Rochester Would Control Firemen’s Benefit Tax.
One of the fire insurance agencies doing bus iness in Rochester is to begin an action to determine to whom taxes collected under section 133 of the State insurance law shall be paid. The law provides that, except in New York and Buffalo, there shall be paid to the treasury department of every city or village, having a department, or to the treasurer of the city when no treasurer of the fire department exists, by every fire insurance agent $2 on every $100 of premiums received for insurance on property in the municipality.
This tax has been paid for years to the treas urer of the trustees of the fire department of the city of Rochester, a corporation. Early this year notice was served upon the companies, through the city law department, that the taxes should be paid to the city treasurer, inasmuch as the tire department was maintained by the city and had no treasurer. The companies were also told that the city would hold them liable in case the money was paid to any person other than the city treasurer.
The trustees of the fire department have been applying the money collected to a fund anil most of the pensioners are widows of exempt firemen When this fact developed, the city withdrew its notices from all but one agency. A few weeks ago the trustees corporation filed suit against this company to recover the premium tax held back by the order of the city, and the next step will be an interpleader action. Pending a decision, the money will be paid into court.
The tax in Rochester amounts to about $12,000 annually. The corporation which has been receiving it consists of thirteen members, and was incorporated in 1864. According to its last report it had $86,050 invested in bonds and mortgages, and its productive funds aggregate $88,495.54.
The city maintains a paid department which has a pension fund separate from that of the trustees In the department, also, is the Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent association, which also figures in the controversy. The city contends that the taxv should go to the city treasurer for the benefit of the paid department.
It is asserted that in case the city wins, the pensioners of the trustees will be provided for, but the city wants control and disbursement of the funds.
Moberly, Mo., is having estimates and plans for a new light and water system made by L. G. Knapp, of L. G. Knapp & Co., of Kansas City.