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perceive they are clothed with ample means to discover taxable property and ascertain the value thereof, and power to enforce obedience to the law on the part of persons liable to assessment. Where occasion requires it, these powers should be used without fear or hesitation. The liability incurred by Assessors for neglect of duties should also be carefully observed. (Vide Secs. 3656, 3660, 3661, 3662, 3697, 3698.)
RULE XII.-The copy of the assessment roll for the year 1872, which the State Board of Equalization requires for its use (the forms for which will be prepared and forwarded by said Board), should be made contemporaneously with the original assessment roll, or sooner if that be possible, in order that the State Board of Equalization may be advised at the earliest practicable moment of the value of the properties assessed in each county. In this copy it will not be necessary to enter a minute description of the real estate, but only the number of acres and special designation, if (as in the case of Spanish ranchos) the tract had any, and in other cases by United States divisions and subdivisions. For personal property the entire roll need not be copied, but only so many examples of assessment-say forty or fifty-as shall clearly show the different species of property and the price at which it is valued. It should be full enough to enable the Board to see how each class of property is assessed in a particular county. The aggregate amount of personal property assessed to each person should be carried out. Have the amounts added up and the totals carried out, so that the Board can ascertain the “ total value” of the assessment, and the “total full cash value” of all property.
RULE XIII.-Great care and diligence should be used in the description of real estate. Designations of sections, quarter sections, and quarter quarter sections of land, after the manner of description used in the United States Land Offices, may be adopted. Large ranchos may be described by the best known name by which such ranchos are usually known, as for instance, " the Suscol rancho," situated in
County, bounded on the north by , on the east by on the south by , on the west by giving the outboundaries with reasonable certainty. Where sales of any portion of a tract have been made, such portions should be excepted from the general description by describing them with such reasonable certainty as may be practicable, as for instance, excepting that
portion of said tract sold to (or owned by) A. B., bounded on the north by," etc.
RULE XIV.-These rules are to be taken as additions to and modifications of the Rules issued by this Board under date of March eighteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-two. Further Rules will be adopted from time to time, as necessity may require.
The following additional rules were adopted April 9, 1872:
RULE XV.-Growing crops should be separately assessed at their full cash value at the time of assessment. On account of the difficulty of determining the value of such property early in the season, it is recommended that the time for assessing growing crops should be postponed to a later period in the season, when the crop is far enough advanced to enable the Assessor to fix a fair valuation.
RULE XVI.-In Section 3640 of the Political Code the words “capital” and “property” mean the same thing, to wit: property; and where all of the same has been assessed to a firm or corporation the owner or holder of any stock in such firm or corporation should not be assessed for such stock.
RULE XVII.-In demanding a list from a railroad company the Assessor should require from the proper officer thereof a statement:
First-of the whole number of miles of railroad belonging to such company in the State, and the number of miles lying in his county.
Second–The whole amount of rolling stock belonging to such company in the State, and the proportion of such rolling stock taxable to such company in his county, pro rata, in conformity with the requirements of Section 3663 of the Political Code. The rolling stock should be separately assessed from other property of the railroad company.
RULE XVIII.-Railroads should be assessed at the full cash value per mile for each mile of railroad in the respective counties in which railroads lie. In determining this value the rule established by the Code should be kept in view, and Assessors should be governed by the same rules and circumstances which influence their judgment in fixing the value of other property. Railroad buildings and other property belonging to railroad companies should be assessed separately from the land and track.
RULE XIX.-Salt marsh and tide lands, swamp and
overflowed lands, school lands, and all other lands purchased of the State, by payment in whole or in part, must be assessed at their full cash value to such purchasers, or their assignees, or legal representatives.
Preëmption claims to lands should be listed as the possession interest and claim of A. B. in and to the tract of land described as follows (describing the land):
If, however, the entire purchase money has been paid by the preëmptor, and a certificate issued therefor, the land itself must be assessed to such preëmptor, notwithstanding the patent has not issued.
RULE XX.–An Act entitled “ An Act concerning the assessment of Animals," approved March 30, 1872, and printed as an addition to the last provisions of the Code affecting revenue, distributed by this Board, is repealed by Sections 18 and 3891 of the Political Code, and will not govern Assessors in the discharge of their duties.
RULE XXI.- What are known as consigned goods, in the possession of any person in this State, consigned to such person from any place out of this State for sale, are required by Section 3638 of the Political Code to be assessed as other property. The only exception allowable to this general requirement is in cases where goods consigned from a foreign State or country remain, and at the time of assessment are in unbroken or unopened original packages in the hands of the importer or consignee.
