May Heisler purchased a house and lot in Chickasha, Oklahoma and paid the purchase price therefor. Title was taken in the name of May Heisler and Percilla Lee Laman as joint tenants and not as tenants in common with the full title to vest in the survivor. May Heisler moved into the home and began occupying it as her homestead, while the daughter, Percilla Lee Laman continued occupying other property as her homestead. On January 22, 1957, May Heisler made application for homestead exemption covering said property and the County Assessor, upon consideration thereof found the property was assessed for $1,200 and allowed a homestead exemption of $600. She appealed to the County Board of Equalization of Grady County and upon hearing, that Board allowed a full exemption of $1,000, from which order the County Assessor perfected an appeal to the District Court.
May Heisler filed a motion to dismiss the appeal upon the grounds that no appeal by the County Assessor lies to the District Court from an action of the County Board of Equalization allowing a full homestead exemption and on the further ground that the proceedings show upon their face that May Heisler is entitled to the full exemption of $1,000.
May Heisler contends that under Title 68 O.S. 1951 § 40, (Homestead Exemption Act) the County Assessor does not have the right of appeal from an order of the County Board of Equalization, increasing the amount of homestead exemption over that allowed by the County Assessor. The County Assessor contends that even though the right of appeal is not specifically given him in the Homestead Exemption Act, subsequent
While it is true the County Assessor is not mentioned in Title 68 O.S. 1951 § 40 (Homestead Exemption Act), as one who may appeal from the action or order of the County Board of Equalization, we believe a construction of Sec. 40, supra with Title 68 O.S. 1951 § 15.42, in view of general principles of law, as hereinafter set forth, and in conjunction with Art. 5, Sec. 51, and Art. 2, Sec. 6, of the Constitution of Oklahoma and in the light of our own pronouncements, the County Assessor did have and does now have the right of appeal herein and the trial court committed reversible error in denying such right and in dismissing the appeal.
The Homestead Exemption Act, Chapter 66, Art. 1, Session Laws 1936, page 52, now Title 68 O.S. 1951 §§ 33 to 47, inc. passed by the 16th Legislature at the special session and effective January 8, 1937, is an original act, complete within itself and not amendatory of any other act, especially the Revenue and Taxation Acts. Upon its passage and approval, the Homestead Exemption Act became a part of the overall statute on taxation, now Title 68 O.S. 1951, and not being amendatory and being original, and complete within itself, it is supplementary.
The situation here is comparable to the Special Indemnity Fund Act of 1943. That act was original and complete within itself; it was not amendatory of the Workmen's Compensation Act but supplementary thereto, and became a part of the Workmen's Compensation Law, 85 O.S. 1951 §§ 1 et seq., 171 et seq. In Special Indemnity Fund v. Farmer, 195 Okl. 262, 156 P.2d 815, 816, we held:
In a subsequent case, Special Indemnity Fund v. Davidson, 196 Okl. 118, 162 P.2d 1016, 1017, we said:
The Homestead Exemption Act did not change the tax structure or increase the tax burden. It merely extended an exemption to a particular class of persons, if the exemptions were claimed in the manner provided for in the act. After becoming a part of the taxation statutes of this state, any amendment to the general taxation statutes where applicable, applied also to the Homestead Exemption Act of 1936.
In 1941, the Legislature by Chapter 1A, amended the Revenue and Taxation Statute and Sec. 42, 1941 Session Laws, page 324, by providing that both the taxpayer and the County Assessor shall have the right of appeal from any order of the County Board of Equalization to the District Court of the same County, but confining the appeal of the Assessor to questions of law and the taxability of property claimed to be exempt and not including questions of valuation. In 1947 the ad valorem tax code was again amended, 1947 Session Laws, Chapter 1A, Sec. 8, page 419, 68 O.S. 1951 § 15.42, and the right of appeal by the County Assessor was amended to read as follows:
It is noted from the 1947 amendatory act, no right was taken from the taxpayer as granted under the Homestead Exemption Act, but the right of appeal from any order of the County Board of Equalization to the District Court was maintained for the taxpayer and the right of appeal was granted to the County Assessor from any order of the County Board of Equalization upon questions of law or fact, including value or upon both questions of law and fact. The amendatory act did not restrict the County Assessor from appealing from an order of the County Board of Equalization as to questions involving homestead exemptions, but gave the right to the Assessor to appeal from any order. It is reasonable to assume that the Legislature, knowing of the appeal provision of the Homestead Exemption Act, meant to give the County Assessor the right to appeal from any ruling of the County Board of Equalization on the question of Homestead Exemption, or it would have made an exception in the amendatory Act. This it did not do, and having failed to do so, it is logical the Legislature meant to grant the right of appeal to the County Assessor from any order made by the County Equalization Board.
