such case, if a proposition of that character is constitutional provision prohibiting any county so submitted to and approved by the people of from incurring in any manner or for any purthe county, then, so far as concerns the consti pose any indebtedness or liability exceeding in tutional provisions, such county becomes au- any year the income and revenue provided thorized to create the additional debt, if, to- for it for such year without the assent of two gether with the existing indebtedness, it will thirds of the qualified voters, that it referred not exceed 2 per centum on the assessed value only to an indebtedness or liability which tbe of the taxable property within the county. municipality bas itself incurred; tbat it limited Thus the two sections iss 3 and 4 of art. 16) the power of the municipality as to any inare harmonious, and their meaning readily debtedness which it bas a discretion to incur, discerned. We apprehend no difficulty has or not to incur; and the opinion is expressed arisen in reference to the obvious purport of by the court in that case that such are the clear the Constitution in this regard. The intention intent and meaning of the provision. The evidently was: First, to place an absolute effect of tbat decision is that if, in expending limit upon the debt included in the provisions; 'the revenues of any year, by a municipality in and, second, to forbid any such debt to be paying salaries of officers and other expenses, created in any year, even within the absolute ihe latter including such as have been incurrtd limit, if in excess of the taxes of the current through the discretion of the local authorities, year, without the sanction of the people of the such revenues are exhausted, salaries and other county; and when the final limit was reached imposed obligations thereafter are valid, but to require the affairs of the county to be con- no other liability can then be incurred; and ducted practically upon a cash basis.

what more than one half of the qualitied voters The more serious question, however, is, Wbat are powerless to accomplish, the legislature, debts are included within these constitutional which might not be strongly representative of prohibitions? It is insisted by counsel for de the particular municipality, may do; ihat the fendants that they do not embrace any debts legislature is not amenable to ihe restrictive imposed by law, or such as may be termed provisions of the Constitution, and it may "compulsory obligations,” such as salaries of fasten numerous burdens in the way of indebi. officers, which are definitely established by the edpess upon the people, which the local aulegislature. It is urged that the Constitution tborities are without authority to incur unless requires the legislature to fix the amount of the two thirds of the voters sball acquiesce therein. salaries of county officers, and that when thus On the other band, the courts of other states tixed the obligation is one which the county and the Supreme Court of the l’nited States has not created; and it is contended tbat the bave reached a different conclusion under restriction upon indebtedness applies only to somewhat similar constitutional provisions. such liabilities as have been incurred by the The Constitution of Missouri provides that no county authorities voluntarily, and, therefore, county shall be allowed to become indebted in that, in determining whether the debt of a any manner, or for any purpose, to an amount county exceeds the limit established by the exceeding in any year the income and revenue Constitution, the amount of the salaries of its provided for such year without the assent of oflicers, and warrants outstanding to pay them, two thirds of the voters thereof, nor, with are not to be considered; that a county in its such assent, 10 an amount in the aggregate corporate capacity, acting through its commis- exceeding 5 per cent on the value of the taxable sioners, is not prohibited from creating any property therein, etc. In the case of Barnard indebtedness which, exclusive of such imposed v. Knox County, 105 Mo. 382, 13 L. R. A. 244, or compulsory obligations, does not in the one the county was sued upon a warrant issued for case exceed the tases for the current year, in books and stationery bought for the use of the the other 2 per centum upon the assessed value clerk of the county court, wbich the law reof the taxable property in the county. We quired to be furnished. The defense was inbave approached this question with some besi- terposed that the debt was created after the tation, as it is impossible not to be impressed county warrants exceeded the revenue of the with its great significance. The argument year in question. Anticipating such defense briefly adverted to is not without some force, the plaintiff had pleaded that the debt was and rests to some extent upon precedent. created by law, and was not the act of the Grant County v. Lake County, 17 Or. 453: county auihorities. The supreme court of that Leuis v. Widber, 99 Cal. 412. In the case of state had previously beld ibat there was a Grant County v. Lake County, supra, the su- distinction between compulsory obligations preme court of Oregon, construing the pro- and debts voluntarily contracted by the county. visions of the Constitution of that state prohib. See Potter v. Douglas County, 87 Mo. 240. În iting a county from creating any debts or the present case the former was expressly overliabilities which sball singly or in the aggregate ruied, and a contrary opinion expressed. The exceed the sum of $5,000, except to suppress court says, after quoting the constitutional insurrection or repel invasion, held that such provision: "The language just quoted is clear inhibition did