Generally.

The Supreme Court has never decided exactly what due process is required in the assessment and collection of general taxes. Although the Court has held that “notice to the owner at some stage of the proceedings, as well as an opportunity to defend, is essential” for imposition of special taxes, it has also ruled that laws for assessment and collection of general taxes stand upon a different footing and are to be construed with the utmost liberality, even to the extent of acknowledging that no notice whatever is necessary.492 Due process of law as applied to taxation does not mean judicial process;493 neither does it require the same kind of notice as is required in a suit at law, or even in proceedings for taking private property under the power of eminent domain.494 Due process is satisfied if a taxpayer is given an opportunity to test the validity of a tax at any time before it is final, whether before a board having a quasi-judicial character, or before a tribunal provided by the state for such purpose.495

Footnotes

492
Turpin v. Lemon, 187 U.S. 51, 58 (1902); Glidden v. Harrington, 189 U.S. 255 (1903). [Back to text]
493
McMillen v. Anderson, 95 U.S. 37, 42 (1877). [Back to text]
494
Bell’s Gap R.R. v. Pennsylvania, 134 U.S. 232, 239 (1890). [Back to text]
495
Hodge v. Muscatine County, 196 U.S. 276 (1905). [Back to text]