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U.S. Supreme Court

Georgia Railway & Electric Co. v. Decatur, 295 U.S. 165 (1935)

Georgia Railway & Electric Co. v. Decatur

No. 570

Argued April 3, 1935

Decided April 29, 1935

295 U.S. 165


1. Where, by state statute, the basis for assessing a street railway company for the cost of paving a street between and along its chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 295 U. S. 166

tracks is benefits resulting to the railway, but benefit are presumed from the assessment and the company attacking it must prove it an arbitrary abuse of legislative authority in that no benefit accrued to the railway, a refusal of a state court to admit in defense of a suit to collect the tax any evidence tending to prove that no benefit resulted, on the ground that such evidence is immaterial, amounts to a denial of a hearing on the issue, and violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 295 U. S. 171.

2. In the present case, this Court is bound by the construction placed upon the state statute by the state court; the construction becomes part of the statute as though expressed there in appropriate words. P. 295 U. S. 170.

3. Offer of street railway companies to surrender all of their railway properties in a city rather than pay an assessment for paving within and next to some of its rails tends strongly to show that the assessment exceeded the entire value of the property with which the improvement was connected. P. 295 U. S. 170.

179 Ga. 471, 176 S.E. 494, reversed.

Appeal from the affirmance of a decree rendered against two street railway and power companies for the amount of a paving assessment, with interest.

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