RULE XXII.-No specific tax, as in the old revenue law, is laid upon dogs by the Code; but as these animals are property, they, like other animals, must be assessed at their full cash value. Under the Code the Supervisors of counties may levy a special tax on dogs after the 1st day of January, 1873.
3693. When the property is found to be assessed ments, how above or below its full cash value, the Board must add
to or deduct from the valuation of: 273
1. The real estate; 7880
2. Improvements upon such real estate; 119
3. The personal property, except money;
4. The amount of money; -Such per centum respectively as is sufficient to raise or reduce it to the full cash value.
Note.- We give below at some length a review of the questions arising upon the various provisions of this Title regarding the assessment and equalization of taxes:
The provision of the State Constitution concerning taxation is as follows: “ Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. All property in this 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." (Art. XI, Sec. 13.)
The questions which have arisen under this section
1. Is a law authorizing a Board of Equalization to raise or reduce valuations of property, made by Assessors for the purpose of taxation, constitutional?
The first sentence of the section quoted requires that "taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State.” How is this to be accomplished if each Assessor of the several districts of a county, or of the various counties of the State, has the exclusive power of selecting a standard of valuation which is subject to no revision or alteration? When this provision of our State Constitution was adopted, Boards of Equalization (or officers intrusted with like powers) existed in almost every State in the Union which contained a constitutional provision similar to the one above referred to. It is, then, a fair presumption that our Constitution, by this declaration, contemplated the organization of such Boards. This position is strengthened by the succeeding clause, which declares: “All property in this State shall be taxed in proportien to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law.” These subjects, however, will be discussed in another portion of this note. The first Revenue Law enacted in this State constituted the several Courts of Sessions Boards of Equalization, “with power to equalize the valuation made by the Assessor, either by adding thereto or deducting therefrom such sums as shall appear to them just and equitable.” (Stats, 1850, p. 138.) This law was passed less than four months after the adjournment of the Constitutional Convention. The many provisions of the Constitution and the debates thereon were fresh in the minds of all; and the Legislature (comprising, as it did, some of the original framers of that instrument-Messrs. Aram, Brown, Covarubias, Crosby, De la Guerra, Lippincott, McDougall, Moore, Steuart, Tefft, and Vermeule) were sceking to carry out for the first time its intentions on the subject of taxation. Each successive Revenue Law passed since that time has provided for Boards of Equalization with like powers. The policy of such a provision has always been recognized as wise and beneficial, and no voice has ever been lifted against it. The exercise of this power, however, by the county Boards has, at times, called forth decisions from the Supreme Court, which are reviewed.
In Patton vs. Green, 13 Cal., p. 325, the Court decided that “the Board of Equalization has no power to raise the valuation of land without notice to the owner.” The question involved in this case was not the power of the Board to raise the valuation, but simply that the valuation could not be raised without notice to the owner. It was intimated that this notice must be given only" because the words of the statute seem to require it.” The case turns upon questions raised under the statute-not under the Constitution—and the Court acknowledge the power of the Board to raise the valuation, if the method of procedure pointed out by law is strictly pursued. In People vs.
Reynolds, 28 Cal., p. 107, the constitutional question is not discussed. The case is similar to that of Patten vs. Green; and it was held that under the statute of 1861 the Board could not enter on the assessment roll any property not already thereon. The Court expressly recognize the right of Boards of Equalization to raise the valuation fixed by Assessors, and declare “in matters relating to the assessment of property the Board of Equalization may hear and determine complaints respecting the same, and may correct errors in the assessment roll by diminishing or increasing the valuation fixed by the Assessor upon the property therein described." This case is affirmed in People vs. Flint, 39 Cal., p. 670.
In the People vs. McCreery, 34 Cal., p. 432, given at some length in note to Sec. 3607, ante, the Court, in speaking of the curative power of the Legislature over assessment rolls defective in form, say: “It was held upon the authority of People vs. Hastings, 29 Cal., p. 449, that the very foundation of proceedings for apportioning and collecting a tax upon property was the valuation; that such valuation must, under the rule of the Constitution, be made by the Assessor; and the Legislature could not supply this defect if it existed. All the details in making the valuation are subject to legislative control, and if error has intervened it is subject to the curative power of the Legislature, under the "Same principles that are applicable to the proceedings