OCR Interpretation

The Worthington advance. (Worthington, Minn.) 1874-1908, October 27, 1881, Image 6

Image and text provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85025620/1881-10-27/ed-1/seq-6/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

i) I
tin- la* list is made the basis for each
uuii for every account emanating from
it. Every dollar of tax levied for tax
es of the current year and all unpaid
tax«-s of furmer years are shown on the
tax list. In giving a (general outline of
the methods used we will first describe
the method of
Every tax payer oimht to understand
it, then he could test the correctness of
I :ie amount charged up against himself.
Tax payers and taxable property of each
hcnoool district aie placed on the Aud
itor's list separately. The total valuation
of taxable property is first made up.—
This utttst its doue to establish rates fur
the district tax. Theu the rates in
mills of each fund, district, town,
county and state, are added together,
making up what is called the total rate
taxation in the district. Then the
valuation of each person (as iixed by the
state board) is multiplied by that rate.
The product shows the assessed tax
which each person has to pay.
Proof of correctness of tax extensions
are made by multiplying the total valua
tion ot the district by the total rate.—
The product will show the total tax of
the entire district. The footings of in-actual
dividual tax extensions correspond with
that amount. If more or less, rah takes
have been made and must be corrected.
Such proof can only be made by dis
tricts, as the rates differ, or are liable
to differ in each of them.
The total valuation of district multi
plied by the rate of taxation for district
funds shows the amount of tax levied .theory
as district tax, and is shown in connec-,?°|m* ,tn* "f
tion with the account of the district.
The total valuation of the town by
amount of special town tax. and is
shown in connection with the town
ship account. Same with each differ
ent fund. This forms
And must lie accounted for at the
close of the financial year. October 1st.
It may lie done in three different ways.
It must lie paid, stricken off by proper
authority, or carried'" forward to the
new account, and on the new tax" list
as amounts for collection. These dif
ferent amounts must all be shown in
the final closiug of each account, mak
ing what is called truth balance. They
must correspond in the aggregate a
mount with faxes levied. If more or
less, mistakes have been made in dis
tributing funds, or in" making entries.
They must lie looked up and corrected.
Tt is quite as important to show this
Italunce of uncollected tax, and see that
the same is carried to the new account,
as it is to look after balances in cash
accounts. If in the latter, erroneous
balances have been shown on the
ftooks. the fraud is discovered «hen the
easli is counted. If in the former, the
fraud is made apparent when the
same party is called on to pay a second
inie. )y this method of accounts there
i« hardly a possibility of defalcations
without its lieing detected. The tax
levied, the correctness of which can be
iMisitively established, if the amountover.
which must lie accounted for. TR the
usual way of keeping ace Hints. 10, lo.
or even, in many instances. 20 per cent
of tax collections could have been kept
bark from each district, town and
county fund, and escape detection. We
will venture to say there is not a half
dozen districts and towns in theconn tt
in which supervising boards have ever
known hew much they were entitled to,
#»r whether thejrhave ev»r received all
that thev were entitled to ornot. And
there has hardly been a possibility
of finding out. J.
TAX cohhiicrioss.
which are to be credited at 111* settle
ment of Maf-h. of Jni. and October,
are each shown in a seperate column
which only requires.footing up on the
dav of s**ttlem-nt to show the amount
recieved from tax-collectio^is. since the
date of the last settlement.' In a fourth
column is shown the amount stricken
off or abated during the year, and in
another iu the same ltontrffhe tax list)
is bro't.forward all tax which remains
uud the exact proportion of that a
uiuuut which bVl.mgs to each particular
lund lor which taxes are levitd.
A» au oliset lo this statement is
shown on Uie opposite page a statement
oi ux collections in detail for each of
lite different funds, and the total a
mou..i received at each of the different
settlements. Amounts as shown hereaie
*iso entered in the different ledger ac
couu.s, so that every dollar can be thus
traced direct from the tax list to them
At Cite dual settlement, settlements ad
ded show tiie total collections of the
year. Then is brought forward the
taxes abated or stricken off, also the
uncollected taxes. All of these added
(if entries have been made correctly)
snows au equal and exact balance,
with the statement of tal taxis levied
iu detail for the different funds and in
total amount, making a complete col
lection account of each tax list, includ
ing all amounts for collection (current
and delinquent) as nicely and correctly
balanced at the close of the year as
cash or commercial accounts.
