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shall descend in equal parts to the next of kin to the intestate in equal degree, computing by the rules of the civil law; and there shall be no representation among collaterals, except with the descendants of the brothers and sisters of the intestate; and in no case shall there be a distinction between the kindred of the whole and the half blood: saving to the widow in all cases her dower, as provided by law. (R. S., p. 545, Sec. 46.)
When any femme covert shall die intestate, leaving no child or children, or descendants of a child or children, then the one-half of the real estate of the decedent shall descend and go to her husband, as his exclusive estate forever. (R. S., p. 546, Sec. 47.)
Upon the decease of any alien, having title to or interest in any lands or tenements, such lands and tenements shall pass and descend in the same manner as if such alien were a citizen of the United States; and it shall be no objection to any person having an interest in such estate, that they are not citizens of the United States, but all such persons shall have the same rights and remedies, and in all things be placed on the same footing as natural born citizens and actual residents of the United States. (R. S., p. 48, Sec. 1.)
It is further provided, that if any person shall die seized of any real estate, without having devised the same, and leaving no heirs or representatives capable of inheriting the same, or the devisees thereof capable of holding the same, such estate shall escheat to and vest in the State. (R. S., p. 225, Sec. 1.)
THE LEVY AND COLLECTION OF LAND TAXES.
All real estate within the State is liable to taxation, except such as belongs to the State or to the United States; lands sold by the United States within the preceding five years; lands belonging to township school-funds ; lands whereon any school-house, court-house, or jail, shall have been erected; lands not exceeding five acres, whereon any county buildings are situated; not exceeding ten acres, whereon any church shall have been erected; burial grounds, not exceeding ten acres, and grounds on which any building belonging to any literary, religious, benevolent, charitable, or scientific institution, shall be situated, not exceeding ten acres.
The Statutes invest the County Commissioners' Court with the power to levy taxes in their respective counties for county purposes, under the restrictions that they shall not, unless specially authorized by law, levy a tax that shall exceed four mills on each dollar's worth of property.
The Treasurer, in the capacity of Assessor, upon the receipt of such transcript and list, is required to prepare a list of all taxable property within his county, and to proceed to assess the value thereof by going to the place of residence of such owner of taxable property within his county. And if he shall deem it necessary, he may require every owner of taxable property “ to give in under oath, either by himself or agent, a list and description of all his taxable lands, by townships, ranges, quarter sections, tracts, lots, or parts thereof, and the number in each tract, with the improvements thereon; all town lots, with the improvements thereon; all pleasure carriages, whether with two or four wheels; all horses, mares, jacks, jennies, mules, indentured servants, neat cattle, ships and vessels, stocks, money on hand and at interest, household furniture, and every other description of personal property; all capital employed each year in merchandising, adopting as a criterion the value of the greatest amount of goods on hand at any time in the year: and he (the Assessor) shall, in the presence of such person, enter the same in his book, and value each tract or lot separately, and each species of personal property separately, placing the description and value in figures opposite the name of the person owning or listing the same; provided, that unimproved town-lots may be listed and assessed in blocks. (R. S., p. 439, Sec. 16.)
The minimum value of all lands in this State, for the purposes of taxation, is three dollars per acre.
If any Assessor shall be unable to find the owner of any lands or lots contained in his list, he shall value the same according to the best information he can procure, and enter the same on his list in the name of the patentee or present owner, if known. (R. S., p. 440, Sec. 17.)
If any person shall give a false or fraudulent list, or refuse to deliver to the Assessor, when called on for that purpose, a list of his or her taxable property as required by law, the said Assessor, as a penalty therefor, shall assess the property of such person at double its value. (R. S., Sec. 18.)
Lands and town lots owned by non-residents of the country, when once correctly listed for taxation by their owners, shall not be required to be listed again by them, till a subdivion or change of ownership takes place. (R. S., Sec. 20.)
