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78. Sec. 8. When complaint shall be made in writing to the board by the board of chosen freeholders of any county in this State, or by the governing body of any taxing district that the taxable property of any county has been undervalued or omitted by the assessors therein, it shall be the duty of the board to investigate the assessment of the property subject to taxation in such county complained of; the board shall certify and file the result of every such investigation in the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and in the office of the Comptroller of the State, and shall in such certificates specify, first, whether substantially all the real and personal property in each county so investigated has been listed, assessed and valued, and if not all, what percentage; second, whether or not such property subject to taxation has been assessed and valued by the respective assessors and taxing officers in such county at substantially its true value; third, what should be the valuation of the property, both real and personal, in each county investigated; and such determination of the proper valuation on the part of the board shall for all purposes of the State Comptroller, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education be deemed to be the true valuation of each county or counties investigated, until otherwise determined by the board under the provisions of this act. For such investigation the board may disburse as may be necessary, not exceeding for any one county the sum of one hundred dollars, which shall be paid by the State Treasurer from any fund available for that purpose, upon their filing in his office a certificate specifying in detail the items of such disbursement. (P. L. 1905, p. 128.)
79. Sec. 9. The determination of any matter brought before said board shall be evidenced by a judgment duly signed by at least three of its members, and filed with its clerk; copies thereof, duly certified by said clerk, shall be evidence in any cause or proceeding. When the said board shall be satisfied that any person, officer or corporation has failed to comply with its said judgment, although fully apprised thereof, it shall have full power, upon procedure and rules to be adopted by it, to attach'such delinquent for contempt and to punish accordingly. (P. L. 1905, p. 128.)
Decision of members hearing testimony.-Under P. L. 1891, p. 189 (superseded by the above act and by the general tax acts of 1903 and 1918), on an application to the State board of taxation for the reduction of a tax, where testimony is taken orally before only some members of the board, and is not reduced to writing so as to be reported to those members who have not heard it, only the members who hear the testimony are legally competent to decide the matter in controversy. Oxford Tp. y. D., L. & W. Railroad Co., 64 N. J. L. 195.
Continuation of proceedings previously begun.
80. Sec. 10. The State Board of Taxation created by section thirty-two of an act of the legislature of the State of New Jersey entitled “An act for the assessment and collection of taxes," approved April eighth, one thousand nine hundred and three, and the supplements thereto, approved February first, one thousand nine hundred and four, be and the same is hereby abolished, and all offices and positions arising thereunder or depending thereon be and the same are hereby vacated, but all proceedings heretofore commenced and now pending before said State Board of Taxation shall continue before and be determined by the board hereby established, which board is hereby vested with full power and authority to determine the same, as if they had been commenced before it (a). (P. L. 1905, p. 129.)
81. Sec. 11. In case for any reason any section or any provision of this act shall be questioned in any court, and shall be held unconstitutional or invalid, the same shall not be held to affect any other sections or provisions of this act. (P. L. 1905, p. 129.)
82. Sec. 12. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent herewith be and the same are hereby repealed, but said repealer shall not revive any laws heretofore repealed. (P. L. 1905, p. 129.)
Constitution. ality of act.
(a) This section abolishes the State board of taxation and establishes in its place the Board of Equalization of Taxes of . New Jersey, which board was in 1915 superseded by the State Board of Taxes and Assessment (P. L. 1915, p. 438). See pars. 166a to 1669, post.
Taxation of Bank Stock
An Act to regulate the assessment and collection of taxes
upon the shares of the capital stock of banks, banking associations and trust companies incorporated under the laws of the United States, or of this State, and engaged in business within this State.
(P. L. 1918, p. 997.) This act is commonly known as the “Bank Stock Tax Act," and was approved March 24th, 1918, being chapter 265 of the laws of that year. It is practically a replica of an act bearing the same title approved March 31st, 1914, and known as chapter 90 of the laws of that year, excepting that it changes the date for ascertainment of the value of shares of stock, etc., and makes a few minor alterations. These, however, need not be noted here, as officers performing duties under this act for the year 1918, and thereafter, must be guided solely by this act which contains a repealer of all inconsistent statutes. It is not called a "revision;" but, as it covers all the subject-matter of the original act of 1914, the latter is repealed.
