Texas Attorney General Opinion: V-424 Page: 4 of 5
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Hon. Stuart B. Lumpkins- Page 4
the taxes do not become due until the ist
day of October following, he is personally
liable for the taxes of that year, though
he sells the property before the amount of
such taxes has been ascertained, and be-
fore the payment thereof becomes due,"
Article 7045, V.0.S., is as follows:
"The commissioners courts of the sev-
eral counties, all the members thereof being
present, at either a regular or special ses-
sion, may at any time after the tax assessors
of their respective counties have forwarded to
the Comptroller the said certificate and prior
to the time when the tax collector of such
county shall have begun to make out his re-
ceipts, calculate the rate and adjust the
taxes levied in their respective counties for
general purposes to the taxable values shown
by the assessment rolls."
A fundamental canon of constitutional construc-
tion is that the conditions existing at the time of the
adoption of a constitutional amendment may and should be
looked to for the purpose of determining the intent of
the amendment. Evidently, the will of the people was ex-
pressed and it was reasonably understood at the time of
adoption of the change in the tax rate that it should
continue for six years from the date of the election. The
six year period would automatically be suspended on August
22, 1953, but if the liability for the tax in the year
1953 is fixed before the time limit expires, it is the
opinion of this Department that the same may bp collected
in October, 1953. The person owning property on January
1st is responsible for the taxes for the ensuing year.
The Commissioners' Court may calculate the rate prior to
the time the tax collector begins to make out receipts and
after the tax assessor has forwarded his certificate to
the Comptroller. Therefore, if the rate is fixed by the
Commissioners' Court before August 22, 1953, for the year
1953, the liability becomes fixed and the collection in
October, 1953, would be for a fixed tax due and owing
within the six year constitutional period. Further, to
say that the year 1952 is the last year Ellis County may
collect this tax would be an arbitrary determination that
the six year rate was not in effect in 1953. The con-
struction placed upon that part of Section 9, Article
VIII of the Constitution by this Department, relating to
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: V-424, text, November 6, 1947; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth265243/m1/4/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.