It will be readily seen that by this
arrangement every dollar of tax levied
must lie eventually accounted for by
payment, unless stricken off by
competent authority.
in the auditor** o'dice a complete ab
struct is kept of the entire tax list, «v
e. entry is made on th of taxes lev
ied and of taxes paid, which appears on
the Treasurer's books, thus giving the
entil businessP.
Thei. is that the collection ac
U'*"'"*™ emanate from it
rate levied for town fnnds, shows the A"' '1"4 keepa duplicate ot that,
.r J!K*''.,
iin|*orta«t that the
ami more important iu fact than of tin
accounts of the different funds.
They have the matter so arranged
that amounts ate -adily traced direct
from the collect on account (the tax
list) to each of tie others emanating
from it. and iu t-uc'i away that exami
nation ami comparison of the entire
business can l»e made and positive re
sults attained with comparatively a
small outlay of lime and expense. In
vest igal-iou'and trial balance of the en
tire business of the year can lie made in
less time and with more satisfactory
results than of a single town by meth
ods which were in use before they took
Charge of the business.
Iu making up the account Of a town
by the old method, the entire tax lists
of sit least six prior years hail to be ex
amined carefully. Payments were be
ing made which had to be taken into
the account at each settlement on all
of the old laioks. Where taxes had
been marked paid and dated since the
last settlement, the amount was
brought forward to the account and a
check mark was made in pencil to indi
cate the fact that it had been allowed
in the settlement. If by a slip of the pen
th*)date made it appear to havebeen paid
prior to the last settlement, and the
pencil mark added, it had the appear
ance of having been previously taken
into the account and would be passed
If delinquent taxes which were
paid iu 1879, were made to appear to
have been paid in 1878 (or any other
prior, year, when they really ought to
have beeu paid), of course they would
not be taken into the account of the
business of the year 1879. The change
of.a single figure or word in marking
the tax paid, would place the matter in
such position that the money received
could go down into somebodies pock
ats, with hardly a possibility of its ever
being detected. Of course honorable
men would not managebusiness in that
way. but there is not the slightest rea
son why accconnts should la* kept in
such a way that it could be done.
As we liave said, at least six books
must be exan.iued through in making
up the collection account of a single
town. There are 21 towns (including
Worthington village) in the county, 126
differei* tax lists at each settlement. 3
settlements in each year by the Trees
urer and Auditor, and the same num
la»r of examinations by the Board of
Audit. Even then there is no real cer
unnsid at the close of the tear, thus tairny that they have attained cor
rect results. They could net lay aaid
their account so made up and go over
making of the on* book a tax lift.
journal of tax collections, a register of
Commissioners Bloom, Shore and
Crosby are trying to make a point a
gainst Mills tor refusing to follow their
directions to strike off from the assess
ment list all railroad lauds held by con
These same county commissioners
had required Mills te give unreasonably
heavy bonds for the faithful }ierform
auce of his duties as Auditor according
to law. They had each of them taken
a solt mn oath to do the same thing so
far as regarded their duties as commis
The law gives to the State Auditor
authority to construe the law and to
give general dhectious iu regard to as
sessments and tax lists. He, as the law
required, had furnished Mills with a
list of lauds which he said had become
tumble since the last assessment, with
directions to Mills to place the same on
assessment and tax lists. Mr. Mills
had uo way of knowing whether these
lauds had become taxable en account of
having lieen deeded, contracted or leas
ed. He had legal notice from competent
authority that they had become taxable
and must follow instructions. He for-
.„,,„ .. 7 .1 warded a copy of thecommissioner's or
eVu, »*h *i •"••"••vision of the
iUr to
»u'l»ortance, a*
A 0 1
They have no legal right to strike off
or to cancel taxes without his approval.
Their order embraced directions to
the county Auditor to place on the per
sonal property tax list asan assessment
against each of the parties the amount
which he had paid towards the purchase
ul lands described. There was no law
mi the statute books to justify such a
proceeding. Mr. Mills appealed to them
to rescii the order or to point out the
law on which it was based, that would
justify him iu following their direc
tions. They peremptorily declined to do
There was no law to authorize the
taxation of amounts so paid. There
was no law to justify them iu making
such an order, and nothing to justify
Mr. Mills iu following any such direct
lions, hut there was a law that required|
him to follow the directions of the Statei,n*
By the State Legislature a law was
passed and approved March 8,1881.which
authorized the State Auditor to cancel
assessments, taxes and tax judgments,
onsatisfactoiy proof that lands so as
sessed and taxed were not subject to
taxation. Under the provisions of this
aot. the State Auditor has ordered a
cancellation of 133 descriptions of real
estate in Nobles county. On receipt of
such orders, the lands descrilied were
immediately marked off. Many of
those descriptions had been placed on
the tax list as far back as 1876, and all
of them except five description* prior
the making up of the assessment list of
18S0, which was the only list made by
Mr. Mills.
