Response or Comment
Though the power to tax cemeteries would seem to be entirely clear, very commonly land devoted to such purpose is declared by constitution or statute to be exempt. See COOLY, TAXATION, (3rd ed.) 354. So also in the case of special assessments such land, in the absence of a clear exemption, is liable thereto. Bloomington Cemetery Assoc. v. People, 139 IIl. 16, 28 N. E. 1076; Mullins v. Cemetery Assoc., 239 Mo. 681, 144 S. W. 109; Buffalo City Cemetery v. Buffalo, 46 N. Y. 503; Lima v. Lima Cemetery Assoc., 42 Oh. St. 128, 51 Am. Rep. 809. It may be suggested, in view of the theory upon which special assessments go, that the owner of the land gets back the amount assessed in benefits from an enhanced value of the property, land dedicated to cemetery purposes perpetually would not be subject to such assessments. This contention wa urged in Garden Cemetery Corporation v. Baker, 218 Mass. 339, 105 N. E. 1070 (1914), and under the facts there presented was rejected, the court distinguishing Mount Auburn Cemetery v. Cambridge, 150 Mass. 12. Where all the lots are sold and used for burial and under the law the company cannot divert the land to other uses, perhaps the argument might be difficult to meet. Exemption from special assessment, then, in general, it would seem, must be found, if at all, in some provision or provisions of the conititution, statutes, or charter, or in some inherent difficulty in the collection of the assessments.
Aigler, Ralph W. (1910-1964). "Special Assessments upon Cemeteries." Mich. L. Rev. 15 (1916): 149–52.