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the amount of not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars, and the interest coupons thereon, hereafter to be issued in the adjustment of the present indebtedness of said city; provided further, that the governing boards of said cities, which are authorized to levy an additional tax, after the holding of an election as aforesaid, are hereby authorized to provide by ordinance the necessary machinery for the holding of said election and declaring the result thereof.

217. The property of private corporations, associations and individuals of this State shall forever be taxed at the same rate; provided, this section shall not apply to institutions devoted exclusively to religious, educational or charitable purposes.

218. The Legislature shall not have the power to require counties or other municipal corporations to pay any charges which are now payable out of the State treasury.

219. The Legislature may levy a tax of not more than two and one-half per centum of the value of all estates, real and personal, money, public and private securities of every kind, in this State passing from any person who may die seized and possessed thereof, or of any part of such estate, money or securities, or interest therein transferred by the intestate laws of this State or by will, deed, grant, bargain, sale or gift, made or intended to take effect in possession after the death of the grantor, devisor, or donor, to any person or persons, bodies politic or corporate, in trust or otherwise, other than to or for the use of the father, mother, husband, wife, brothers, sisters, children or lineal descendants of the grantor, devisor, donor or intestate.




220. No person, firm, association or corporation shall be authorized or permitted to use the streets, avenues, alleys or public places of any city, town or village for the construction or operation of any public utility or private enterprise, without first obtaining the consent of the proper authorities of such city, town or village.

221, The Legislature shall not enact any law which will permit any person, firm, corporation or association to pay a privilege, license or other tax to the State of Alabama, and relieve him or it from the payment of all other privilege and license taxes in the State.

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222. The Legislature, after the ratification of this Constitution, shall have authority to pass general laws authorizing the counties, cities, towns, villages, districts or other political subdivisions of counties to issue bonds, but no bonds shall be issued under authority of a general law unless such issue of bonds be first authorized by a majority vote by ballot of the qualified voters of such county, city, town, village, district, or other political subdivision of a county, voting upon such proposition. The ballot at such election shall contain the words "For bond issue," and "Against bond issue," (the character of the bond to be shown in the blank space), and the voter shall indicate his choice by placing a cross mark before or after the one or the other. This section shall not apply to the renewal, refunding or reissue of bonds lawfully issued, nor to the issuance of bonds in cases where the same have been authorized by laws enacted prior to the ratification of this Constitution, nor shall this section apply to obligations incurred or bonds to be issued to procure means to pay for street and sidewalk improvements or sanitary or storm water sewers, the cost of which is to be assessed, in whole or in part, against the property abutting said improvements or drained by such sanitary or storm water


223. No city, town or other municipality shall make any assessment for the cost of sidewalks or street paving, or for the cost of the construction of any sewers against property abutting in such street or sidewalk so paved, or drained by such sewers, in excess of the increased value of such property by reason of the special benefits derived from such improvements.

224. No county shall become indebted in an amount including present

indebtedness, greater than three and one-half per centum of the assessed value of the property therein; provided, this limitation shall not affect any existing indebtedness in excess of such three and one-half per centum, which has already been created or authorized by existing law to be created; provided, that any county which has already incurred a debt exceeding three and one-half per centum of the assessed value of the property therein, shall be authorized to incur an indebtedness of one and a half per centum of the assessed value of such property in addition to the debt already existing. Nothing herein contained shall prevent any county from issuing bonds, or other obligations, to fund or refund any indebtedness now existing or authorized by existing laws to be created.

225. No city, town or other municipal corporation having a population of less than six thousand, except as hereinafter provided, shall become indebted in an amount, including present indebtedness, exceeding five per centum of the assessed value of the property therein, except for the construction or purchase of water works, gas or electric lighting plants, or sewerage, or for the improvement of streets, for which purposes an additional indebtedness not exceeding three per centum may be created; provided, this limitation shall not affect any debt now authorized by law to be created, nor any temporary loans to be paid within one year, made in anticipation of the collection of taxes, not exceeding one-fourth of the annual revenues of such city or town. All towns and cities having a population of six thousand or more, also Gadsden, Ensley, Decatur, and New Decatur, are hereby authorized to become indebted in an amount, including present indebtedness, not exceeding seven per centum of the assessed valuation of the property therein, provided that there shall not be included in the limitation of the indebtedness of such last described cities and towns the following classes of indebtedness, to-wit: Temporary loans, to be paid within one year, made in anticipation the collection of taxes, and not exceeding one-fourth of the general revenues, bonds or other obligations already issued, or which may hereafter be issued for the purpose of acquiring, providing or constructing school houses, water works and sewers; and obligations incurred and bonds issued for street or sidewalk improvements, where the cost of the same, in whole or in part, is to be assessed against the property abutting said improvements; provided, that the proceeds of all obligations issued as herein provided, in excess of said seven per centum shall not be used for any purpose other than that for which said obligations were issued. Nothing contained in this article shall prevent the funding or refunding of existing indebtedness. This section shall not apply to the cities of Sheffield and Tuscumbia.

