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Fee v. Arizona State Tax Commission

Supreme Court of Arizona

January 29, 1940

ARCH G. FEE, Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA STATE TAX COMMISSION, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the county of Pima. Wm. G. Hall, Judge. Appeal dismissed.

Messrs. Darrow & Diehl, for Appellant.

Mr. Joe Conway, Attorney General, and Mr. Allan K. Perry, Special Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee.

OPINION

[55 Ariz. 68] ROSS, C.J.

Appellant, Dr. Arch G. Fee, on March 15, 1938, made a return to the State Tax Commission of a net income of $7,516.89 for the year 1937 for taxation. During such year he was married, his family consisting of himself, wife and a minor child, and therefore his income belonged to the community. He calculated the tax on the aggregate of the income and [55 Ariz. 69] paid thereon $76.59 as "first installment." Thereafter he filed a claim with the tax commission for $12.85 refund as overpayment, which was disallowed. He also filed objections to the income assessment made by himself, on the ground that he failed through ignorance of the law to segregate his one-half from

Page 468

the one-half of his wife. This objection was also disallowed by the tax commission.

He thereupon appealed from the decision of the Tax Commission to the Superior Court of Pima County, where he has his residence. The court heard the matter and affirmed the order of the Tax Commission, except as to the amount of unpaid taxes, it being conceded that the correct amount of such taxes on the return, less credits, was $116.24 and not $151.59 as computed by Dr. Fee. The court credited Dr. Fee with $76.59 paid and entered judgment for $39.65 and interest.

The jurisdiction of this court to entertain the appeal is questioned by the appellee, on the grounds that the amount in controversy does not exceed two hundred dollars, and there is not involved "the validity of a tax, impost, assessment, toll, municipal fine, or statute," one of which, under the Constitution, article VI, section 4, is essential to appellate jurisdiction of this court.

The amount in controversy is the amount of the judgment, $39.65, not enough to confer jurisdiction, and if the validity of the tax or assessment or the statute providing for the tax is not involved there is no appellate jurisdiction.

Section 16, chapter 8, First Special Session, Laws of 1933, as amended by section 1, chapter 34, Laws of 1937, provides:

"16. Filing Reports. (a)... every person other than a corporation who received during the year a gross income of five thousand dollars or over, or a net [55 Ariz. 70] income of one thousand dollars or over, if single, or two thousand dollars or over, if married,... shall, on or before March 15 of each year... file with the commission a report of income in such manner and form and setting forth such facts, necessary to the enforcement of the provisions of this act, as the commission shall prescribe;...

"(h) Married persons living together as husband and wife may make separate reports or join in a single joint ...


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