not imply that all debts and and explicit, and construes itself. It is broad liabilities of a county over the sum named were and comprehensive as to the character of the pecessarily obnoxious to the constitutional pro- indebtedness. It includes indebtedness created vision; and in the course of the opinion the in any manner or for any purpose. This strong learned judge said: “Said provision of the and comprehensive language admits of po dis Constitution, as I view it, only applies to debts tinction between debts created by a county and liabilities wbich a county, in its corporate court and debts created by law. In a sense ail character, and as an artificial person, volupta- county debts are created by law, for the counrily creates.” In Levis v. Widber, 99 Cal. 412, ties possess those powers, and those only, which the supreme court of California held, under a are conferred upon them by tbe Constitution



and laws of the state. While it is the duty of ence in words is concerned, it would have the the county court to care for paupers and insane like effect in the other case. In the California persons, and to build bridges and repair roads, and Oregon cases it does not appear that there still the county court is governed by the statute was also a constitutional limitation upon the in the performance of these duties. Debts means of raising theannual revenue,asis the case incurred for such purposes may be called debts with us, which might aid or control the concreated by law, as well as debts incurred by struction to be given to the debt limitation. the county clerk for books and stationery. Recurring to our own Constitution, we are reUnder a somewhat similar provision in the quired to give that effect to its provisions which Constitution of Colorado probibiting a county will barmonize all the parts bearing upon the from becoming indebted, the Supreme Court question. An inspection of the limitations of the United States in Lake County Comrs. v. placed upon indebtedness and taxation will Rollins, 130 U. S. 662, 32 L. ed. 1060, in demonstrate with satisfactory clearness the obreversing the case of Rollins v. Lake County, ject, purpose, and intent which found expres. 34 Fed. Rep. 845, in speaking upon this ques. sion in the provisions under consideration. tion said: "Neither can we assent to the We have already adverted to the limitation position of the court below that there is, as to placed by Congress upon municipal and county this case, a difference between indebtedness indebtedness which controlled while we reincurred by contracts of the county and that mained in a territorial condition, and the fact form of debt denominated 'compulsory obliga. that all debts which could during that period tions. The compulsion was imposed by the have been lawfully incurred were given recoglegislature of the state, even if it can be said nition, and provision inserted in the Constitucorrectly that the compulsion was to incur tion permitting the funding of the same. That debt; and the legislature could no more impose po indebtedness theretofore incurred exceeding it than the county could voluntarily assume it. 4 per centum (the congressional limitation) was as against the disability of a constitutional thus recognized, clearly displaying a constituprohibition. Nor does the fact that the Con- tional interpretation of the former limitation, stitution provided for certain county officers, embracing by necessary inference in such limand authorized the legislature to fix their com itation all debts for salaries of officers, and pensation and that of other officials, affect the other imposed or so-called “compulsory” obquestion.” The action in which this opinion ligations. The Constitution in the same secwas delivered was brought upon warrants tion establishes a smaller limit upon future issued in payment of fees of witnesses, jurors, debts, reducing the limitation to 2 per centconstables, and sheriff. A clause in the Con um; and, as if to emphasize the intention to stitution of Illinois provides that “no county, com pel the strictest economy in the conduct of city,” etc., "shall be allowed to become in county and municipal affairs, further required debted in any manner or for any purpose,” that no debt in excess of the taxes for any year etc. In that state it is held that in respect to should be created without the approval of the such probibition po distinction exists between people. Like restrictions are placed upon the debts imposed by law and those voluntarily creation of debts by the state. In making proassumed, and that it makes no difference vision for taxation, the Constitution again resorts whether the debts are incurred for necessary to the method of limitation. For county revcurrent expenses or not. Prince v. Quincy, 105 nue, for all purposes except the payment of III. 138, 44 Am. Rep. 785, 105 II. 215; Spring the public debts and interest thereon, the rate field v. Edvards, 84 Ill. 626; Law v. People, of taxation is limited to 12 mills. If it is to Huck, 87 II), 385. A similar construction is be assumed that the debt limitation does not given to the constitutional prohibition against include any imposed liabilities, then the tax of county and municipal indebtedness in Iowa. 12 mills was merely to provide revenue to Council Bluff's v. Stewart, 51 Iowa, 385; Na satisfy voluntary obligations, if they should tional State Bank v. Marshall Independent amount to enough to consume all the funds Dist. 39 Iowa, 490; French v. Burlington, 42 raised by such levy for county revenue; and as Iowa, 614. See also Guthrie v. New Vienna the imposed obligations would be unpaid, a Bank (Okla.) 38 Pac. 4, where this question is fund each year might then be provided by a fully and learnedly discussed.

