Property Spring 1995 William Nelson Chapter I: The Power of Legislatures to Allocate Wealth


D. Allegheny Pitt. Coal Co. v Cty. Comm. of Webster Cy, W.V



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D. Allegheny Pitt. Coal Co. v Cty. Comm. of Webster Cy, W.V. (1989)

1. coal property is reassessed only when it turns over,

resulting in gross disparities
2. Court overturns as violative of equal protection of laws

under the 14th Amendment.

a. notes "intentional systematic undervaluation by state

officials of comparable property in Webster County"

b. defines fairness as allocation of the burden relative to

other taxpayers.



c. may be simply that there has to be an ENORMOUS disparity

for Supreme Court rejection


3. succinct statement of deference by court: "If the selection or

classification [of property for taxation purposes] is neither

capricious nor arbitrary & rests upon reasonable consideration of

difference or policy there's no denial of equal protection of law"



E. Amador Valley Joint H.S. Dist. v St. Brd. of Equalization Cali.

Supreme Court (1978); Nordlinger v. Hahn US Supreme Court(1992)
1. Proposition 13 is a Rollback provision: all property

purchased b/f 1978 will be taxed at its 1975-76 value.

a. property is reassessed only when ownership changes or

significant new construction is put into place.

b. annual increases are limited
2. Possibility 2 identical properties will be taxed very differently.
3. Majority in Amador held that it was fair b/c tax reflects price

purchasers were originally willing & able pay for their property


4. three groups are object of discrimination under this plan


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