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Industrial Commission of Arizona v. Hartford Accident And Indemnity Co.

Supreme Court of Arizona

December 31, 1943

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Appellant,
v.
HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY COMPANY, and AMOS A. BETTS, WILSON T. WRIGHT and WILLIAM PETERSON, acting as the Arizona Corporation Commission, Appellees

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. M. T. Phelps, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. H. S. McCluskey and Mr. Fred O. Wilson, for Appellant.

Messrs. Jennings & Salmon and Mr. Ozell M. Trask, for Appellee Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company.

OPINION

Page 549

[61 Ariz. 87] HALL, Superior Judge.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona, appellant herein, brought suit against the Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company, appellee, hereinafter referred to as the company, to recover taxes allegedly due on workmen's compensation insurance premiums for the years 1936 to 1941, inclusive, in the sum of $1,705.70. The Arizona Corporation Commission was properly brought in as a third party defendant.

The company answered that the taxes sued for had been paid and pleaded further by way of interpleader that demand had been made upon it by the appellant for payment of an additional two per cent tax on the same premiums, and asked the court to adjudge its liability under the two statutes hereinafter referred to.

The determinative question presented involves the construction of Section 56-932, Arizona Code 1939, hereinafter referred to as the workmen's compensation statute, which provides, so far as material, as follows:

"Such insurance carrier shall pay to the state treasurer, for the credit of the expense reserve of the state fund, in lieu of all other taxes on workmen's compensation insurance, a tax of two (2) per cent on all premiums collected or contracted for during the year ending December thirty-first next preceding, less deductions from said premiums, also amounts paid to policy holders as return premiums, and the amount paid as premiums to admitted companies for reinsurance on workmen's compensation insurance in this state";

and of Section 61-328, as amended, Laws 1941, [61 Ariz. 88] c. 113, § 3, hereinafter referred to as the insurance statute, which provides, in part, as follows:

"(c) Every foreign and alien company doing business in this state shall pay to the state treasurer, through the commission, a tax of two (2) per cent of the gross amount of all premiums received on policies and contracts of insurance covering property or other risks within this state during the year ending December 31 next preceding, after deducting from the gross amount of such premiums cancellations, return premiums, dividends, and the amount received as reinsurance, on business in this state. No deduction from the gross amount of premiums shall be made of cash surrender values of life insurance policies or contracts. The tax shall be due at the time of filing the statement required in subsection (a), and shall be payment in full of all demands of taxes on said company or of licenses for conducting said business of insurance, except the fees prescribed for agents' licenses and for the commission, and the tax prescribed in section 61-340 (section 1821, Revised Code of 1928)."

The facts disclose that the company mailed its checks at various times to the Corporation Commission sufficient to cover two per cent of all premiums collected by the company from workmen's compensation insurance and in the amount sued for herein. A letter of transmittal accompanied each of said checks, stating that it was in payment of the two per cent tax levied

Page 550

on said workmen's compensation premiums as assessed under the workmen's compensation statute. The checks carried the company's endorsement that ...


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