tax without limit to pay them as a part of the We are not unmindful of the difference in public debt. It must be manifest that salaries language between the Constitution of this state of public officers, the fees of witnesses and and that of some of the other states above re. jurors, and such other expenses as may be said ferred to, but in respect to the present inquiry io be compulsory, which relate to the ordinary we fail to observe that the courts have drawn or management of county affairs, are properly indicated any distinction by reason of such dif. chargeable to and payable out of the general ference in language. The object in either case county revenue; and the conclusion is irresistis the limitation upon municipal indebtedness. ible that in providing authority to tax for To become indebted” would seem to be no county revenue for all purposes the section broader nor to be any more restrictive than to unequivocally comprehends ihe furnishing by "create a debt.” If a county is prohibited from that particular tax of funds out of which all “becoming indebted,” we are not able to im. obligations ordinarily and properly chargeable part to that language any greater restriction to and payable out of the general annual county upon the character of the indebtedness than if revenue shall be discharged, unless, indeed, at the prohibition is against the “creation of a the time any such obligations are contracted, debt.” If the constitutional limitation operates other provisions are made in pursuance of the to restrain the legislature from im ing obli. Constitution and laws baving cific reference gations upon a county in excess of the limita- to their future payment in another manner and tion in the one case, so far as tbe mere differ- l out of other funds, as might be the case of the creation of a debt in excess of the taxes in any which they incur are the debts of the county, year by consent of the people, the county and the authority they exercise is such as having authority to incur such a liability. In resides in them as the officers and representatives such case it would not be intended to charge of the county." Tippecanoe County Comrs. such debt to the ordinary county revenue. v. Barnes, 123 Ind. 403. It may be equally Salaries being unquestionably chargeable ordi- as accurate to say that the legislature is the narily to county revenue, and the tax for county, within the sphere of its control, as to county revenue being a limited tax, it would make that application to the commissioners. seem to follow that the restriction upon incur. In all matters of public concern it would seem ring liabilities in excess of current taxes includes appropriate to attach to the legislature the such salaries and other claims against a county character of representatives of the county itself, similarly situated. Had this not been the whenever it assumes control of any of its intention, provision would have surely been interests, either in pursuance of constitutional made for an additional tax, clearly expressed, requirement or otherwise; and that is doing so to pay such an important class of liabilities as it acts for the counties in about the same way salaries of officers. We are of the opinion that that the local board does regarding those maino county board, money being in the general ters committed to the direction of the latter; fund, raised by the tax for general county and thus, if an obligation is imposed upon the revenue, ever hesitated to allow and pay salaries county, it cannot be said to be compulsory to out of that fund. The limitation upon taxa- any greater extent than if imposed by the tion, then, being upon the power io raise a county board. “Municipal corporations” (and fund out of which salaries are payable, must in this designation, so far as concerns this disnot the restriction upon the right to create cussion, we include counties) “are of a twofold debts in excess of the taxes include in the character, -the one public, as regards the state term "debts” all ordinary expense of the at large, in so far as they are its agents in governcounty, inclusive of salaries? We think so. ment; the other private, in so far as they are to The evident object of all these provisions was provide the local necessities and conveniences an economical administration of public affairs, for the citizens.' Davock v. Moore, 105 Mich, which is rendered more emphatic, if possible, 120, 28 L. R. A. 783. In fixing salaries of by the maximum placed upon the salaries of county officers the legislature deals with counthe various county officials. Article 14. ties as one of the agencies of goveroment.

