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unite in the manner specified in the law, then the property is not exempt. Where a school house is used for school purposes, but is owned by an individual, and not by the public, it is liable to taxation. In re Swigert, 123–267.
9. All laws exempting property from taxation will be subject to a strict construction by the courts, when called upon to enforce them, and nothing will be held to come within the exemption which does not clearly appear to be so, and all reasonable intendments will be indulged in favor of the State. Where moneys belonging to the school fund, derived from the sale of the sixteenth section, are loaned on mortgaged security, and the title to real estate is thus acquired on foreclosure of such mortgage, and held, in the name of the city, for school purposes, such lands are not subject to taxation. The real estate thus acquired in fact belongs to the State, in trust for school purposes, and is expressly exempted from taxation by section 2 of the revenue law. People v. City of Chicago, 124-636.
10. By the canons of construction all laws exempting property from taxation are to be strictly construed, and all reasonable intendments indulged in favor of the State, and all doubts resolved in its favor and against exemptions. The expression institution of learning is broad enough to include every description of enterprise undertaken for educational purposes which is of higher grade than the public schools provided for in the statutes, and is not necessarily limited to either public or incorporated enterprises, or to both. Montgomery V. Wyman, 130-17.
11. That which is exempt from taxation is the property of the institution of learning, which plainly means the property owned by the institution. The property of and the property owned by an individual or corporation, as commonly used and understood, means precisely the same thing. No matter where the legal title to the property may be vested, it is sufficient for the operation of the statute if the institution is the ultimate or beneficiary owner. If the title is in the controlling corporation, or if it is vested in a trustee or trustees, for the objects to be accomplished through the instrumentality of the institution, in event the property is, within the contemplation of the statute, the property of the institution of learning. Ibid.
12. It is required by the statute, in order that the property should be exempt from taxation, that it should not be leased by such institutions, or otherwise used with a view to profit. The Constitution provides that property used exclusively for school purposes may be exempted, by general law, from taxation. The General Assembly, therefore, could rightfully exempt only such property as is used exclusively for the attainment of the objects of the institution of learning, and it cannot be understood that the statute is broader in its scope than the Constitution itself. Ibid.
13. The fact that by section 2 of the revenue law it is provided that all public school houses shall be exempt from taxation, implies that private school houses in which are taught, with a view to private profit, the rudimentary branches of education, such as are ordinarily taught in the public schools, are subject to taxation. It is not perceived, from the act, that it was the legislative intention, while thus leaving schools of this inferior grade, which are maintained for private and personal gain, subject to taxation, to relieve therefrom schools of the grade of institutions of learning, which are likewise maintained for personal and private gain and profit, whether maintained by an individual or by a corporation. No reasonable or just ground for such a discrimination is apparent, nor is it manifest such discrimination is in fact made by the statute. Ibid.
14. It is the legislative policy to encourage and foster institutions of learning, thereby affording opportunities for higher education; and this is done by not limiting the exemption from taxation to such institutions as are public and sustained by the State, but extending it to all institutions of learning, however managed and controlled, whether by a corporation or by an individual, but subject, however, to the restrictions that the property so to be exempted shall be owned by the institution, and shall not be leased or otherwise used with a view to profit. Ibid.
15. In order that such property shall be exempt from taxation it must be dedicated to a use favored by law, and it may be dedicated by being owned by an institution of learning which has a corporate existence which authorizes it to hold the title to property, or by having the title thereto vested in a trustee or trustees, solely for the uses and purposes of the institution of learning; and in either event it must not be used with a view to profit. It is not contemplated by the Constitution, or intended by the statute, that property owned by an individual in his or her own right, and used for his or her own gain and profit, or owned by a corporation formed with a view to profits and dividends to be paid to the stockholders, should be free from the burdens of taxation. Such an exemption would be violative of the principle of uniformity and equality of taxation prescribed by the Constitution. Ibid.
16. All laws exempting property from taxation must be construed strictly, and an exemption cannot be made by judicial construction to embrace other subjects than those plainly expressed in the act. The expression “all public school houses” as that term is used in section 2 of our revenue act, refers to those school houses, which belong to our system of free schools, and are used for carrying out the purposes of that system. People v. Ryan, 138– 263.
17. The Constitution contemplates uniformity and equality of taxation according to value, but the Legislature is authorized to exempt from taxation, by general law, certain classes of property. Where such an exemption is claimed, the facts must clearly bring the property within the provisions of the law exempting it, and all doubts will be resolved against the exemption. In pursuance of the authority given by the Constitution, the Legislature has exempted from taxation all public school houses, and all property of institutions of learning, including the real estate on which the institutions are located, not leased by such institutions or otherwise used with a view to profit. McCullough v. Board of Review, 183-373.
