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FREDERICK WALZ v. TAX COMMISSION CITY NEW YORK (02/20/69)

COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK 1969.NY.40581 <http://www.versuslaw.com>; 246 N.E.2d 517; 24 N.Y.2d 30 decided: February 20, 1969. FREDERICK WALZ, APPELLANT,v.TAX COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT Walz v. Tax Comm. of City of N. Y., 30 A.D.2d 778, affirmed. Counsel Frederick Walz, appellant pro se. The court below erred in dismissing the complaint instead of striking out the answer. J. Lee Rankin, Corporation Counsel (Edith I. Spivack, Edward J. McLaughlin and Daniel L. Cammarano of counsel), for respondent. Chief Judge Fuld and Judges Scileppi, Bergan, Keating, Breitel and Jasen concur; Judge Burke concurs in result. Author: Per Curiam


Walz v. Tax Comm. of City of N. Y., Chief Judge Fuld and Judges Scileppi, Bergan, Keating, Breitel and Jasen concur; Judge Burke concurs in result.

Author: Per Curiam

 Firmly embedded in the law of this State, both by Constitution (art. XVI, § 1) and by statute (Real Property Tax Law, § 420), is the doctrine that real property owned by a religious corporation and used exclusively for religious purposes is exempt from taxation (see, e.g., Pople ex rel. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. v. Haring, 8 N.Y.2d 350, 357-358; People ex rel. Church of St. Mary v. Feitner, 168 N. Y. 494, 497) and research discloses -- and the 2 1/2-page brief of the plaintiff-appellant herein cites no authority to the contrary -- that courts throughout the country have long and consistently held that the exemption of such real property from taxation does not violate the Constitution of the United States. (See, e.g., Trustees of Griswold Coll. v. State of Iowa, 46 Iowa 275, 282 [1877]; Methodist Episcopal Church, South v. Hinton, 92 Tenn. 188 [1893]; Garrett Biblical Inst. v. Elmhurst State Bank, 331 Ill. 308 [1928]; Lundberg v. County of Alameda, 46 Cal. 2d 644, app. dsmd. 352 U.S. 921 [1956]; General Finance Corp. v. Archetto, 93 R. I. 392, app. dsmd. 369 U.S. 423 [1962]; Murray v. Comptroller of Treasury, 241 Md. 383, cert. den. 385 U.S. 816 [1966]; see, also, Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 301 [per Brennan, J., concurring [1963]. But see, contra, Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 437, per Douglas, J., concurring [1962].) We see no reason for departing from this conclusion in this case.

The question of the plaintiff's standing to maintain this action has not been raised.

The order appealed from should be affirmed, with costs.

Disposition

Order affirmed.

19690220

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