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606 Roth ads. People....... 532 Ruttiger ads. Stortz.
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617 People er rel. v. Chicago & Smith v. Dellitt....
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ARGUED AND DETERMINED
SUPREME COURT of Illinois.
THE PEOPLE ex rel. James S. McCullough, Auditor, Appel
lant, vs. THE LOGAN SQUARE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Appellee.
Opinion filed February 25, 1911.
1. Taxes—statute in force on the first day of April determines status of property. In determining whether certain property is exempt from taxation the statute in force on the first day of April must control even though the petition is not considered by the board of review until after July 1, when a new law went into effect, as the lien for taxes attaches to real estate the first day of April.
2. SAME-church corporation having a bond for a deed cannot claim property is exempt from taxation. Under the Revenue law as it stood on April 1, 1909, a religious corporation having at that time only a bond for a deed is not entitled to claim that the property is exempt from taxation, as to sustain such claim the title must be in the corporation on or before the first day of April.
3. Same-when petition does not sufficiently show the use of property. Under the Revenue law as it stood on April 1, 1909, exempting from taxation "church property actually and exclusively used for public worship,” etc., a petition which states merely that the property sought to be exempted is used for "church purposes" is not sufficient to bring the property within the statute.
Auditor's certificate of appeal to review decision of Board of Review of Cook county.
W. H. STEAD, Attorney General, and CHARLES E. WOODWARD, for appellant.
Mr. JUSTICE Cooke delivered the opinion of the court:
The Logan Square Presbyterian Church of the city of Chicago presented its petition to the board of review of Cook county, verified by the pastor and two members of the board of trustees, in which it represented that it was a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of Illinois and is a corporation not for pecuniary profit; that it holds a contract for deed to lots 42, 43, 44 and 45 in S. S. Kimbell's subdivision of lot 9 in Kimbell's subdivision of the east half of the south-west quarter of the west half of the south-east quarter of section 26, township 40, north, range 13, east of the third principal meridian, (except twenty-five acres in the north-east corner thereof,) in Cook county, Illinois, and will by the terms of said contract. be entitled to a deed in fee simple to the premises upon the payment in full of a certain amount of money in said contract specified, a part of which sum has already been paid; that petitioner is now, and for the space of a year prior to the filing of the petition has been, in possession of the premises, which are used for "church purposes;" that the premises should be exempt from taxation as church property under the statute, and prays that the board of review find and direct that the said premises be exempt from taxation. The petition was heard by the board of review on July 23, 1909, and the board decided that the property was exempt from taxation and entered an order accordingly. No evidence was taken, the order being entered upon the petition alone. The case has been certified to this court, under the statute, by the Auditor of Public Accounts. Petitioner has filed no brief, so we are not advised as to what its contentions are.
The status of this property must be determined in reference to the statute in force on April 1, 1909, as that is