The Law Dictionary

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TELEGRAPH Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

streets, and constructing sewers in cities, and canals and ditches for the purpose of drainage in the country. They are generally of peculiar local benefit. These burdens have always, in every state, from its first settlement, been charged upon the localities benefited, and have been apportioned upon various principles; but, whatever principle of apportionment has been adopted, they have been known, both in the legislation and ordinary speech of the country, by the name of “assessments.” Assessments have also, very generally, if not always, been apportioned upon principles different from those adopted in “taxation,” in the ordinary sense of that term ; and any one can see, upon a moment’s reflection, that the apportionment, to bear equally, and do substantial justice to all parties, must be made upon a different principle from that adopted in “taxation,” so called. Emery v. San Francisco Gas Co., 28 Cal. 356. The differences between taxation and taking property in right of eminent domain are that taxation exacts money or services from individuals, as and for their respective shares of contribution to any public burden; while private property taken for public use, by right of eminent domain, is taken, not as the owner’s share of contribution to a public burden, but as so much beyond his share, and for which compensation must be made. Moreover, taxation operates upon a community, or upon a class of persons in a community, and by some rule of apportionment; while eminent domain operates upon an individual, and without reference to the amount or value exacted from any other individual, or class of individuals. People v. Brooklyn. 4 N. Y. 419, 55 Am. Dec. 266.


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