« AnteriorContinuar »
The case of Moore v. Parish, 163 Ill. 93, in no way militates against the view here expressed as to either of the objections to the statement. We there held that the property, instead of being separate and distinct lots and houses, was a block of buildings, no price being fixed for the labor or material furnished upon either, and therefore the statement need not itemize the work or material or give the date of the performance or furnishing the same, but might properly state the time by giving the period during which the contract was executed. There were no several items of work and material, but only one item. While we there held that a single lien, under a single contract, could be enforced without reference to any particular building in the block, we also held that the lien should be apportioned and charged against each house and lot, so as to protect the equitable rights of subsequent purchasers and encumbrancers. All that is there said is in harmony with the view here expressed.
Neither does the case of Blanchard v. Fried, 162 Ill. 462, sustain the contention that the lien here sought to be enforced may properly be apportioned against the several pieces of property. In that case no question was made as to the sufficiency of the statement to justify an apportionment of the lien upon the several houses, which were, as shown by the evidence, all exactly alike. The material was furnished for all the buildings, no part of it being designated or intended for any particular one. Under this state of facts, in remanding the cause the court below was directed, if it could, to apportion the lien, but it was in substance said if that could not be done because of the failure of the claimants to keep separate accounts, the fault would be with them.
In the present case counsel seem to insist that because a court of equity might, from the facts found by the master, make the apportionment, the Superior Court erred in refusing to do so, and much of the argument is directed to the point that to hold this lien not enforceable will prevent parties from making single contracts for material and labor on several buildings. If this were true it would furnish no reason for enforcing the lien. As we have repeatedly held, the lien given to the mechanic or material-man is purely statutory, and one who fails to substantially comply with its terms and provisions has no ground of complaint. This lien could be enforced if the claimants had conformed to the statute and the decisions of this court in taking the necessary preliminary steps, and so keeping their accounts as that they could have proceeded against the property so as to have the lien properly apportioned. aving failed to do so they cannot justly complain.
The decree of the Superior Court is in conformity with our previous decisions, and it will accordingly be affirmed.
PATRICK O'DAY et al.
THE PEOPLE ex rel. Charles Kinsey, County Collector.
Opinion filed Febrvary 14, 1898.
171 293 185 33
293 f187 2296 187 2298 1171 293 e205 2642 171 293 216 1131
1. SCHOOLS-construction of statute authorizing school tax levy. The words "for building purposes,” used in the statute fixing the maximum of school taxes, (Laws of 1889, p. 316, sec. 1,) are special, and apply solely to the building of school houses and matters incident thereto, while the words “for educational purposes,” in the same section, are general, and apply to all other matters for which the directors may levy taxes.
2. SAME—what matters not included in term “for building purposes.” The cost of a small coal-shed, expenses for painting and papering the school house, for building a porch, for lumber and flooring, for stoves and stove repairs, janitor service and fuel, cannot be included in a tax levy "for building purposes,” but must be included in the two per cent levy "for educational purposes.”
3. SAME_"building order," paid out of general fund, will not support tax levy for building purposes. An order issued on account of the build
ing of a school house, which is paid by the school treasurer out of general funds, will not support a subsequent tax levy “for building purposes,” made to replace the amount so paid, particularly where an amount sufficient to pay the entire cost of the building has already been raised by such a tax.
APPEAL from the County Court of Mercer county; the Hon. J. H. CONNELL, Judge, presiding.
SCOTT & COOKE, for appellants.
BROCK & GRAHAM, for appellee.
Mr.JUSTICE WILKIN delivered the opinion of the court:
The school directors of district No. 5, township 14, north, range 2, west, in Mercer county, attempted to levy certain school taxes for the year 1896. The amount thereof, as certified to the county clerk, was duly extended against the real estate situated in the district, which included the lands of the appellants. Of the school taxes so assessed the appellants paid all but $54.90, and when judgment was asked by the county collector for said balance, which had been returned delinquent, they appeared and filed objections. On the hearing these were overruled by the court, and, judgment being entered as prayed, the appellants prosecute this appeal.
