State v. Allred
In State v. Allred, 67 Ariz. 320, 195 P.2d 163 (1948), a veteran qualified for a tax exemption pursuant to a self-executing provision of the Arizona Constitution.
A state statute required that persons claiming the exemption submit completed forms and an affidavit to the county assessor and provide any additional proof that the assessor deemed necessary to support the claim. Allred filed claims for the exemption for the years from 1933 to 1944 inclusive but failed to file a claim for the exemption for 1932, and his property was sold for delinquent taxes.
Upon learning of the sale, Allred offered payment of the taxes, which was refused, and then filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona, the Board of Supervisors and the Treasurer of Maricopa County and other parties.
The trial court ruled that the property was exempt from taxation and that the sales were void.
On appeal, the Arizona Supreme Court reversed.
It does not follow from the determination that the ... constitutional provision is self-executing, that the legislature did not have the power to enact legislation providing reasonable regulation for the exercise of the right to the exemption granted by the Constitution, and if the regulatory statute constitutes such reasonable regulation and not an invalid limitation of the right thereby granted, the power of the legislature to enact said section should be upheld. Id. at 327, 195 P.2d at 168.
The court concluded that the legislature had the authority to enact reasonable procedures to determine who was exempted by the constitutional provision, id. at 329, 195 P.2d at 170, and that the requirement of presenting a claim for exemption to the assessor each year was not unduly burdensome. Id. at 330, 195 P.2d at 170.
It added that such legislation was not only permissible but desirable to provide a degree of certainty as to what property was available for taxation. Id. at 329-30, 195 P.2d at 170.