It is assumed that he board of county com. In respect to its officers and the duties they are missioners constitutes the county, and that a required to perform the county is publie in liability imposed by law is not the creation of character. The Supreme Court of the United a debt by the county, not being within the dis States in Lake County v. Rollins, supra, indicretion of the board. It is doubtful whether the cated that from an accurate standpoint the board does constitute the county in the strict compulsion arising on account of imposed

As an official board it is charged with obligations might not be to incur debt. It is many duties and invested with numerous evident that such compulsion in all cases does powers respecting the management of the ordi- not result in a debt; and rather by way of sugnary, and particularly the local, affairs of the gestion than argument, it may be said that the county. This authority, however, is not exclu- character of debt in excess of taxes as applied sive in all matters; it is, after all, not bound to unpaid salaries does not necessarily arise less. Some of the important interests of a from the enactment of the law providing their county are not permitted to be delegated to the amount and times of payment, but that it is board, riz., the matter of compensation to be possible the allowance of other claims within paid to its public officials; others are under ihe discretionary control of the board, and the the control of independent officers, such as the use of funds in the general fund, or raised collection of taxes, although the board may by the county revenue tax to satisfy such exercise a qualified supervision over the con- claims, may so deplete the treasury as to create duct of the officers charged with such duties. the inability to pay the salaries or other so. The supreme court of Indiana, in discussing called "imposed” liabilities. Therefore it may the relation of tbe board to the county, said: not be entirely accurate to say that the debt is. "We know that comprehensive powers are con- created by the legislature, even if any distincferred upon county commissioners; we know, tion should be thought to exist respecting this too, that they are, ic a sense, the county. matter within the terms of tbe constitutional But, after all, the county is no more than a provision. public corporation created by statute, and Before leaving this branch of the case, we deriving its powers from the legislature. If a call attention to some very pertinent remarks county is not given power to fix the fees of contained in the address of the people prepublic officers by statute, it can possess no pared by a committee of the constitutional such power. It adds nothing, therefore, to convention, submitted to that body prior to its the strength of the appellee's position to affirm adjournment, and embraced in the record as a that the board of comidissioners is the county. part of its proceedings. We quote: “The But it is not strictly true that the board is the extravagance in the management of county county. It can by po possibility be irue that affairs tbat has prevailed in the past bas been the board is the county, for in a just sense the circumscribed and rendered impossible. The inbabitants of the organized locality constitute restrictions upon taxation and the creation of the county. In strict accuracy the commis public debts are such as to necessitate economy siopers are public officers representing the in public affairs, and insure to the people the county, with powers and duties defined and highest excellence in government for the least prescribed by statute. The money which they money.” This is strong language, and indicontrol is the money of the county, the debts | cates that the purpose had been to place an


additional restriction upon public indebted | clear and imperative commands. As has been ness and taxation. Considering the limitatious already suggested, tbe remedy, if any is deemed theretofore in force, the restraipt upon taxa to be necessary, resides elsewhere. tion under existing territorial laws, and the We come now to a consideration of the judg. construction given to the antecedent limita ments. Assuming that the claims upon which tions, it is readily observed that, if the con- the judgments were rendered were in excess of struction given to the Constitution by counsel the limit, it is contended that they cannot be atfor defendants is correct, the statements quoted tacked collaterally by the plaintiff taxpayer in from the address were but delusions, and that, ibis case: that they are conclusive us to the instead of having further circumscribed county validity of the debt, and therefore constitute extravagance, the limitations were practically a part of the public debt of the county, for removed. We are aware that the address is which a tax may be slevied irrespective of the not to be entirely controlling of the construc- limit as to taxation for county revenue. The tion; but, in connection with past conditions question, so far as this case is concered, reand events, in the ligbt of which constitutional solves itself into this: Do judgments, assumprovisions must be interpreted, such an address ing them to bave been rendered by a court of may very properly be resorted to as indicating competent and general jurisdiction, having somewbat the intent and object which caused likewise jurisdiction of the parties, form a part tbe incorporation of disputed clauses into the of that public debt of the county for which a fundamental law. Whether the constitutional levy may be made to provide funds for their limitations include all obligations, of whatever payment, although, in fact, the warrants upon character, we cannot, in this case, properly which they are founded were issued for curdetermine, and do not do so. It bas been held rent expenses in excess of the taxes for the curby some eminent authorities that similar limita- rent year, and in excess of the absolute constitions do not cover a debt established against a tutional limit upon county indebtedness? Is municipality for a tort. Bloomington v. Per any inquiry into the indebtedness back of and due, 99 III. 329; Chicago v. Sexton, 115 Ill. 230; behind the judgments precluded by them? It Bartle v. Des Moines, 38 Iowa. 414. It will be is apparent that several questions are involved time enough, however, to decide that question in such an inquiry. Not only are we to deterwbep it is clearly presented in a proper case. mine the meaning and scope of the words

