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Where the term of an office is fixed by law the Executive cannot remove.-People vs. Mizner, 7 Cal., p.
519. The Constitution does not prohibit an office created by the Legislature from continuing over four years, but merely limits the incumbent's term to four years.People vs. Stratton, 28 Cal., p. 382. In People vs. Middleton, 28 Cal., p. 603, it was held that the Commissioners of the Funded Debt of San Francisco were not officers within the meaning of this section, and that the term during which they are authorized to act is not limited to four years.
SEC. 8. The fiscal year shall commence on the first day of July.
NOTE.-An Act legalizing assessments for taxes for the fiscal year ending on the “first day of March " is not void because the fiscal year commences on the first day of July. People vs. Todd, 23 Cal., p. 181.
Support of county and town officers.
SEC. 9. Each county, town, city, and incorporated village shall make provision for the support of its own officers, subject to such restrictions and regulations as the Legislature may prescribe.
Credit of the State not to be given or loaned.
SEC. 10. The credit of the State shall not in any manner be given or loaned to or in aid of any individual, association, or corporation; nor shall the State, directly or indirectly, become a stockholder in any association or corporation.
NOTE.—This section does not prohibit the State in time of war from appropriating its funds to aid a corporation in the construction of a railroad to be used by the State for military purposes.- People vs. Pacheco, 27 Cal., p. 225. The imposition of a tax and the appropriations of the proceeds to a railroad company to aid in building a railroad in consideration of services to be rendered the State is not a gift or loan of the credit of the State or in aid of a corporation within the meaning of this section.—People vs. Pacheco, 27 Cal., p. 225.
Suits against the State.
Sec. 11. Suits may be brougbt against the State in such manner and in such Courts as shall be directed by law.
SEC. 12. No contract of marriage, otherwise duly made, shall be invalidated for want of conformity to the requirements of any religious sect.
SEC. 13. Taxation shall be equal and uniform through. Taxation. out the State. All property in the State shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law; but Assessors and Collectors of town, county, and State taxes shall be elected by the qualified electors of the district, county, or town in which the property taxed for State, county, or town purposes is situated.
NOTE. ALL PROPERTY MUST BE TAXED.-Revenue laws exempting private property from taxation are to that extent unconstitutional, and all parts thereof relating to such exemptions must be disregarded.-People vs. Gerke, 35 Cal., p. 677. Growing crops are private property, and cannot be exempted from taxation. People vs. Gerke, 35 Cal., p. 677.-See also Note to Section 3607 of this Code.
LEVY OF TAXES.-The levy of taxes is a legislative and not a judicial act.-Hardenburgh vs. Kidd, 10 Cal., p. 402.
GENERAL POWERS OF THE LEGISLATURE OVER THE REVENUE.-The legislative authority is vested with the power of taxation and the authority to determine the objects in favor of which that power shall be exercised.-People vs. Pacheco, 27 Cal., p. 209. The only limitation upon the taxing power of the Legislature is found in this section.-Blanding vs. Burr, 13 Cal., p. 343. The Legislature cannot by law fix the assessed value of property.–People vs. Hastings, 29 Cal., p. 449. In the Legislature is vested the entire control and management of the financial affairs of the State.McCauley vs. Brooks, 16 Cal., p. 11. The power to dispose of the revenue vested in Legislature.—Myers vs. English, 9 Cal., p. 34. The power of appropriation which the Legislature can exercise over the State revenue for any purpose, it can also exercise over the revenue of a county, city, or town.-Blanding vs. Burr, 13 Cal., p. 343.
SUBSIDIES.- For a general discussion of this question, see the Stockton and Visalia R. R. Co. vs. The City of Stockton, April Term, 1871; see, also, Hobart vs. Sups. Butte, 17 Cal., p. 23; Lowe vs. Marysville, 5 Cal., p. 214; Robinson vs. Bidwell, 22 Cal., p. 379. It is not essential to the validity of an Act authorizing the issuance of bonds and levying a tax in aid of public improvements that the improvement should be confined to the locality liable on the bonds or taxed to
redeem them.-Patterson vs. Supervisors of Yuba Co.. 13 Cal., p. 175. A tax levied in Sacramento County for a wagon road from its eastern boundary line to Carson Valley held valid.-People vs. Seymour, 16 Cal., p. 332.
LICENSE Taxes.—This section applies only to direct taxation upon property, and does not prohibit the Leg. islature from enacting license laws. Foreign miners license tax held constitutional.-People vs. Vaglee, 1 Cal., p. 232. The Legislature may discriminate in the imposition of taxes on certain classes of persons, occupations, etc.—People vs. Coleman, 4 Cal., p. 46. The mere fact that a native of China resides in a mining district does not subject him to the payment of foreign miners license tax. A law imposing this tax, under such circumstances merely, would not be constitutional, Ex Parte Ah Pong, 19 Cal., p. 106. The Legislature has no power to impose a tax upon bills of lading for the transportation of property from a point within to a point without the State.-Brumagim vs. Tillinghast, 18 Cal. p. 265. The passenger stamp tax was in The People vs. Raymond, 34 Cal., p. 492, held unconstitutional upon the ground that it was an attempt to regulate commerce. The Board of Supervisors of a city may be empowered to levy a license tax upon the business of a merchant, and an ordinance graduating such tax according to the monthly sales of the merchant is not an unequal tax.-Sacramento vs. Crocker, 16 Cal., p. 119.
