Al Means v. City Montgomery Et Al. - Supreme Court of Alabama

Al Means v. City Montgomery Et Al.

By Supreme Court of Alabama

  • Release Date - Published: 1958-08-28
  • Book Genre: Law
  • Author: Supreme Court of Alabama
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Al Means v. City Montgomery Et Al. Supreme Court of Alabama read online review & book description:

SIMPSON, Justice. This is a class action by merchants of the City of Montgomery challenging the constitutionality of Ordinance
No. 34-57, adopted by the City Commission of Montgomery July 9, 1957, and by its terms made effective immediately upon its
approval. The proceeding is by two separate bills for declaratory judgment, praying for a declaration of the constitutionality,
legality, and effect of that ordinance; a permanent injunction against enforcement of the ordinance; and that the relief prayed
for be granted to all members of the class similarly situated. The lower court consolidated the cases and sustained the respondents'
demurrers to the bills, and the respondents have appealed from that decree. The ordinance attacked purports to levy a license upon merchants and other persons who sell articles of merchandise at retail,
the amount of the license being computed upon the gross sales of the business. The ordinance is in form and substance somewhat
similar to the Alabama Sales Tax statute (Tit. 51, § 752 et seq., Code 1940). Section 5 of the ordinance provides
that merchants have the option of absorbing the tax or adding the amount to the sales price of the goods and collecting the
same from the purchasers. It is argued by appellants that this is merely a device to denominate the levy as a 'license' rather
than a 'sales tax'.

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