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M'arthur Democrat. (McArthur, Vinton County, Ohio) 1853-1865, January 17, 1856, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87075163/1856-01-17/ed-1/seq-1/

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Volume 4. -
SlcAriliur, Vinton Co., 0.,
Thursday, Jan. i7, i8oG.
'( TERM3-61.00 PKK NV
-Number 22
Ginfltmtn of tht Senate and
"f 'L'ovse of liffrtsrnlatives:
' ,
., fKIU
la act on! a m e uith the requirements
of the coiiftituiioii, and (lie biennial
system ol legislation which has been
thereby established you have assem
bled i:' yrmr c ial rapacities to take
into consideration the condition of our
public affairs and to prepare and pass
such' U'vs 33 the experience ot the last
t'vo Nrs and the interests and wants
Of.liib people may appear to demand.
The first yer of tde bienni-il period
which has just eel a sped w as attended
with die various trials and, vicisft'udes
incident 19 all human associations.
The Extraordinary drought that prevai-
led liirougiiout inn anu most ot tne ot
her States of tlia Union - occasioned a
very gerleral failure if the crop and the
consequent reaction lIuMoccurred in the
monetary' affairs of the country caused
muchtsoiicitude and retarded to some
extent the progress" of public as well as
of individual improvement. ,
The great abundance . and rich re-
ot (ha last year however tully
ensate the deficiencies of its prede-
i t rt . J - I ... ' l a
eessot anu anoru anipte cause lor grat-
0 that benilice.it and all wise lid-
10 directs all thinsra for the best
whose ijoodness and favor are ap
parent in the still increasing happiness
and prosperity ot our people
, In, comply iiijj with the provision o
, the constitution which makes it my du
N to cQjff.unicale to the General As-
W fthe "condition of the State,"
.liJ-ecommed auh 'mea8ures" as
V judgment may tend to promote
iutic weltare, 1 invite your alien
.u ) tTie first place, totlte accornpany
JoffAoorts oinre several State officers.
They have been prepared with much
ca're and ability, and contain a fill and
detailed exposition ol their operations
and present, condition of their respec
live departments.
. 4I entered upon the duties of the chief
Evecutive office ol the Slate, under an
impression, which s mr id.it J expe
rience has only tended to strengthen
(hat too great a laxity of practice pre-J
vailed in certain tranches .of the pubYj
lie service from which terious evils
mifiht possibly result. The laws regu
latirig the administration of these bran
ches had been adopted under circum
tances widely different Irom those
.which now surrounds us, and lew sim
ple safeguard's that were formerly-
deemed sufficient, could be no longer
r2irl'J tu aljiuxte to the varied
nd ereally increased business entrust
d 1a their care. Our count v and other
local organizations especially were
without those limit at ons and restrict
ions which are necessary in all piblic
Thissta'.eof things could not fail
if continued, to exert an un!avorab!e
and demoralizing ir.lhience on the aff-
. airs of Government: and I availed my
sell ot the earliest opportunity that
was afforded tne to recommend such
legislation in reference to this subject
as was most likely in my judgment to
etiect the required reloimalion. ilucii
ha? certainly been accomplished: but
the failure of the Gjiieral Assembly to
adopt and carry out my suggestions
more fully, has jctarded the matter,
and impot-es on me the necessity ol
gain calling attention to the subject.
I took occasion in my former mes
.sago todcvtlrp with usual minute
ness through comparative tabular
- Utements, the financial cction of every
'department in the State, as well as of
local governments, for. the previous
' ten yeart; ar.d now propose to contiu
. US She exposition to the prsent time,
" I refer yo u with equal confidence
and pleasure to the last two reports
the Auditor ol State for any informa
tipnyou may desire in relation to our
financial affairs. The untiring industry
with which that officer has attended
his public duties, and the care and fi
delity that he has always displayed
guarding the Treasury of the people,
constitute his athmnistration an epoch
jn the history of our tinacial transact
ions. -r ,
r Fromlhsse reports, it appears that
the State Treaurylias been the recip
ient of the following revenues during
f':e past two years:
. Proceeds of tate 1851. 1835.
Taxes, including -
delinquencies, tiz:'
For State expenses- 6559,13 1 64 6566,448
' For interest and. ; .
Srincipal on Stale
ebt....1 1118,263 26 1014,749 49
Tor State Common
School Fund -...11 18,263 26 1209,418 19
For District School - .