Any person feeling himself aggrieved by the assessment of his property must apply to the County Commissioners' Court, at the September term thereof next succeeding the assessment; and if it shall be made to appear by credible proof, that the valuation of the Assessor was too high, such court in its discretion may order a reduction ; but if he does not apply at the said term, he will be concluded by the assessment as made by the Assessor.
The Sheriff of each county in Illinois is ex officio Collector of Taxes levied therein. After having given a bond to the people of the State for the faithful performance of his duty as Collector of Taxes, is his duty to receive from the County Commissioners' Clerk the assessed list, and to proceed to collect the taxes charged on said list by calling on each person residin; in his county, at his or her usual place of residence, and requiring payment thereof.
Upon the receipt of the list by the Sheriff, a lien upon the property assessed attaches for the tax, and no sale or transfer of the same after that time can defeat or affect such lien. The property may be seized by the Collector, and by him sold to discharge the taxes and the costs and expenses of collection. (R. S., Sec. 33.)
The statute further provides, that in case any person shall refuse or neglect to pay his or her taxes when demanded, or within ten days thereafter, it shall be the duty of the Collector to levy, the same, together with the costs and charges that may accrue, by distress and sale of the personal property of such person as ought to pay the same, wherever the same may be found in the county. No real estate can be legally sold for taxes whilst personal property can be found by the Collector. But no sale is valid, unless by advertisement posted in at least three public places in the precinct where such sale shall take place, at least ten days previous to the day of sale, the Collector shall have notified the public of the time and place thereof and the property to be sold. (R. S., Sec. 35, 36.)
The sale is required to be at public auction, and if practicable no more property than is sufficient to pay the tax, costs, and charges due, should be sold. “ Land shall, if convenient, be sold in parcels, and if sold for more than the amount of the tax, costs, and charges, the surplus shall be returned to the owner of such property.” (R. S., Sec. 37.)
State taxes are required to be collected in gold and silver coin and Auditor's warrants, and county taxes in gold and silver coin, Auditor's warrants, or jury certificates.
The statute further provides, that when any person owning lands in any county shall fail to pay the taxes assessed thereon, and the Collector shall be unable to find any personal property of such person in his county whereon to levy, of a value sufficient to pay the taxes and costs, it is made the duty of the Collector to make report thereof to the Circuit Court of his county, at the first term thereof in each year. (R. S., p. 444, Sec. 46.)
At least six weeks' notice of such report and application, however, is necescessary to be published in some newspaper printed in the said county, if any such there be, or if there be hone, then in the nearest newspaper in the State; which notice is required to contain the names of the owner or owners, if known, the amount of the delinquent tax, interest, and costs due thereon, and the year or years for which the same are due; and to mention his intended application to the court for judgment against said lands, and for an order to sell the same for the satisfaction of such taxes, interest, and costs; and that on the fourth Tuesday next succeeding the day fixed by law for the commencement of the said term of the said Circuit Court, all the lands against which judgment shall be pronounced, and for the sale of which such order is required to be made, will be exposed to public sale, at the Court-house of the said county, for the amount of said taxes, interest, and costs due thereon. (R. S., Sec. 47.)
Such Circuit Court, at the term aforesaid, is required to call the docket of such cases, and if upon such calling any defence be offered by any of the owners of lands delinquent and reported, or by any person having a claim or interest therein, it shall hear and determine the same in a summary way, without pleadings; and if no defence be made, to pronounce judgment against the said lands, and direct the Clerk to issue an order for their sale. (R. S., p. 445, Sec. 58.)
On the day specified in the Collector's notice, it is the duty of that officer to attend at the Court-house in this county, and then and there, at the hour of ten o'clock in the forenoon, to proceed to offer for sale, separately, each tract of land in the said list on which the taxes and costs have not then been paid, and the person offering to pay the taxes and costs for the least quantity of land becomes the purchaser of such quantity, to be taken from the east side of the tract. (R. S., Sec. 51.)
