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Moniot v. Property Tax Appeal Bd.

MAY 14, 1973.

GEORGE J. MONIOT, EXR. OF THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF GEORGE A. MONIOT, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

THE PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of La Salle County; the Hon. JOHN J. CLINCH, JR., Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE STOUDER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Plaintiff, George J. Moniot, Administrator of the estate of George A. Moniot, brought this action in the Circuit Court of La Salle County seeking to vacate a personal property tax assessment of the Board of Review of La Salle County as affirmed by the Property Tax Appeal Board. The trial court decided the issues in favor of the plaintiff in a proceeding brought by the plaintiff under the Administrative Review Act (Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 110, sec. 264 et seq.).

On August 4, 1969, the Board of Review of La Salle County, Illinois sent a notice to George J. Moniot, Executor of the Estate of George A. Moniot, deceased, that the Board of Review had under consideration, of its own motion, the matter of revising the personal property tax assessment for the year 1969 which held that the estimated Federal Estate Tax shown as a deduction in computing the net credits should not be allowed. No issue relating to this part of the decision of the Board of Review is presented on this appeal because the decision of the trial court made consideration of the propriety of such decision unnecessary.

The Board of Review also assessed a personal property tax with respect to the intangible personal property of the Moniot estate. Subsequently Moniot sought review of the Board of Review's decision by the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board pursuant to Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 120, par. 592.1. A hearing was held by the Property Tax Appeal Board at which evidence was presented in support of and in opposition to the decision of the Board of Review. The Property Tax Appeal Board affirmed the personal property tax assessment and review of the order was sought in the Circuit Court of La Salle County.

Before the La Salle County Board of Review, before the Property Tax Appeal Board and before the Circuit Court of La Salle County, the plaintiff argued that the personal property tax assessment on intangible personal property was a violation of article 9, section 1 of the Illinois Constitution of 1870 and of the 14th Amendment to the Federal Constitution. The order of the circuit court invalidated the assessment of the personal property tax on the intangible personal property of the estate on the grounds that the assessment was unconstitutional and void as discriminatory. Specifically the court held the assessment was in violation of article 9, section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Illinois of 1870 and Amendment 14 of the Constitution of the United States.

Plaintiff based his constitutional objection to the personal property tax assessment on intangible personal property on his claim that such a tax was assessed only against the estates of deceased persons and not against living persons owning intangible personal property.

Article 9, section 1 of the Constitution of 1870 provides:

"The general assembly shall provide such revenue as may be needful by levying a tax, by valuation, so that every person and corporation shall pay a tax in proportion to the value of his, her or its property — such value to be ascertained by some person or persons, to be elected or appointed in such manner as the general assembly shall direct, and not otherwise * * *."

The implementing statute regarding property taxes is Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 120, par. 499, which provides in relevant part:

"Property subject to taxation

The property named in this section shall be assessed and taxed except so much thereof as may be, in this act, exempted:

First: All real and personal property in this state.

Second: All moneys, credits, bonds or stocks and other investments, the shares of stock of incorporated companies and association * * *."

There has been some discussion in the briefs of the parties relating to whether or not the trial court has declared a statute of the State unconstitutional. We believe it is unnecessary to discuss this issue since it seems to us beyond a doubt that no part of any statute was held unconstitutional by the trial court. Rather the trial court held ...


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