226. No city, town or village, whose present indebtedness exceeds the limitation imposed by this Constitution, shall be allowed to become indebted in any further amount, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, until such indebtedness shall be reduced within such limit; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall prevent any municipality, except the city of Gadsden, from issuing bonds already authorized by law; provided further, that this section shall not apply to the cities of Sheffield and Tuscumbia.

227. Any person, firm, association or corporation who may construct or operate any public utility along or across the public streets of any city, town or village, under any privilege or franchise permitting such construction or operation, shall be liable to abutting proprietors for the actual damage done to the abutting property on account of such construction or operation.

228. No city or town having a population of more than six thousand shall have authority to grant to any person, firm, corporation or association the right to use its streets, avenues, alleys, or public places for the construction or operation of water works, gas works, telephone or telegraph line, electric light or power plants, steam or other heating plants, street railroads, or any other public utility, except railroads other than street railroads for a longer period than thirty years.


229. The Legislature shall pass no special act conferring corporate powers, but it shall pass general laws under which corporations may be organized and

corporate powers obtained, subject. nevertheless, to repeal at the will of the Legislature; and shall pass general laws under which charters may be altered or amended. The Legislature shall, by general law, provide for the payment to the State of Alabama of a franchise tax by corporations organized under the laws of this State, which shall be in proportion to the amount of capital stock; but strictly benevolent, educational or religious corporations shall not be required to pay such a tax. The charter of any corporations shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal under general laws.


All existing charters, under which a bona fide organization shall not have taken place and business commenced in good faith within twelve months from the time of the ratification of this Constitution, shall thereafter have no validity.

231. The Legislature shall not remit the forfeiture of the charter of any corporation now existing, or alter or amend the same, nor pass any general or special law for the benefit of such corporation, other than in execution of a ust created by law or by contract, except upon condition that such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter subject to the provisions of this Constitution.

232. No foreign corporation shall do any business in this State without having at least one known place of business and an authorized agent or agents therein, and without filing with the Secretary of State a certified copy of its articles of incorporation or association. Such corporation may be sued in any county where it does business, by service of process upon an agent anywhere in the State. The Legislature shall, by general law, provide for the payment to the State of Alabama of a franchise tax by such corporation, but such franchise tax shall be based on the actual amount of capital employed in this State. Strictly benevolent, educational or religious corporations shall not be required to pay such a tax.

233. No corporation shall engage in any business other than that expressly authorized in its charter or articles of incorporation.

234. No corporation shall issue stock or bonds except for money, labor done or property actually received; and all fictitious increase of stock or indebtedness shall be void. The stock and bonded indebtedness of corporations shall not be increased except in pursuance of general laws, nor without the consent of the persons holding the larger amount in value of stock, first obtained at a meeting to be held after thirty days' notice, given in pursuance of law.

235. Municipal and other corporations and individuals invested with the privilege of taking property for public use, shall make just compensation, to be ascertained as may be provided by law, for the property taken, injured or destroyed by the construction or enlargement of its works, highways or improvements, which compensation shall be paid before such taking, injury or destruction. The Legislature is hereby prohibited from denying the right of appeal from any preliminary assessment of damages against any such corporations or individuals made by viewers or otherwise, but such appeal shall not deprive those who have obtained the judgment of condemnation from a right of entry, provided the amount of damages assessed shall have been paid in the court in money, and a bond shall have been given in not less than double the amount of the damages assessed, with good and sufficient sureties. to pay such damages as the property owner may sustain; and the amount of damages in all cases of appeals shall, on the demand of either party, be determined by a jury according to law.


Dues from private corporations shall be secured by such means as may be prescribed by law; but in no case shall any stockholder be individually liable otherwise than for the unpaid stock owned by him or her.

237. No corporation shall issue preferred stock without the consent of the owners of two-thirds of the stock of said corporation.

238. The Legislature shall have the power to alter, amend or revoke any charter of incorporation now existing and revocable at the ratification of this Constitution, or any that may be hereafter created, whenever, in its opinion,

such charter may be injurious to the citizens of this State, in such manner, however, that no injustice shall be done to the stockholders.

239. Any association or corporation organized for the purpose, or any individual, shall have the right to construct and maintain lines of telegraph and telephone within the State, and connect the same with other lines; and the Legislature shall, by general law of uniform operation, provide reasonable regulations to give full effect to this section. No telegraph or telephone company shall consolidate with or hold a controlling interest in the stocks or bonds of any other telegraph or telephone company owning a complete line, or acquire, by purchase or otherwise, any other competing line of telegraph or telephone.

240. All corporations shall have the right to sue, and shall be subject to be sued, in all courts in like cases as natural persons.

241. The term "corporation," as used in this article, shall be construed to include all joint stock companies, and all associations having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships.


