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Peters v. Meeks - 163 So. 2d 753 (Fla. 1964)

Rule:

Fla. Const. art. IX, § 5, expressly provides for authority on the part of the legislature to empower the counties to assess and impose taxes for county purposes and enjoins them to do so on the principles governing state taxation.

Facts:

Appellants, Florida taxpayers and corporations, brought a class action against appellees, Broward County Tax Collector and State of Florida. Appellants claimed the Broward County 1961 tax roll was invalid. Appellants argued that the 1941 amendment of Fla. Const. art. VIII, § 5, divested appellees of any power to levy property taxes because all 222 of their supporting statutes were unconstitutional. Appellants argued that all of appellees' proceedings were null and void because notice was improper. Appellants argued that appellees disregarded Fla. Stat. ch. 193.11(3) by preparing the 1961 tax roll because lower court decisions ruled this statute unconstitutional. The trial court held that appellants' lawsuit was not properly brought as a class action.

Issue:

Did Fla. Const. art. IX, § 5 empower Broward County Tax Collector and State of Florida to levy taxes?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The Supreme Court of Florida agreed with appellees that Fla. Const. art. IX, § 5, empowered them to levy taxes. The court disagreed that all of appellees' proceedings were null and void because notice was improper and found that appellants failed to utilize an opportunity to be heard. The court disagreed that appellees disregarded Fla. Stat. ch. 193.11(3) by preparing the 1961 tax roll because lower court decisions ruled this statute unconstitutional and found that appellees had not ignored the law. The court held the trial court chancellor did not err by finding appellants' lawsuit was not properly brought as a class action. The court affirmed the trial court decision.

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