Texas Attorney General Opinion: O-930 Page: 3 of 9
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That the above constitutional provision inhibits the
Legislature from releasing or extinguishing, or authorizing the
extinguishing of any taxes due the state, or any county or defined
subdivision thereof, or other municipal corporation therein,
except those k which have been due for at least ten years, is too
plain to admit of argument. Furthermore the Constitution akes
no exception in favor of those who would stand to profit by the
act in question. Ltripping the part of the statute which we are
discussing down to what it actually is, it is simply an attempt
to place in the hands of the various co.issioners' courts the
authority to release and extinguish delinquent State and county
taxes. It would. be just that and nothing more, to permit a coamis-
. sioners' court to reduce an assessment made =any years before, the
fairness and legality of which is not questioned, on the ground
that the owner has allowed his taxes to go delinquent for so long
that they equal or nearly equal its value, or that the property
had depreciated in value since the taxes became-due and ought to
have been paid.
Section 18 of Artiole 8, Constitution of Texas, requires
the Legislature to "provide for equalizing, as near as may be, the
valuation of all property subject to or rendered for taxation,
(the county commissioners' court to constitute a board of -equaliza-
tion); and may also provide for the olassitioation of all lands
with referenoe to their value in the several counties."
Article 8, &otion 10, of the State Constitution, says that
The Legislature shall have no power to release the inhabitants
of, or property in, any county, city or town from the payment of
taxes levied for estate or county purposes, unless in case of great
publi calamity in any such county, city or town, when such release
may be made by a vote of two-thirds of each House of the Legislature."
It has been held that the' present industrial depression
is not a "sreat public calamity" within the meaning of such pro-
vision. Jones vs, Williams, 45 S. W, (Ed) 130.
Thse constitutional provisions were meant to encourage
the timely payment of taxes, By Article 3, Section 55, and Article
8, teotion lO, a man is told that just as certainas the Constitu-
tion stands he must pay his taxes. He is told tbat his neighbor
will not gain anything over him by letting his taxes go delinquent.
He is told by Article 8, tection 18, quoted above, and by Artile 8,
ebootion 1, which says that "taxation shall be equal and uniform,"
that he and his fellow nman are to be treated alike in matters of
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: O-930, text, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth258110/m1/3/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.