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Kentucky Tax Commission v. Lincoln Bank & Trust Co.

February 1, 1952

KENTUCKY TAX COMMISSION
v.
LINCOLN BANK & TRUST CO.



Latimer and Stewart, JJ., dissenting.

Waddill

WADDILL, Commissioner. The issue in this case is whether the Legislature may place the grandchildren of a decedent into separate classes and subject such classes to different treatment for inheritance tax purposes, when the classification is based solely on whether the parent of the grandchildren, the child of the grandparent, is living or dead. The court held that the classification was invalid. The correctness of the decision is now before us for review.

The legislative act in question was passed in 1936, Ch. 8, Sec. 2(2) 1936, Sp.Rev.Sess., and provides as follows:

'Class A. In case the transfer shall be to or for the benefit of a surviving spouse, child by blood, step-child, adopted child, (if adoption shall have occurred during infancy), grandchild, if the issue of a deceased child, the tax subject to exemptions hereafter set forth shall be:

On its value not exceeding $10,000

............ 2%

On its value exceeding $10,000,

but not exceeding $20,000 ............ 3%

'Class B. In the case the transfer shall be to, or for the benefit of a parent, brother, sister, brother or sister of the half blood, nephew, niece, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandchild being the issue of a living child, the tax subject to exemptions hereinafter set forth, shall be:

On its value not exceeding $10,000

............ 4%

On its value exceeding $10,000,

but not exceeding $20,000 ............ 5%

The facts giving rise to the suit are simple and uncontested. L. L. Miles died on January 20, 1948, a resident of Louisville. He left surviving, his widow, a son, unmarried, and a daughter, who had two children living at his decease. The residue of the estate was devised to the Lincoln Bank & Trust Company, in trust, with directions to pay the income to the widow for life, and upon her death the estate was to be divided into 'Fund A' and 'Fund B'. The income from 'Fund A' was to be paid to the son for life, with the remainder to his living issue, with a cross-remainder over in the event of his death without issue. The ...


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