STREET ASSESSMENTS.-The last clause of this section has no application to assessments for street work.Chambers vs. Satterlee, 40 Cal., p. 497. “Assessment" and “taxation " distinguished.--Taylor vs. Palmer, 31 Cal., p. 240. An assessment for street work is not "taxation."-Chambers vs. Satterlee, 40 Cal., p. 497; Burnett vs. Sacramento City, 12 Cal., p. 76. A statute authorizing the assessment of a portion of the expenses for widening a street upon lots situated on a cross street is constitutional.- Appeal of Piper, 32 Cal., p. 530. An Act imposing a personal liability for a street assessment held unconstitutional in Taylor vs. Palmer, 21 Cal., p. 240; but see Walsh vs. Matthews, 29 Cal, p. 123. FEES NOT
A Tax.-The percentage allowed the Gauger of San Francisco is not a tax but a fee to a public officer; nor is the Act creating the office an Act imposing duties on imports.-Addison vs. Saulnier, 19 Cal., p. 82.
ANNUAL ASSESSMENTS NOT REQUIRED.—The Constitution does not require annual assessments. Property may be taxed for several years at a rate based upon a particular valuation.-Kelsey vs. Trustees of Nevada, 18 Cal., p. 629.
REVENUE OFFICERS.—The office of Sheriff and Tax Collector may be united in the same hands. The Legislature may deprive the Sheriff of the office of Tax Collector before the expiration of his term. Foreign miners license is not a tax in the sense involved in the duties of Tax Collector, and therefore it is competent for the Legislature to authorize Boards of Supervisors to appoint Collectors of such licenses.-Attorney General vs. Squires, 14 Cal., p. 12. The Legislature cannot by law transfer the duties of the office of Tax Collector from a person elected as such to one who was not so elected, but may provide for the election of a person as Tax Collector, who may enter upon the discharge of the duties of the office before the expiration of the term of a Tax Collector elected under the law as it previously existed.-Mills vs. Sargent, 36 Cal., p. 379. The Legislature may devolve the office and duties of Tax Collector upon the incumbent of any other elective office; but the law by which this is done must precede the election of such officer.-People vs. Kelsey, 34 Cal., p. 470. The Legislature may divest an officer of an ex officio office by a repeal of the law, but cannot transfer an ex officio office, which under the Constitution is required to be filled by election, to the incumbent of another office elected before the transfer is sought to be made.-People vs. Kelsey, 34 Cal., p. 470. The Sheriff acquires his authority to act as Tax Collector not from the Constitution, but in those counties where he so acts, under statutes which invest the person elected to the office of Sheriff with another and distinct office-that of Tax Collector—and though he is elected in name Sheriff, he is in fact also elected to the office of Tax Collector, and the two offices are distinct.Lathrop vs. Brittain, 30 Cal., p. 680. The authority of Assessors is limited to districts within which they are elected, and they have no power to assess property situated without the limits of such districts.-People vs. Placerville and S. V. R. R. Co., 34 Cal., p. 656. An assessment made by an Assessor elected by the electors of the City and County of Sacramento, is not a sufficient basis for the levy of a tax in the City of Sacramento for city purposes.—People vs. Hastings, 29 Cal., p. 449. A law is constitutional which provides that a collector of taxes shall pay part of the fees allowed him by law into the General Fund in the County Treasury.-Ream vs. Siskiyou, 36 Cal., p. 620.-See also note to Section 3692 of this Code where the decisions bearing upon the question of taxation have been fully annotated, for which reason they are omitted here.
Separate property of wife.
Sec. 14. All property, both real and personal, of the wife, owned or claimed by her before marriage, and that acquired afterward by gift, devise, or descent, shall be her separate property, and laws shall be passed more clearly defining the rights of the wife in relation as well to her separate property as to that held in common with her husband. Laws shall also be passed providing for the registration of the wife's separate property.
NOTE.—The capacity of the wife to hold separate property is created by the Constitution. Her title des pends upon the mode of acquisition, and not upon filing an inventory.-Selover vs. Am. Russ. Com. Co., 7 Cal., p. 266. The term “ separate property," in this section, is used in its common law sense, and means an estate held both in its use and in its title for the exclusive use of the wife; neither the husband nor the creditor can claim the proceeds of the separate estate, and a law giving either such proceeds would be unconstitutional. George vs. Ransom, 15 Cal., p. 322. The word "separate" neither enlarges nor limits the wife's right to the property mentioned, but merely distinguishes it from her common property.-Dow vs. G. & C. S. M. Co., 31 Cal., p. 630. The phrase "and laws shall be passed more clearly defining the rights of the wife in relation
to her separate property,” refers to the disabilities under which the wife labored at common law, and not to the mode and form in which she may convey her separate property.-Dow vs. G. & C. S. M. Co., 31 Cal., p. 630. Statutes providing that the wife cannot mortgage her separate real estate unless her husband joins in the conveyance, and operating in future, are constitutional.—Harrison vs. Brown, 16 Cal., p. 287. A legislative enactment, requiring a deed conveying the separate property of the wife to be signed by the husband as well as the wife, is constitutional. Dow vs. G. & C. S. M. Co., 31 Cal., p. 630. The Act of April 3d, 1863, validating powers of attorney theretofore made by married women for the sale of their separate estate, was, in Dentzell vs. Waldie, 30 Cal., p. 138, held constitutional, upon the ground that it was