We are constrained to express as our opinion public debt" as used in the section of the that the limitations upon county indebtedness Constitution providing for county taxation, include salaries of county officials, and as well but the effect of the judgments as to their con. such obligations as are legal and valid and law clusiveness or otherwise, and in respect to wbat fully imposed under the legislation of 1893, matters they are conclusive, if any, becomes a respecting the payment of bounties for the matter for investigation. Upon this branch of destruction of certain predatory wild animals; the case we are aided materially by the auas the same reasoning in the main applies with thorities. After judgment upon a claim preequal force to those liabilities. In this con- ferred against a county or municipality, it bas nection we expressly refrain from deciding been frequently, and where that question alone or indicating any opinion whatever regarding was involved, uniformly, beld, in mandamus the constitutionality of that legislation, or the proceedings to compel the levy of a tax to pay validity of any claims arising thereunder, irre- the judgment. that an allegation that the debt spective of questions touching the debt and tax upon which the judgment was rendered bad limitations. We are convinced that any differ been created in excess of the constitutional limit ent construction would be destructive of the upon such indebtedness, and was illegal and plain import and object of the Constitution, and void, constitutes no defense; that such defense would invite the most reckless and improvident by the county is absolutely precluded by the administration of public affairs; and, notwith- judgment, as it could have been interposed in standing that the burdens of taxation are now the suit wherein the judgment was obtained. conceived to be oppressive, temperate language Howard v. Huron. 6 s. D. 180, 26 L. R. A. would utterly fail to depict the condition which 493; State, Ledger Pub. Co., v. Gloyd, 14 Wash. might result if the contention of counsel on 5; United States v. Ottawa Auditors, 28 Fed. behalf of the counties is sound. We do not Rep. 407: United States v. New Orleans, 98 U. desire to be understood as impugning in the S. 381, 25 L. ed. 225; People, Rollins, v. Rio least the motives or the bonesty or patriotism Grande County Comrx. 7 Colo. App. 229: Etna of those at this time or heretofore in charge of L. Ins. Co. v. Lyon County, 44 Fed. Rep. 329. county governments. We appreciate the many And the citizen and taxpayer cannot attack difficulties of their position, and are aware that such a judgment any more than the county. in no public office is a higher degree of care, Clark v. Wolf, 29 Iowa, 197; Freem. Judgm. sagacity, and withal of integrity, required, S 178; 2 Black, Judgm. $ 584; Ashton v. Rochand often displayed, than that through which ester, 133 N. Y. 187. In the case of Clark v. the affairs of these local agencies of the state Wolt, supra, the court said: “It must be, in the are administered. If inconveniences or con absence of fraud or collusion or the like on the sequences are to receive consideration, the hard-part of the municipal officers, that the legal ships wbich may accompany an attempt to con- liability of the county, being once fixed by a fine county indebtedness and taxation within valid judgment, the citizen, no more than the constitutional boundaries cappot approach in county, can afterward resist the collection of all that would be disastrous the effects which said judgment upon the want of power to conmight follow if the construction otherwise tract the debt. That stage in the controversy insisted upon was to prevail. Nevertheless, is past.” Ard in the same case those matters the courts are powerless to alter the Constitu. which may be contested by the taxpayer, even tion, and should not attempt to evade its in case of a valid judgment, are also stated as




follows: “If the officers shall attempt to make county, no execution shall issue thereon, but a levy not warranted by law (for instance, a the same shall be paid by a tax levied and colgreater per cent than the law allows), or to col- lected for that purpose, as in the case of other lect the same in an illegal mapper, or the like, county charges; and when so collected shall be these are questions between the citizen and the paid by the county treasurer to the person to corporation, and do not touch either the va whom the same shall be adjudged upon tbe delidity of the debt or the correctness of the livery of a proper voucher therefor. The arjudgment which is intended to be satisfied." gument is that, as the judgments must be paid The distinction thus mentioned we regard as by a tax, and they are part of the public debt, clearly existing. The validity of the debt as to which no limitation applies, the tax comwas, or could have been, fully litigated in the plained of is