The American Reports, Containing All Decisions of General Interest Decided in the Courts of Last Resort of the Several States Volume 12
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1874 edition. Excerpt: ...provisions of the 40th section. The ordinance relating to licenses and permits provides that a small fee of fifty cents shall be paid for a license to erect, enlarge or add to any building. It is conceded that the defendant violated section 40, and that he is liable to the penalty, provided that section, construed in connec tion with the ordinance requiring the payment of a license fee, is valid. This action is brought to recover that penalty. The defendant demurred to the declaration. The court below overruled the demurrer, and the defendant brings the record before this court by motion in error. _ No question is made in respect to the form of the action, or to the legal sufiiciency of the matter alleged, provided the by-law is valid. The validity of the by-law, therefore, is the sole question in the case, and that question hinges entirely upon the license fee required. The power of the court of common council to make by-laws regulating the matter of erecting and altering buildings Within the city limits is not questioned. That the by-laws ordained for that purpose are, in themselves, reasonable and proper is not disputed. But it is contended that the ordinance requiring the payment of a fee for a license to build is unauthorized; and, therefore, that the ordinance requiring a license, and inflicting a penalty for building without one, is inoperative and void. The objection is that the fee to be paid for a building license is a tax for revenue purposes; that the charter confers no power upon the city to levy such a tax; that it is a sum paid for which no consideration or equivalent is given in return; that it is unequal in its operation, the same fee-being required for all classes of buildings without regard to size or expense; and that...
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