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Colonial Cases

Township of Tel Aviv v. Moyal, 1931


Township of Tel Aviv v. Moyal

Court of Appeal, Palestine
Source: The Palestine Bulletin, 30 December 1931




   Many thousands of people are said to be involved in a test case in which the Township of Tel Aviv appealed against the decision of the District Court at Jaffa that Samuel Moyal, Jacob Shabatai Moyal, Shlomo Bahbut and Emanuel Bahbut were not liable for the sums of L.P. 118.217, being land tax for the period of 1924-1928 in respect of undeveloped land owned by the above named and situated in the Ramath Hasharon Quarter in Tel Aviv.

   The judgment of the Court of Appeal handed down on December 24 makes it appear that seven quarters of Tel Aviv are likely to be affected, and the sum of L.P. 80,000 is mentioned as owing to the Township from landowners in these districts.

Previous Agreement

   The dispute arose when under the Local validation ordinance the Township of Tel Aviv attempted to levy taxes on undeveloped property in this Quarter and it was claimed by the respondents that they were exempt from the tax owing to an agreement made with the Township in 1923 that such tax would not be levied on undeveloped land in Ramath Hasharon.

   The judgment, which is signed by Mr. Justice Baker, states that while the Court is not concerned with the particulars of this agreement, it is satisfied that when a corporation is created b y Statute or Order, its powers are limited and circumscribed by that Stature and extend no further than is expressly stated therein and that what is not expressly or impliedly authorised in the Statute is taken to be prohibited.

   Accordingly, there being no provision  in the Order enabling the Township to grant such exemptions the Court is satisfied that in the absence of such express authority, the agreement between the Respondents and the Township was outside the scope of the Township's constitution, and the appeal must accordingly be allowed and the judgment of the Lower Court quashed.

   Mr. E. Frankel appeared for the Township of Tel Aviv and Abcarius Bey for the Respondents.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School