legal, without regard to the nature suit in which the judgment was secured. That of the claims merged in the judgments. On question is therefore absolutely concluded as the other hand, it is earnestly insisted that the against a collateral attack, both as concerns the judgments do not form a part of the public county and a citizen or taxpayer thereof; but it debt to pay which unlimited taxation is perdoes not necessarily follow that the county may mitted. Counsel for plaintiff contend, first, levy, or the judgment creditor may ipsist that that bonded indebtedness alone is what is init shall levy, a tax to pay the same not author-tended by the term “public debt" in the secized by law. The cases holding that a power tion of the Constitution referring to county taxto contract a debt includes authority to pay it, ation, and it seems also to have been urged that and, wbere a tax is essential for such purpose, no indebtedness wbich did not exist at the time the authority and duty to tax do not contra of the adoption of the Constitution is included. vene this view. None of those cases, as I unWe cannot entirely agree with the position taken derstand them, announce a contrary doctrine. by either counsel. It is obvious that debts in

Having determined this much, the inquiry curred since the adoption of the Constitution, arises, How far may a county go in its an. if lawfully existing, are not excluded. To exnual tax levy? For county revenue for all clude them would have the probable effect of purposes the annual levy must be confined preventing subsequently organized counties within 12 mills, and this is inclusive of school from paying their legitimate public debts, altax. For the payment of its public debt and though ihe same could not have existed at the the interest thereon there is no limit. The time the Constitution was adopted. There are legislature of the state, in amending the terri- other reasons, however, which suggest the untorial statutes requiring the annual levy, con soundness of that contention. We are furformed them to the Constitution, authorizing ther of the opinion that the public debt which an annual levy of not to exceed 3 mills for gen- is excepted from the general tax limitation is eral school purposes, and prescribing that an not contined to bonded indebtedness. The annual tax should be levied for county revenue same words “public debt,” are used in § 3 of for all purposes; but providing that the aggre. article 16, permitting the bonding of the pubgale tax for county revenue, including general lic debt of the county existing at the time the school tax, should not exceed 12 mills on the Constitution was adopted; and it is clear that dollar (exclusive of state revenue), excepting in the latter section the words were not exclufrom such limitation the payment of the public sive of indebtedness other than bonded, but debt and interest thereon. Laws 1895, p. 237, that they comprehended all manner of lawful chap: 102. Prior to the enactment just al. debts, not exceeding the congressional limitaluded to, the laws in force anterior to state- tion of 4 per centum; and such has been hood remained unaffected by any later legisla. the legislative and public construction placed tion, but were, of course, modified by the con- upon that section. We are unable to attribute stitutional clauses referred to. Those earlier any narrower meaning to those words as used statutes prescribed certain rates of taxation for in § 5 of art. 15, relating to taxation. It is not various purposes connected with county rev. contined to bonds, but may involve ordinary enue, and placed a maximum limitation of 16 warrants, and other evidences of indebtedness, mills upon county taxation, which was held if properly and lawfully issued; and may also by this court to be exclusive of the general include judgments, but not necessarily so. To school tax. When the Constitution took effect, illustrate: If a county's indebtedness is within it immediately reduced the maximum limit to the constitutional limitation, and in pursuance 12 mills, and included therein the general of law it creates a debt in excess of the curschool tax. It is now urged that the judg. rent taxes by the consent and approval of the ments in question constitute a part of the pub- people, which, together with existing indebtlic debt of the county, to pay which the county edness, does not exceed the amount within may levy a tax irrespective of the taxation for wbich it may lawfully become indebted, such county revenue; and our attention is directed debt will not only be legal, but, although it 10 1798 of the Revised Statutes of 1887. may be evidenced alone by warrants, will conThat section is found in the chapter devoted stitute a part of the public debt, and to pay to the powers and duties of county commis- the same a tax is permissible, the same as in sioners, and was enacted prior to the admis- the case of bonded indebtedness. If judg. sion of the state, and continued in force, un- ments are rendered upon such warrants, or less in conflict with the Constitution. It pro- upon bonds, the debts ihemselves being lawful vides, in substance, that when a judgment public debts of the county, the judgments will shall be rendered against the board of county partake of the same character. On the concommissioners of any county, or against any trary, in case warrants or other evidences of county officer, in an action prosecuted by or indebtedness are issued for ordinary current against him or them in his or their name of expenses in excess of the taxes for the current office, where the same shall be payable by the year, without the consent or approval of the 34 L. R. A.

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