242. All railroads and canals, not constructed and used exclusively for private purposes, shall be public highways, and all railroads and canal companies shall be common carriers. Any association or corporation organized for the purpose shall have the right to construct and operate a railway between any points in this State, and connect at the State line with railroads of other States. Every railroad company shall have the right with its road to intersect, connect with, or cross any other railroad, and each shall receive and transport the freight, passengers and cars, loaded or empty, of the others, without delay or discrimination.

243. The power and authority of regulating railroad freight and passenger tariffs, and locating and building of passenger and freight depots, correcting abuses, preventing unjust discrimination and extortion and requiring reasonable and just rates of freight and passenger tariffs, are hereby conferred upon the Legislature, whose duty it shall be to pass laws from time to time regulating freight and passenger tariffs, to prohibit unjust discrimination on the various railroads, canals and rivers of the State, and to prohibit the charging of other than just and reasonable rates, and enforce the same by adequate penalties.

244. No railroad or other transportation company or corporation shall grant free passes or sell tickets or passes at a discount, other than as sold to the public generally, to any member of the Legislature, or to any officer exercising judicial functions under the laws of this State; and any such member or officer receiving such pass or ticket for himself or procuring the same for another, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars and, at the discretion of the court trying the case, in addition to such fine, may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding six months, and upon conviction, shall be subject to impeachment and removal from office. The courts having jurisdiction shall give this law specially in charge to the Grand Juries, and when the evidence is sufficient to authorize an indictment, the Grand Jury must present a true bill. The Circuit Court or any court of like jurisdiction in any county into or through which such member or officer is transported by the use of such prohibited pass or ticket. shall have jurisdiction of the case, provided, only one prosecution shall be had for the same offense; and provided further, that the trial and judgment for one offense shall not bar a prosecution for another offense, when the same pass or ticket is used; and provided further, that nothing herein shall prevent a member of the Legislature who is a bona fide employee of a railroad or other transportation company or corporation at the time of his election, from accepting or procuring for himself or another, not a member of the Legislature, or officer exercising judicial functions, a free pass over the railroads or other transportation company or corporation by which he is employed.

245. No railroad company shall give or pay any rebate, or a bonus in

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the nature thereof, directly or indirectly, or do any act to mislead or deceive the public as to the real rates charged or received for freights or passage; and any such payments shall be illegal and void, and these prohibitions shall be enforced by suitable penalties.

246. No railroad, canal or transportation company in existence at the time of the ratification of this Constitution shall have the benefit of any future legislation by general or special laws, other than in execution of a trust created by law or by contract, except on condition of complete acceptance of all the provisions of this article.



247. Legislature shall not have the power to establish or incorporate any bank or banking company, or moneyed institution, for the purpose of issuing bills of credit, or bills payable to order or bearer, except under the conditions prescribed in this Constitution.

248. No bank shall be established otherwise than under a general banking law, nor other than upon a specie basis; provided, that any bank may be established with authority to issue bills to circulate as money in an amount equal to the face value of bonds of the United States, or of this State, convertible into specie at their face value, which shall, before such bank is authorized to issue bills for circulation, be deposited with the State Treasurer, or other depository prescribed by law, in an amount equal to the aggregate of such proposed issue, with power in such treasurer or depository to dispose of any or all of such bonds for a sufficient amount of specie to redeem the circulating notes of such bank at any time and without delay, should such bank suspend specie payment or fail to redeem its notes on demand.

249. All bills or notes issued as money shall be at all times redeemable in gold or silver, and no law shall be passed sanctioning, directly or indirectly, the suspension by any bank or banking company of specie payment.

[Sec. 250. Stricken out by amendment ratified in 1916.]2

251. Every bank or banking company shall be required to cease all banking operations within twenty years from the time of its organization, unless the time be extended by law, and promptly thereafter close its business; but after it has closed its business it shall have corporate capacity to sue and shall be liable to suits until its affairs and liabilities are fully closed.

252. No bank shall receive, directly or indirectly, a greater rate of interest than shall be allowed by law to individuals for lending money.

253. Neither the State nor any political subdivision thereof shall be a stockholder in any bank, nor shall the credit of the State or any. political subdivision thereof ever be given or lent to any banking company, association or corporation.

254. The Legislature shall by appropriate laws provide for the examination, by some public officer, of all banks and banking institutions and trust companies engaged in banking business in this State; and each of such banks and banking companies or institutions shall, through its president or such other officer as the Legislature may designate, make a report under oath of its resources and liabilities at least twice a year.

255. The provisions of this article shall apply to all banks except National banks, and to all trust companies and individuals doing a banking business, whether incorporated or not.



256. The Legislature shall establish, organize and maintain a liberal system of public schools throughout the State for the benefit of the children thereof between the ages of seven and twenty-one years. The public school

"The amendment proposing to strike out and repeal Section 250 was adopted by the legislature at the regular session of 1915 and ratified at the election of November 7,

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