Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Casanovas vs. Hord [March 22, 1907]

Facts: In January, 1897, the Spanish Government, in accordance with the provisions of the royal decree of the 14th of May, 1867, granted to the plaintiff certain mines in the said Province of Ambos Camarines, of which mines the plaintiff is now the owner. 

That there were valid perfected mining concessions granted prior to the 11th of April, 1899, is conceded. They were so considered by the Collector of Internal Revenue and were by him said to fall within the provisions of section 134 of Act No. 1189, known as the Internal Revenue Act. That section is as follows: 

SEC. 134. On all valid perfected mining concessions granted prior to April eleventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, there shall be levied and collected on the after January first, nineteen hundred and five, the following taxes: 

2. (a) On each claim containing an area of sixty thousand square meters, an annual tax of one hundred pesos; (b) and at the same rate proportionately on each claim containing an area in excess of, or less than, sixty thousand square meters. 

3. On the gross output of each an ad valorem tax equal to three per centum of the actual market value of such output. 

The defendant accordingly imposed upon these properties the tax mentioned in section 134, which tax, as has before been stated, plaintiff paid under protest. 

Issue: Whether or not section 134 is may be levied against the plaintiff? 

Held: No.The SC ruled, following US cases, that such would impair the contract between the grantee and the government. The deed of assignment was deemed to be a contract between the original grantee and the Spanish government and since the contract provides for the rate of taxes to paid, sec 134 such be void as to them.

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