These five new entries made by Mr.
Mills embraced in the aggregate 433
acres representing a total v-tlnation of
$2,272, and a total tax of $47.62. Noth
ing more nor less. The list of lauds so
entered are on file, also that of lauds
stricken off. All parties a.e invited to
call and examine and compare the same
The facts are that the entries were
made by his predecessors, and under
the same directions in accordance with
the same law that required Mr. Mills
do the same thing. There has lieen im
law on the statute books that would
justify striking them off until that of
March 8.1881. and the order requiring
Mr. Mills to do so is dat*d Sept. 6.1881,
and it was promptly complied with
*U8,»h»wl- ifor political effect. They could have
if officials with such a record are to made it stronger but not more ridicu
ne disregarded and defeated in whatj lous by ordering bin to strike off every
way can we encourage fidelity to publiCjbody's tax on the entire list. They
*n,8t8' couid then say to every v(4er. (as they
al. and| attentiodnt wasopaid to it by
him. It was not approved.
There was no law which authorized
the commissioners to make such an or
now say to a tew,) "we tried to favor
you iu the matter of taxation, but Mills,
as County Auditor, opposed it." That
would have been iu strict accordance
with their present programme.
Bloom and Crosby, as County Com
missioners, are making a point on Mills
on account of his having drawn pay
for clerk-hire. The fact is, that he has
drawn precisely what the law allows,
nothing more nor less. When the as
sessed valuation of the county, as fixed
by the State Board, exceeds one million
dollars, the Auditor is allowed two
tenths of a mill on each dollar valu
tion in excess of such amount. Mills
salary for 1880 was based on the val
uation of 1879, as made up by James
Walker, which was $21,074 in excess
of one million. He was then entitled
to $202.22 for clerk hire.
He more than expended the amount
in bringing old accounts of delinquent
tax, (which had been neglected by for
mer officials) and in making up the pro
portion which belonged to each of the
different funds.
The same men who, as county com
missioners, allowed Walker $285 for
clerk-hire when he was not legality en
titled to a farthing, are finding fault
with Mills for sin ply taking what the
law allows, and after allowing in full
sessions of the County Board, his bill
for the amount claimed as above stat
It was his (Bloom's) proposition to
let the medical attendance on the coun
ty tioor to the physician who would do
it for the least money.—Journal.
But he didn't let it to the lowest bid
der. Craft's bid was $60 lower than
Barber's, but Bloom and Crosby held
out tor Barber, and Bloom changed the
record so as to make it falsify what
was done in session. This can be seen
on the books in Bloom's own baudwrit-
Nextly, we find him protesting a
gainst paying 75 cents per folio for
county printing.—Journal.
Bloom did do that. The law said
75 cents a folio for legal printing and
Bloom changed the State law by a vote
of the Nobles County Board and said it
was 50 cents. Anything, you know, to
beat the printer, while nobody ever
heard of Bloom. Crosby & Co. offering
to change the law relating to their uer
diem. Not a bit of it. They draw
that in full and they have violated the
by drawing for more days than the
law allows them to sit. And last spring
Bloom became so economical (while he
went on drawing his |*r diem iu full)
that he proposed to Ogle to have the
county printing done for nothing, in
stead of 50 cents a folio,, and the in no.
cent and saintly Ogle consented on the
condition offered by Bloom, that they
would raise his salary as County Su
perintendent and make it up to him.
He was the first Chairman of the
Board of County Commissioners who
carried nut. with the Board of Audit,
the law iu regard to the depository of
county funds.—Journal.
We have shown elsewhere how h«*car
ried it nut. The law said the funds
should be let to the bidder wlm would
These conscientious County Commis- pay the highest rate on monthly hal
sinners unblushing)v represent that Mr ances. Bloom said they must go to
Mills has increased his own salary $600 Peter Thompson who offered $75 for
by making the entries above mentioned
which have been stricken «ff. while th*
total tax on such assessments made by
the lump. It was so ordered, and the
county was beaten out of at least $225*

xml | txt