[note in left margin] Chg - Farmers Tax - P. 9 1148 amt 170.
Ft. Worth, Texas, October 11th, '06
Mr. F. W. Axtell, City---,
In giving you an opinion of the questions propounded to us by you this morning and in the limited time in which we have had to prepare same we beg to inform you:-- 1st. That the City Council of the city of Fort Worth,under its charter, has the undoubted right to establish or erect, to cause to be established or erected markets and market houses; to designate, control and regulate market places and privileges; to inspect and determine the mode of inspecting meat, fish, vegetables and all produce or every article and thing brought for sale within the city. City charter; Art.10, Sec. 2 ( Se e also Newsom vs. Galveston; 76th Tex. 564---13 S. W. 368---Palestine vs. Barbes 50 Tex-551. Ex Parte Canto, 21st Tex. App. 61--- Am. Ec. L11 Sec. Add. Vol. 19, Page 1145--Ex Seq)
2nd. This power applies to all products of the kind mentioned, that is, fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, fish etc. sold within the city limits whether same is sold by the original producer or not, or whether sold from wagons or otherwise, without regard to where the seller may reside .( See above authorities).
3rd. If the City Council adopts a market house and passes an inspection law, an ordinance would be legal to require all wagons or wagon trade in and about the market house to be under the control of such ordinance . (Authorities same as above).
4th. As we understand, one of the main points is whether or not the butchers and retail dealers in the city, who have established places
of business, can carry on their business as heretofore , while others whohave no established place of business are prohibited from selling only at the market house, during certain hours. This presents a serious question that we require further time to investigate before giving an option. Under our laws and decisions the legality of any discrimination as between persons engaged in the same business is very doubtful.
Respectfully yours, McCart Bowlin & McCart
Fort Worth, Texas, October 10th, 1906
Mr. F. W. Axtell, City.----
In addition to the opinion given you recently relating to the establishing of a market house under the auspices of the City,and after further consideration of the subject we are of the opinion, that the city can legally require all persons who have no established places of business, dealing in the commodities mentioned to sell same during certain hours of the day, at the market house, while permitting persons who have established places of business to sell same in such places of business, but the rules with reference to inspection should apply to all alike. The State Constitution, Art. 1-Sec. 3 (Bill of Rights) provides that "All free men when they form a social compact, have equal rights,and no set of men is entitled to exclusive, separate public emoluments or privileges, but in consideration of public services." Axtell Court-page 15 and cases there cited.
Concerning the question of exempting, by the city, the market house property, while owned by the market house Company, from the payment of city taxes, we call attention to Art. 8-- Sec. [?] & 2 of the constitution and decisions cited under same, in Axtell on the constitution page 208. The sections in the constitution referred to , provide in effect, that all "Taxation shall be equal and uniform; All property in this State, whether owned by natural persons or corporations other than municipal, shall be taxes in proportion to it's value. ", but the legislature , by general laws, may be exempt from taxation public property used for public purposes. If the market house belonged to the city, and was used for such purposes, it would be exempt from all taxation, and
it might be that we think if the plan proposed by the market house company, and adopted by the city, was such and had in view the ultimate ownership of the market house by the city in accordance with option, to the city in the proposition of the market house; in other words, if the plan was simply to enable the city to acquire and own it's own market house that the city, in the meantime, could waive it's right, to collect it's taxes, and thus exempt the property from the payment to it, of taxes.
Respectfully, McCart, Bowlin & McCart