Any person or persons owning or claiming lands advertised for sale as aforesaid, may pay the taxes, interest, and costs due thereon, to the collector of the county in which the same are situated, at any time before the sale thereof. (R. S. 446, Sec. 61.)
When purchasers fail to pay the taxes assessed on lands designated and known as Illinois and Michigan Canal lands, sold upon a credit, it is the duty of the collector to report such failure to the acting commissioner of the said canal, and thenceforth all right, interest, and title of the said purchaser ceases, and said lands are not permitted, in any case, to be sold for the non-payment of taxes, and any sale, if made, is declared to be absolutely void. (R. S. 450, Sec. 94.)
If taxes assessed upon property as aforesaid shall not be paid according to law, and it shall be necessary to sell the same for taxes, such sales shall extend to the interest paid and all improvements thereon, the simple title to said property still remaining in the State. (R. S. 590, Sec. 2.)
Every tract of land offered for sale by any collector, as hereinbefore provided, and not sold for want of bidders, is considered as forfeit to the people, and the claims thereto of the former owner or owners utterly transferred to and vested in the State of Illinois; yet lands thus forfeited may be redeemed at any time within two years, by paying to the Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court of the county in which said lands may be situated, double the amount for which such real estate was forfeited, and all taxes accruing thereon to the time of redemption, with interest on each year's tax at the rate of six per cent. from the first Monday of May in each year to the time of redemption. Infants, femmes covert, and lunatics, may redeem at any time within one year after the removal of such disability or disabilities. (R. S. 449, Sec. 78.)
Concerning these lands, it is provided, that every two years from the first Monday of September, eighteen hundred and forty-five, the Clerks of the County Commissioners' Courts of the several counties, respectively, shall cause them to be sold at public auction. When any sale of any lot thus forfeited shall be effected, it is the duty of such clerk to deliver to the purchaser a certificate of purchase, which, on being presented to the auditor, entitles the holder thereof to a deed, conveying all the right, title, interest, and claim of the State, to the tracts or lots described in said certificate. (R. S. 450, Sec. 87.)
LAND Tax, FORFEITURES, AND REDEMPTIONS. The Statute provides, that real estate sold for delinquent taxes may be redeemed at any time before the expiration of two years from the date of sale, by the payment, in specie, to the Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court of the proper county, of double the amount for which the same was sold, and all taxes accruing after such sale, unless such subsequent taxes have been paid to the collector, as may be shown by the collector's receipt, by the person redeeming, with six per cent. interest thereon from the first day of May in each year up to the time of payment; provided, that if the real estate of any infant, femme covert, or lunatic, be sold for taxes, the same may be redeemed at any time within one year after such disability shall be removed, upon the terms specified in this section. (R. S. 447, Sec, 69.)
At any time after the expiration of two years from the sale of any real estate for taxes, if the same shall not have been redeemed, the collector, on request, and on the production of the certificate of purchase, shall execute and deliver to the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, a deed of conveyance for the real estate described in such certificate. (R. S., Sec. 71.)
The deed so made by the collector shall be acknowledged and recorded in the same manner as other conveyances of real estate, and shall vest in the grantee, his heirs or assigns, the title of the property therein described. (R. S., Sec. 72.)
Where purchasers of land sold for taxes shall neglect to pay the taxes thereon, and such land shall be again sold for taxes before the expiration of two years from the date of his or her purchase, such purchaser is not entitled to a deed for the land until the expiration of two years from the date of the second sale, during which time the land is subject to redemption upon the usual terms, except that the person redeeming is only required to pay for the use of such purchaser, the amount paid for the land, and double the amount paid by the second purchaser. (R. S. 451, Sec. 97.)
LIMITATION OF ACTIONS,
All actions of trespass quare clausum fregit, trespass detinue, trover, and replevin, for taking away goods and chattels, all actions for arrearages of rent due on a parole demise, and all actions of account and upon the case, except actions for slander and malicious prosecution, and such as concern the trade of merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors or agents, shall be commenced within five years next after the cause of action accrued.