18. The expression “institution of learning” is broad enough to include every description of enterprise undertaken for educational purposes which is of higher grade than the public schools provided for in the statutes. Public and private schools are defined to be schools of inferior grade, where instruction is given in the rudimentary branches of education, such as are ordinarily taught in the public schools, and institutions of learning to be such as afford opportunities for higher education. Ibid.
19. The idea of ownership of property can only be connected with that which we call an institution of learning by means of the interposition of either a society or corporation or a trust. In order such property shall be exempt from taxation it must be dedicated to a use favored by law, and it may be dedicated by being owned by an institution of learning which has a corporate existence which authorizes it to hold the title to property, or by having the title thereto vested in a trustee or trustees, solely for the uses and purposes of the institution of learning. Ibid.
20. Property described as used for a play ground by a school cannot be held exempt from taxation as the property of an institution of learning, in the absence of any showing that a higher education is given in such school than in public schools. A petition to a board of review asking them to hold exempt from taxation property described as a play ground used for the school in the rear of the premises, does not bring the property within section 2 of the revenue law; neither does a petition to a board of review which alleges that the petitioner, a Catholic bishop, holds the title to premises used as a play ground for a school, without alleging that it is held in trust, show that the property is the property of the school. Ibid.
21. The right of taxation is essential to the very existence of the government, and all property, of every description, in the State, is subject to taxation unless it has been specifically exempted. All laws exempting property must be subjected by the courts to a strict construction, and hence nothing will be held to be within the exemption which does not clearly appear so to be. City of Chicago v. City of Chicago, 207–37.
22. Exemption from taxation does not exempt from special assessments. The distinction between taxation and special assessment, is clearly made in our present Constitution. While it provides that the Legislature may exempt the property of the State, counties and other corporations from the former, it makes no such provision in regard to the latter, but on the contrary, authorizes the General Assembly to vest the corporate power of cities, towns and villages with power to make local improvements by special assessments, without any restrictions as to the property to be assessed. County of McLean v. City of Bloomington, 106–209.
23. It has been been held that section 16 could not be subjected to taxation by the General Assembly. This was not put upon the ground of any direct exemption, but upon the use for which the property was granted, and the Constitutional provision that the land granted for school purposes should be faithfully applied to the objects for which the grant was made; that this prohibited the Legislature from directly appropriating this property to State or municipal purposes, and it could not do so by the indirect means of taxation; that so much as would be taken from the fund by taxation, would be an unconstitutional perversion of the fund to that extent. The State is the real owner of the fund, to be held in trust for the purposes of the grant. People v. Trustees of Schools, 118-52.
24. This same reason, which would exempt the property from taxation. must be held to exempt it from special assessment. The fund would be liable to be misappropriated in the latter mode, as well as in the former. It does not meet the objection to a special assessment to say, that it takes nothing from the property, and the assessment is only to the extent of the benefit conferred upon it by the improvement. This may be so in theory, but not in certainty. The property should be held sacred for the use to which it has been appropriated. It may be sold, or it may be rented for school purposes, but no authority of law is conferred upon any one to improve it. It should not be exposed to the danger of being improved away, by being made to pay for supposed benefits conferred upon it by improvements. Ibid.
25. It is said the purpose is not to have sale made of the land to pay the assessment, but to obtain judgment, which may be paid out of any moneys unappropriated, of the township, or there may be the remedy by mandamus, requiring the board of trustees to levy a tax for the payment of the judgment. But any payment so to be obtained would come from school moneys, and there would be equally involved a perversion of the school fund as if the property itself should be sold to satisfy the judgment. Ibid.
26. The distinction between taxation and special assessment is clearly made in our present Constitution. While providing that the General Assembly may exempt the property of the State, county, and municipality from the former, no such provision is made in regard to the latter, but, on the contrary, the General Assembly is authorized to vest the corporate authorities of cities, towns and villages with power to make local improvements by special assessments, without any restrictions as to the property to be assessed. City of Chicago v. City of Chicago, 207–37.
27. A special assessment may be levied for the purpose of paving streets, putting down sidewalks, putting in curbing, or for sewer purposes, all of which are, in theory, for the benefit of the property abutting on the line of the improvement. Undeniably all of these improvements are of great benefit, if not of actual necessity, to a public school, and from the most of them no property derives more benefit than does that of the board of education. They are as necessary to the practical use of the property as the furnishing of heat, light and air. Special assessments for such improvements is but a method of applying the funds of the school district for the benefit of its schools, and is legal and proper. Ibid.
