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Central Railroad Co. v. State Board of Tax Appeals

Decided: October 19, 1932.

CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY OF NEW JERSEY, PROSECUTOR,
v.
THE STATE BOARD OF TAX APPEALS ET AL., DEFENDANTS



On writ of certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Robert J. Bain, Edward A. Markley and A.H. Elder.

For the defendants, William A. Stevens, attorney-general, Theodore Backes and John Solan.

Before Gummere, Chief Justice, and Justices Bodine and Donges.

Donges

The opinion of the court was delivered by

DONGES, J. This writ brings up for review a judgment of the state board of tax appeals dismissing prosecutor's complaint against certain valuations and assessments and seeking correction of same, because the average rate of taxation for the year 1931 of prosecutor's property in the State of New Jersey used for railroad purposes is thereby higher than it should be.

In its brief, prosecutor stated its complaint as follows:

"Prosecutor duly complained to the state board of taxes and assessment against the assessment and tax for the year 1931 and on its main stem property, tangible personal property and franchise, upon the ground, among others, that the tax thereon was at an excessive rate and pointed out that the error in the rate was due to its computation, not according to the true value of real and personal property in the taxing districts as required by the supplement of 1906, but according to the assessed value of such property which was much less than its true value. The state board of taxes and assessment was succeeded by the state board of tax appeals, under an act approved April 14th, 1931, and the latter board, after hearing this complaint, dismissed it upon the grounds that the evidence before the board was insufficient to show that the assessed value of real and personal property certified to the state board of taxes and assessment for the purpose of computing the average rate of taxation was not the true value of such property, that the state board of tax appeals was without jurisdiction to grant the relief sought by prosecutor, and that the prosecutor had an opportunity to compel a reassessment of real and personal property in the taxing districts, if undervalued for taxation, and, therefore, could not complain if the assessed value, instead of the true value, was used in computing the average rate of taxation."

It appears that the complaint of the prosecutor is based upon the claim that its tax is excessive because the average

rates based upon a valuation of local property far below its true value.

The state board of tax appeals concluded that it was without power to grant the relief sought by prosecutor.

By chapter 67 of the laws of 1905 (Pamph. L. 1905, p. 123), there was created the board of equalization of taxes of New Jersey. By chapter 244 of the laws of 1915 (Pamph. L. 1915, p. 438), there was established, by consolidation of the state board of assessors and the board of equalization of taxes of New Jersey, the state board of taxes and assessment, with ...


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