In furtherance of our view that the County Assessor has the right of appeal from any order of the County Board of Equalization, including the right of appeal from an order involving the Homestead Exemption Act, attention is called to Rogers v. Oklahoma Tax Commission, Okl., 263 P.2d 409, 412, wherein we said:
From another angle, we believe the right of appeal was given to the County Assessor to appeal from an order involving the Homestead Exemption Act. 4 C.J.S. Appeal and Error § 18, p. 103, sets out the following rule:
In case of In re Benson, 178 Okl. 299, 62 P.2d 962, 964, we held:
The same wording appears in the first paragraph of the syllabus of Transwestern Oil Co. v. Partain, 188 Okl. 97, 106 P.2d 263, and in the third paragraph of the syllabus of Taylor v. Langley, 188 Okl. 646, 112 P.2d 411.
In 2 Am.Jur. Sec. 7, page 849, we find the following rule:
We have followed the above rule. In the case of Shimonek v. Tillman, 150 Okl. 177, 1 P.2d 154, we held in the fifth paragraph of the syllabus:
and in Russett School District No. C-8 of Johnston County v. Askew, 193 Okl. 102, 141 P.2d 575, we held:
There can be no question that Sec. 8, of 1947 Session Laws, page 419, is remedial and when the rule above set forth is applied, it is apparent the County Assessor had the right of appeal from the order of the County Board of Equalization.
Reviewing the right of appeal from another angle we find that 4 C.J.S. Appeal and Error § 168, p. 540, lays down this rule:
Sustaining this rule is the Illinois case of People v. Sholem, 238 Ill. 203, 87 N.E. 390, wherein the facts are analogous to the case under consideration. The question in the Illinois case was whether or not the state had a right to appeal under the inheritance tax law of that state. The statute in question gave any person or persons dissatisfied with the appraisement or assessment the right to appeal, and did not mention the state's right of appeal. The contention was the state did not have the right of appeal.
The Supreme Court of Illinois reached the conclusion that a proper construction of the statute gave the right of appeal to the state, as well as the other side, and held:
See also Caddell v. Fiscal Court of Whitley County, 258 Ky. 114, 79 S.W.2d 407; Illinois Liquor Control Commissioner v. Three Feathers Distributors, Inc., 403 Ill. 578, 88 N.E.2d 15, and Texas Liquor Control Board v. Lanza, Tex.Civ.App., 129 S.W.2d 1153.
We note the case of People v. Sholem, supra, has been quoted by this Court on three different occasions. The first case, School Dist. No. 6 of McClain County v. Board of County Commissioners of McClain County, 108 Okl. 254, 236 P. 21, involved the appeal provision of Section 10321, Comp.St. 1921. A petition, carrying sufficient signatures, was presented to the County Superintendent asking for the creation of a new school district. The County Superintendent denied the petition and an appeal was perfected by one-fourth of the qualified electors to the Board of County Commissioners of McClain County, who on a hearing, reversed the order of the County Superintendent and directed the creation of new district. Original application for writ of certiorari, to be directed to the Board of County Commissioners of McClain County and others, was filed in this Court.
The Appeal portion of Section 10321, Comp.St. 1921, applicable to said case, is as follows:
In construing this statute and determining that the Legislature intended to give the right of appeal to both the proponents and opponents for the creation of a new school district, we said in School Dist. No. 6 of McClain County v. Board of County Commissioners of McClain County, supra [108 Okl. 254, 236 P. 22], and quoted from People v. Sholem, supra;
In the case of Graves v. Bowles, 135 Okl. 109, 274 P. 467, we again quoted from People v. Sholem, supra, and we also referred to and copied Sec. 51, Art. 5, and Sec. 6, Art. 2, of the Constitution of Oklahoma. And in the case of In re School Dist. No. 62, 180 Okl. 297, 299, 69 P.2d 367, we again quoted from People v. Sholem, supra, and again quoted Sec. 51, Art. 5, and Sec. 6, Art. 2, of the constitution of Oklahoma.
Reference is also made to the case of In re Hapeman's Estate, Kearney County v. Hapeman, 102 Neb. 550, 167 N.W. 792. In the body of the opinion the Court said:
See also State v. Odd Fellows Hall Ass'n, 123 Neb. 440, 243 N.W. 616; State ex rel. Ellis v. Ferguson, 154 La. 237, 238, 97 So. 415.
For the foregoing reasons we hold that the County Assessor had the right of appeal
The cause is reversed and remanded with instructions to the trial court to set aside the order dismissing the appeal, and reinstate the appeal.
DAVISON, C.J., WILLIAMS, V.C.J., and WELCH, HALLEY, JOHNSON, BLACKBIRD and JACKSON, JJ., concur.