," and the Act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania of March 31st, 1810, enacting

Page 90 U. S. 481

that the shares of national banks within that state

"shall be taxable for county, school, municipal, and local purposes, at the same rate as now is or may hereafter be assessed and imposed upon other moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens of the state"

-- shares in national banks may be valued for taxation for county, school, municipal, and local purposes, at an amount above their par value.

2. This is true of shares in a national bank in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, although by statute of Pennsylvania, "all mortgages, judgments, recognizances, and moneys owing upon articles of agreement for the sale of real estate," are made exempt from taxation in that county, except fur state purposes.

An Act of Congress of February 10th, 1868, relating to the taxation by states of shares in the national banks, thus enacts: [Footnote 1]

"The legislature of each state may determine and direct the manner and place of taxing all the shares of national banks located within said state, subject to the restriction that the taxation shall not be at a greater rate than is assessed upon other moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens of such state."

An Act of Assembly of Pennsylvania, of March 31st, 1870, with a view of giving effect to this act of Congress, further enacts: [Footnote 2]

"All the shares of national banks, located within this state, shall be taxable for state purposes at the rate of three mills per annum, upon the assessed value thereof, and for county, school, municipal, and local purposes, at the same rate as now is or may hereafter be assessed and imposed upon other moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens of this state."

This act gives an appeal to the Auditor General, who is authorized by the act to correct any errors in the assessment.

Another act of Assembly of Pennsylvania, one of April 4th, 1868, [Footnote 3] enacts that Cumberland County, in which county the town of Carlisle is situated, enacts additionally:

Page 90 U. S. 482

"All mortgages, judgments, recognizances, and moneys owing upon articles of agreement for the sale of real estate shall be exempt from taxation except for state purposes,"

&c.

In this state of legislation, federal and state, Hepburn, a citizen of Pennsylvania, residing at the Borough of Carlisle, in Cumberland County, in the said state, owned four hundred and sixty shares of stock in the First National Bank of Carlisle, the par value of which was $100 a share.

This stock was assessed for county, school, and borough tax by the bank assessor, appointed under an Act of Assembly of Pennsylvania approved April 12th, 1840, at the value of $150 per share.

On amicable suit brought by the school directors to test their right to collect the school tax, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania adjudged that they had such a right, and to reverse that judgment Hepburn brought this writ of error.

Page 90 U. S. 483



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