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Board of Supervisors of Yuma County v. Miners And Merchants Bank

Supreme Court of Arizona

October 19, 1942

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF YUMA COUNTY, STATE OF ARIZONA, and M. N. FORMAN, GEORGE HAGELY and FRANK GANDOLFO, constituting the members of said Board of Supervisors; and THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE GILA VALLEY POWER DISTRICT, and IKE PROEBSTEL, L. REITMAN, WAYNE T. WRIGHT, L. C. SPAIN and H. J. WOODHOUSE, constituting the members of the Board of Directors of the Gila Valley Power District, Appellants,
v.
MINERS AND MERCHANTS BANK, BISBEE, ARIZONA, a Corporation, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Yuma. H. G. Richardson, Judge. Judgment reversed and case remanded with instructions.

Mr. R. C. Bennett, and Messrs. Moeur & Moeur, for Appellant Board of Directors.

Mr. Peter C. Byrne, for Appellant Board of Supervisors.

Mr. R. N. Campbell, for Appellee.

OPINION

Page 44

[59 Ariz. 462] LOCKWOOD, C.J.

Miners and Merchants Bank, a corporation, plaintiff, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus against the board of supervisors of Yuma county, called the supervisors, and the board of disrectors of the Gila Valley Power District, called the directors, seeking to compel them to include in the budget of the district certain items. An alternative writ was issued and after a motion to quash and dismiss the petition was denied, the case was heard on its merits before the court without a jury, after which the alternative writ was made peremptory, and this appeal was taken.

The factual situation on most points is not in serious dispute, and may be stated as follows: The district is a power district organized and existing under the provisions of chapter 173 of the Session Laws of 1919. In 1925 it issued $255,500 in bonds, under the provisions of chapter 173, supra. Sections 21 and 22 of said chapter read, so far as material, as follows:

"Section 21. Said bonds and the interest thereon, shall be paid by revenue derived from an annual assessment [59 Ariz. 463] and levy of taxes upon the real property of the district, and the real property of the district shall be and remain liable to taxation for such payments. Any tract or tracts of land in any district, upon payment made at any time before the maturity of said bonds, of the proportion of the bonded indebtedness of said district which the acreage of said tract or tracts of land bears to the total bonded acreage of said district together with interest on said amount up to the next following interest paying day, shall be released and discharged from further tax levy for the payment of the principal and interest of the bonded indebtedness of the district then existing, except as in this otherwise provided for said tract or tracts of land shall be held liable for assessment and levy for all other obligations of the district, in event of default at maturity of any of said bonds, said lands shall be held liable for that proportion of the defaulted bonded indebtedness which the acreage of said tract or tracts of land bear to the total bonded indebtedness of the district.

"It shall be the duty of the board of directors on or before June 1st, of each year, to make estimates of the amount of money required to meet the obligations of the district for the next fiscal year including maturing bonds and interest, maintenance, operating and current expenses, together with such additional amount, as may be necessary to meet any deficiency in the payment of said items incurred during the previous year, and to provide funds for tax sale purchases of delinquent district lands; such estimates shall be fully itemized so as to show amounts required for each of the specified funds into which the money of the district is divided by the treasurer, and the total amount of such itemized estimates, entering such estimates in full upon the records of the district and transmit a certified copy thereof to the board of supervisors of each county in which any lands of such district are located, together with a certified copy showing the total number of acres of taxable lands of such district and description of such portions thereof as are situated in each of the counties respectively, and shall include therein all lands within the boundaries [59 Ariz. 464] of such district, except such as have been excluded by orders made in pursuance of this act.

"Section 22. It shall be the duty of the board of supervisors of the county in which is located the office of any power district, immediately upon the receipt of the returns of the total assessment of said district, and upon the receipt of the certificate of the board of directors certifying the total amount of money required to be raised as herein provided, to fix the rate of levy necessary to provide the amount of money required to pay the interest and principal of the bonds of said district as the same shall become due, also, to fix the rate necessary to provide the amount of money required for any other purposes as in this chapter provided, and which are to be raised by the levy of assessments upon the real property of said district,... The rate of levy necessary to raise the required amount of money on the assessed valuation of the property of said district shall be increased fifteen per cent. to cover delinquencies.... All taxes or assessments levied under this chapter are special taxes and shall be liens upon the lands against which they are assessed, and, whenever the full title to any land within the district is acquired under the public land laws, from the state or the United States, the amounts of any and all taxes in this chapter provided for, which have been levied against said land and which remain unpaid, shall

Page 45

become immediately due and be collected in the same manner as other delimquent [delinquent] taxes are collected; provided that all of the burdens, obligations, liabilities and liens existing against other lands, in private ownership, embraced within such district, by reason of the organization of such district, or in any wise connected with, incident to, or arising from or by reason of the existence of such district, or any obligations thereof, are hereby declared to be and by operation of law, are extended with full force, power and effect to and upon any and all lands possessed and held by virtue of a certificate of purchase issued by the State Land Department of the State of Arizona.

[59 Ariz. 465] "Should the board of directors neglect, fail or refuse to provide the estimates and certificates as the basis for levy and collection of taxes at any time, the board of supervisors shall make such levy in such amount as they may deem sufficient for the purpose of the district for any fiscal year. Such board of supervisors, upon the request of any person holding any fully matured unpaid and undisputed evidence of district indebtedness, shall make such levy of taxes upon the taxable property of the district as will provide for the payment of such indebtedness of the district held by such person and such other indebtedness as ...


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