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City of Passaic v. City of Clifton

Decided: December 1, 1952.

CITY OF PASSAIC, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF CLIFTON, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, PASSAIC COUNTY BOARD OF TAXATION, AND DIVISION OF TAX APPEALS, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS



Jayne, Proctor and Schettino. The opinion of the court was delivered by Schettino, J.s.c.

Schettino

The question presented is whether the City of Passaic or the City of Clifton is entitled to receive a portion of the taxes levied for the year 1951 upon the shares of common stock of Passaic-Clifton National Bank and Trust Company, a national banking association. At all times herein mentioned the bank operated banking facilities in both municipalities.

The bank was formed in 1949 through the merger of two national banks, one located in Passaic and the other in Clifton. The location of the new bank was declared to be in Passaic under the provisions of 12 U.S.C., section 22 which provides that the "organization certificate * * * shall specifically state: * * * The place where its operations of discount and deposit are to be carried on, designating the State, Territory, or District, and the particular county and city, town, or village."

On July 12, 1950, the bank changed its location to Clifton under the provisions of 12 U.S.C., section 30 which authorizes a change of "the place where its operations of discount

and deposit are to be carried on, to any other place within the same State," subject to limitations not here pertinent. The Comptroller of the Currency issued his certificate of approval of the change.

Chapter 9 of Title 54 of our Revised Statutes provides for taxation of the shares of bank stock by the county board of taxation and section 54:9-13 provides:

"The tax so paid to the county treasurer shall be apportioned at the rate of fifty per cent to the county within which the bank is located, and fifty per cent to the taxing district within which its principal place of business is located. The amount so due to a taxing district shall be paid forthwith by the disbursing officer of the county, setting forth, in detail, the amount of the tax received, the institutions by which it was paid, the aggregate amount thereof, and the basis of apportionment."

On March 1, 1951, the Passaic County Board of Taxation ascertained the amount of the tax levied upon the stock as required by R.S. 54:9-9 and its minutes of that date show the "Amount due City of Passaic" at one-half the total tax levied. Thereafter the county tax board learned of the change of location to Clifton and by resolution of April 19, 1951, provided that the one-half be payable to Clifton. Both cities were promptly notified and the revised action was reflected in the abstract of ratables filed on May 7, 1951.

Passaic appealed to the Division of Tax Appeals, which affirmed the county tax board's action, and from that judgment prosecutes the present appeal. In their briefs both parties urged procedural objections which, however, were not pressed at the oral argument to the end that the meritorious issue might be determined, and we proceed accordingly to that issue.

The Congress submitted the shares of stock of national banks to taxation by the states by section 548, of Title 12 of the United States Code which provides in part:

"The legislature of each State may determine and direct, subject to the provisions of this section, the manner and place of taxing all the shares of national banking associations located within its limits."

The same section provides certain conditions ...


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