28. School property, not being a part of section 16, nor derived therefrom, is subject to special assessment, whether occupied for school purposes, vacant, or occupied buildings from which the school receives rent. The fact that properly held in trust by a city for school purposes can not be sold for the purpose of collecting a special assessment against it does not defeat the assessment, since the law provides other methods by which the payment may be enforced. Ibid.
$ 12. No county, city, township, school district or other municipal corporation shall be allowed to become indebted in any manner or for any purpose, to an amount, including existing indebtedness, in the aggregate exceeding 5 per centum on the value of the taxable property therein, to be ascertained by the last assessment for State and county taxes, previous to the incurring of such indebtedness. Any county, city, school district, or other municipal corporation incurring any indebtedness as aforesaid, shall before, or at the time of doing so, provide for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such debt, as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof within twenty years from the time of contracting the same. This section shall not be construed to prevent any county, city, township, school district or other municipal corporation from issuing their bonds in compliance with any vote of the people which may have been had prior to the adoption of this Constitution in pursuance of any law providing therefor.
1. It would be difficult to employ language making it plainer that the prohibition is on each corporation singly, and not on two or more in the aggregate. Wilson v. Board of Trustees, 133-443.
2. The provision of section 12, article 9 of the Constitution, which requires municipal officers incurring any indebtedness to provide for a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest and principal in twenty years is self-executing, and the tax so provided for, does not fall within the items of expenses for educational or building purposes mentioned in section 1, article 8, of the school law, even though levied to pay interest and principal on school house bonds. Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad Company v. The People, 195-423.
3. While this section of the Constitution is self-executing, it is equally apparent that the Legislature intended, by the language of section 202, article 8, to limit the levy of taxes by school officers to the rates fixed by that section of the statute, and that enactment is not in conflict with this Constitutional provision. A board of directors or board of education, may levy but two kinds of taxes--one for educational purposes and one for building purposes. If a bonded indebtedness has been incurred for educational purposes, the tax to meet it must be levied as an educational tax, and if such indebtedness has been incurred for building purposes, the tax levied to meet it must be levied for building purposes, and the tax levied for either purpose, whether or not it includes any sum to be applied upon bonded indebtedness, can not exceed the rate fixed by the statute for such purpose. Chicago & Alton Railroad Company v. The People, 205-625.
4. Any school district having at least 2,000 inhabitants may establish and maintain a high school for the benefit of such school district. In so doing it exercises a power which it already had, the only difference being that the high school is in charge of a different board of education. There is no warrant for saying that when a district establishes a high school it becomes two districts, the one within and co-extensive with the other or the one superimposed upon the other. It is within the power of the Legislature to provide for the establishment of a high school under the control of a board of education elected for that purpose, but it can not, by multiplying the boards of education in the same territory, authorize the district to incur indebtedness beyond the Constitutional limit. Russell v. High School Board of Education, 212-327.
5. The establishment of a high school by a school district under the control of a different board of education is a mere division of existing powers of the district between two boards of education. What the new board of education can do, the district was already authorized to do through the existing board of education. If the Legislature, by authorizing a school district to establish a high school, can also authorize it to incur indebtedness beyond the Constitutional limit, it could get rid of all the restrictions of the Constitution by authorizing the management of each grade or department of the public schools by a different board of education, with different buildings. Such a construction of our Constitution has never been adopted. Ibid.
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A SYSTEM OF
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly: That, at the election to be held on Tuesday after the first Monday of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety, and quadrennially thereafter, there shall be elected by the legal voters of this State, a State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who shall hold his office for four years from the second Monday in January next after his election, and until his successor is duly elected and qualified.
1. A statute making the Superintendent of Public Instruction ex officio a trustee of a normal school, merely enlarges the duties of his office, and does not violate section 5, article 5 of the Constitution, making him ineligible to any other office. People v. Inglis, 161-256.
2. The proviso that no two members of the board of trustees of a normal school shall be residents of any one county, does not have any application to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who is ex officio a member of said board. Ibid.
§ 2. Before entering upon his duties he shall take and subscribe the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution, and shall also execute a bond, in the penalty of $25,000, payable to the people of the State of Illinois, with securities to be approved by the Governor, conditioned for the prompt discharge of his duties as Superintendent of Public Instruction, and for the faithful application and disposition, according to law, of all school moneys that may come into his hands by virtue of his office. Said bond and oath shall be deposited with the Secretary of State, and an action may be maintained thereon by the State at any time for a breach of the conditions thereof.
$ 3. And the said State Superintendent, shall receive, annually, such sum as may be provided by law, as a salary for the services required under the provisions of this act, or any other law that may be passed, and also all necessary contingent expenses for books, postage and stationery pertaining to his office, to be audited and paid by the State as the salaries and contingent expenses of other officers are