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Bellingrath v. Town of Georgiana

Court of Appeals of Alabama
Apr 2, 1929
121 So. 453 (Ala. Crim. App. 1929)

Summary

In Bellingrath v. Town of Georgiana, 23 Ala. App. 111, where an ordinance, which undertook to levy a license tax upon the business of persons making wholesale deliveries by trucks for soft drink manufacturers and bottlers, was held void as making an unwarranted discrimination, the Court said: "Construing the ordinance strictly against the town, as we must do, if the deliveries are made by train, wagon, buggy, touring car, or otherwise, or for other persons than manufacturers or bottlers, the ordinance does not apply and no license is required.

Summary of this case from Kenny Co. v. Brevard

Opinion

3 Div. 609.

April 2, 1929.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Butler County; A. E. Gamble, Judge.

Action by W. A. Bellingrath and another, partners doing business as the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, against the Town of Georgiana and the Mayor thereof, to recover a license tax paid under protest. From a judgment for defendants, plaintiffs appeal. Reversed and remanded.

Steiner, Crum Weil, of Montgomery, for appellants.

The municipality was without authority to levy a license tax on trucks. Acts 1923, p. 284; Williams v. Albany, 216 Ala. 408, 113 So. 257. The levy is arbitrary and discriminatory. 37 C.J. p. 200; Ala. C. C. I. Co. v. Herzberg, 177 Ala. 248, 59 So. 305.

Powell Hamilton, of Greenville, for appellees.

The business sought to be taxed is wholesale delivery of soft drinks from trucks. Williams v. Albany, 216 Ala. 408, 113 So. 257, has no application. The ordinance is valid. Edgil v. Carbon Hill, 214 Ala. 532, 108 So. 355; Webster's New. Int. Dict. "Trucks."


The town of Georgiana, by ordinance regularly adopted and applicable to the year 1925, fixed a license of $50 for "wholesale deliveries by trucks for soft drink manufacturers, bottlers, etc." The plaintiff is a wholesale manufacturer, and during the time covered by the ordinance made wholesale deliveries of soft drinks to parties within the corporation limits of Georgiana. The trucks were owned by plaintiff, and for each it had paid the license as prescribed by law.

Taking the case of Williams v. City of Albany, 216 Ala. 405. 113 So. 257, as a guide, it seems clear that the town of Georgiana is not authorized to levy a license tax upon plaintiffs' truck. But that, as we take it, is not contemplated by the ordinance.

The ordinance undertakes to levy a license upon the business of persons making wholesale deliveries by truck for soft drink manufacturers, bottlers, etc. Construing the ordinance strictly against the town, as we must do, if the deliveries are made by train, wagon, buggy, touring car, or otherwise, or if the deliveries are being made for and on behalf of a wholesale dealer, jobber, or other person, not a manufacturer or bottler, the ordinance does not apply, and no license is required. License taxes must bear equally and uniformly upon all persons engaged in the same class of business or occupation or exercising the same privileges. The class here sought to be taxed is soft drink manufacturers, bottlers, etc., and those who act for them, and the license is required for making wholesale deliveries of any commodity. This is an unwarranted discrimination, and for that reason the ordinance is void. 37 Corpus Juris, 200 (53); Ala. Con. Coal Iron Co., 177 Ala. 248, 59 So. 305; Mefford v. Sheffield, 148 Ala. 539, 41 So. 970. The ordinance is void.

The judgment is reversed, and the cause is remanded.

Reversed and remanded.


Summaries of

Bellingrath v. Town of Georgiana

Court of Appeals of Alabama
Apr 2, 1929
121 So. 453 (Ala. Crim. App. 1929)

In Bellingrath v. Town of Georgiana, 23 Ala. App. 111, where an ordinance, which undertook to levy a license tax upon the business of persons making wholesale deliveries by trucks for soft drink manufacturers and bottlers, was held void as making an unwarranted discrimination, the Court said: "Construing the ordinance strictly against the town, as we must do, if the deliveries are made by train, wagon, buggy, touring car, or otherwise, or for other persons than manufacturers or bottlers, the ordinance does not apply and no license is required.

Summary of this case from Kenny Co. v. Brevard
Case details for

Bellingrath v. Town of Georgiana

Case Details

Full title:BELLINGRATH et al. v. TOWN of GEORGIANA et al

Court:Court of Appeals of Alabama

Date published: Apr 2, 1929

Citations

121 So. 453 (Ala. Crim. App. 1929)
23 Ala. App. 111

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