It may not be amiss to give a little historical sketch of the original act of 1914 as it, in a sense, controls the act of 1918. Immediately upon the passage of the former act, the same was attacked as unconstitutional on the ground that it was a senate measure and violative of art. 4, sec. 6, par. 1 of the constitution which requires that “all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of assembly.” It appears that a replica of the bill was first introduced in the senate and passed by that body; whereupon it was sent to the house of assembly. After having been given two readings before the latter body, however, a house committee substitute was introduced in its place, passed by the house of assembly and the senate and approved by the Governor, thus becoming a law. The court held that, as the so-called committee substitute was a new bill and had originated in the house, it was an assembly measure and therefore good. (In re Ross, 86 N. J. L. 387.)
The act was then attacked as being unconstitutional in that it violated art. 4, sec. 7, par. 12 of the State constitution requiring that "property shall be assessed for taxes under general laws, and by uniform rules, according to its true value.” Two cases were argued upon this point, viz., Commercial Trust Co. v. Hudson County Board of Taxation (87 N. J. L. 179) and
Charles L. Decker v. Hudson County Board of Taxation (87 N. J. L. 316). Both cases were heard together, but the opinion of the court was written in the case first named, the latter case abiding the judgment in the former. The court held that the act was not unconstitutional because such property as the shares of capital stock of banks, etc., was made a class by itself for the purposes of taxation and was taxed at a uniform rate in lieu of the variant rates prevailing in different taxing districts for the reason that property so taxed had characteristics sufficiently peculiar to warrant the Legislature in thus classifying it for the purposes of assessment and taxation.
Taxation of bank stock.
How value determined.
BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
83. Sec. 1. The shares of the capital stock of banks and banking associations organized under the authority of this State, or of the United States, and trust companies organized under the laws of this State, whose principal place of busiriess is within this State, shall be assessed and taxed according to their true value, to be determined in the manner hereinafter prescribed; provided, however, that the assessment and taxation shall not be at a greater rate than is made or assessed upon other moneyed capital in the hands of individual citizens of this State. (P. L. 1918, p. 997.)
84. Sec. 2. The value of each share of stock of each bank, banking association or trust company, shall be ascertained and determined by adding together the amount of the capital, surplus and undivided profits of such bank, banking association or trust company, and deducting therefrom the assessed value of the real property of such bank, banking association or trust company, and by dividing the result by the number of outstanding shares of such bank, banking association or trust company. No deduction or exemption shall be allowed or made from the value determined as herein provided. (P. L. 1918, p. 997.)
85. Sec. 3. For purposes of assessment, the chief fiscal officer of every bank, banking association and trust company, organized under the authority of this State, or of the United States, whose principal place of business is located within this State, shall, on or before the first day of July, in the year one thousand nine hundred and eighteen, and on or before the tenth day of January in each year thereafter, file with the secretary of the board of taxation of the county
Statement for purposes of assessment filed
board of taxation.
Duplicate filed in
stockholders and shares held kept.
within which its principal place of business is located, a true statement, under the oath of the president or the cashier, or the treasurer of the same, setting forth its name and principal place of business, the names, residences and total number of its stockholders, and the number of shares held by each, the amount of capital, surplus and undivided profits, as the same are indicated by the books of the company upon the twentieth day of May, in the year one thousand nine hundred and eighteen, and thereafter on the first clay of January of the year in and for which such statement is filed, and the assessed value of its real property. A dupli- Duplicate cate of this statement shall be filed, at the same time, with banking the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, to remain in a his office as a public record. There shall, in addition to such List of report, be kept at the principal place of business of every a such bank, banking association or trust company, a full and correct list of the names and residences of all stockholders therein, and of the number of shares held by each, which said lists shall be subject to the inspection of the board of taxation of the county within which said bank, banking association or trust company maintains its principal place of business, at all times during business hours. (P. L. 1918, p. 998.)
86. Sec. 4. The rate of tax upon the shares of stock of Tax rate. banks, banking associations and trust companies shall be, throughout this State, three-quarters of one per centum upon the value thereof, as ascertained and fixed in the manner hereinbefore provided, and the owners of such stock shall be entitled to no deduction from the taxable value of their shares No because of the personal indebtedness of such owners, or for any other reason whatsoever. The said tax shall be in lieu of Tax in lieu all other State, county or local taxation upon such shares or upon any personal property held or owned by banks, banking associations or trust companies, the value of which enters into the taxing value of such shares of stock. (P. L. 1918, p. 998.)
of all others.
Double taxation.—Double taxation is avoided under section 4 of this act by the provision that such assessment shall render personal property taxable elsewhere immune from further levy to the extent that its value has entered into such assessment.