The certificate on which the tax is extended calls for two per cent for school purposes and $800 for building purposes. The rate as computed by the county clerk is $2.00 for school purposes and $2.40 for building purposes, making a total of $1.40 on each $100 of valuation. The taxes levied for school purposes were paid by the appellants, and the amount for which judgment was rendered represents the tax assessed at the rate of $2.40 for building purposes. This part of the tax is claimed to be invalid, on the ground that under the facts in this case the directors had no authority to levy it.
The facts are, as shown by the evidence, that in 1893 the school house in the district was enlarged by the addition of a second story, at a cost of between $700 and $800. This was done without a vote of the people. For the year 1894 a tax was levied and collected of two per cent for school purposes and $800 for building purposes. For the year 1895 likewise a tax of two per cent for school purposes and $800 for repairing was levied and collected. In 1896 there was still outstanding an order for $500 issued on account of the rebuilding of said school house, which order was taken up and paid by the treasurer on April 4, 1896, out of general funds. As further shown by the evidence, the purpose of the levy of $800 in 1896, for building purposes, was to replace said sum of $500, and also to pay for building a small coal-house, for painting and paper-hanging, for lumber and flooring, for building a porch, for stoves and repairs on the same, and for fuel and janitor service, which expenses aggregated $385.82. The contention of appellants is that these various items are not "building purposes," within the meaning of the law, and that the directors are not empowered to make a levy in excess of the two per cent allowed for school purposes, in order to pay them. The full two per cent was levied and collected for school purposes, therefore if the part of the tax which is now in question be sustained it must be on the theory that the law allows the above items to be included in the additional three per cent to be levied for building purposes.
The statute, after specifying in detail the items for which school taxes may be levied, puts a limitation upon the amount of such levy in the following language, viz.: "Not to exceed two per cent for educational and three per cent for building purposes, except to pay indebtedness contracted previous to the passage of this act, the valuation to be ascertained by the last assessment for State and county taxes.” (3 Starr & Curtis, p. 3706, par. 202.) The wording of this section is peculiar, in that it places a limitation of two per cent on the tax for educational purposes and allows three per cent additional for building
The expressions educational and building purposes do not, if taken literally, cover all of the purposes for which school taxes may be lawfully levied. It would be difficult to place the items of fuel, janitor service or stove repairs under either of these heads, yet no one would doubt that these limitations cover every purpose for which a school tax can be levied, except it be to pay indebtedness contracted prior to the passage of the act. The items for which the tax in question is sought to be levied must be referred to one or the other of these heads, and as the tax for educational purposes is already up to the full limit, unless it can be said that these items are for building purposes this part of the tax must fall.
The School law of this State has been frequently revised, and in such of the enactments as put a limitation upon the taxing power of the school authorities it has been usual to fix the limit at a certain amount for school purposes generally, and to allow a larger amount to be levied for the special purpose of building school houses. By the revision of 1847 a limitation of fifteen cents on the $100 of valuation was fixed for school purposes, while the tax was allowed to reach fifty cents on the $100 for building purposes. (Sess. Laws of 1847, p. 146, sec. 111.) Then during several revisions the limitation seems to have been omitted, until in 1865 it was again fixed at three per cent for building purposes. (Sess. Laws of 1865, p. 119, sec. 17.) By the general revision in 1872 the statute was enacted substantially in its present form. (Sess. Laws of 1871-72, p. 700.)
In view of the previous legislation, and of the public policy of this State as indicated thereby, we have no doubt it was the intention of this statute that all of the current ordinary expenses of the schools, including ordinary repairs, were to be covered by the taxes to be levied within the two per cent for educational purposes, and that the additional taxes to be levied within the additional three per cent for building purposes were intended only to