Library Fund... . 55,913 16 80,630 75
Total Slate Tax'.s 2851,57132 2871,25549
tana! Tolfs, Fines'
and Water Rents
474,264 26 444,82776
fioresds of Lands
sold by Board P.
.-JDivideuds on' Ca
3,000 67 ; 4,94 173
nal, Railroad and
X ' "Turnpike-Stotka 1 39,813 13
Tolls on National ... . .
Bead . 1 15.754 59
Itents from Lessees ,
.J. Of National Road ,. .2,400 00
.Tolls .on , WestJrn r ',
Keservs and Mau- "
"OetJtM ...... 2,177" 87
33.400 2j
2,305 64
,,?.7p5 00
f 3
3,141 04
Proceeds tf fales of
School nil Min
isterial Lands.
Reins from Virgin
ia Military School
Ohio University
Instalinen t on
Proceeds of Convict
Lulmr, etc.,ot 0.
1 10,749 53 127,661 81
2,003 5t 2,270 47
513 &l 513 84
33,022 40 61,210 69
riincil md In-
tered of Surplus
106,250 83
1,023 63
52,906 60
2S8 00
Sale of Canal lands
Auction Duties and
Peddlers' Licen
ses ,
6.5S9 83
4.120 15
S,2G8 41 '
7,359 40
5.261 53
4,415 40
2,693 34
X609 04
4.223 71
7,302 51
Show Licenses (Ar-
ncultura tuiull
Three rer.Cent.
Expenses of Free
Banks refunded-
Miscelaneoui items
liulauce in State
Treasury. 15ih
702,830 57 584,631 00
Totals 4177,931 00 4215,85128
The rereuua received through taxes
levied upon the grand duplicate, placed
at the head of each column, are lbs
proeeeda of taxes levied and collected
the year previous; a fact which it is
nectssaiv o observe, in order to fix
correctly the responsibility of the res
oective lei vies. Ihal leturned iu the
column of 1854 l the nrit.under the
preiHiit valuaiioa of ,real estate. The
proeeeda of the taxrt tevlvd in the year
just patt will 0 Jutu, .Itiejreveuue of
1856. V i,-
The following are ths disbursmentt
from the State Treasury, for all purposes,
during the same period:
1351. 1855.
Com. School fund 61107,216133 612 li3,394 60
Hist Sc luxil Libra. .
ryFund 52,158 45 61,0'JD 3V
Interest on public '
llet)t l.UUJ130 03 M l I.JiO t'J
Redemption of
public debt- " ouo.jou a 400,091 ut
Expenses of N. Y,
tmusler agency
(3 yeais)......
11,730 18
and repairs 01 ,
the canals-..
and repairs of
National road
Executive Ollic-.
f (S, ........ .
Commissioner of -Cum.
and Librarian
Reports of Su- -ireme
Printing Leg-
ituiive ami
Distribution of
Lawsand Jour
nals New State House
Uenf and Dumb
Blind Asylum.
Lunatic Asylum,
New LunuticA
sylunis, New .
burg and Day
ton Ollicers and
Guards Of O.
General expends
of O. Peuiten-
Proecution and
of convicts.
Clerks in public
Military Public
Arms, &c
339,317 99 290,59 1 50
24,009 39 2,519 85
7,901 99 7,394 46
3,037 67 " 2,010 00
53,701 47 56,164 83
1,119 60
73,131 63 105 00
19,213 77 6,403 13
2:,bH 13 6,V!3j 67
1,975 69 509 51
103,4-J9b5 111,633 89
14 901 59 14,838 03
13,059 21 12,96122
76,9 19 93 26,295 06
' 118,497 44 G3.G65 01
31,653 63 22,3'J0 31
33,683 40 41,202
37,932 13 22,378 41
9,574rt . 12,814
1,711 93 1,704 23
3,225 63 2,903 51
1.010 55 700 46
422,470 00 7,253 31
2,01153 1,72030
1,737 58 1,285
1,907 69 661
278 71 160
283 46 911
378 07 2,133
3,399 43 900
Wl,393 90
1,694 91 1,609
4.283 61 3,08-1
1,474 2 i 090
; 3.000 00 3,000
12,500 00 2,500
7,094 5Q
6,165 00 , 4',499
Kentsot Virginia
Military school
Gov.'s Contingent
Advanced to coun
sel by order ef
Legislature, and
to Columbus Lu
natic Asylum,
fiom same .
Auditor's Contin
gent Fund
Treasurers Cont.
Secretary's Cout.
Attorney General's
School Commis
sioner's Cout.
Expenses of Libra-t)-'""
Furnishing Legis
lative Halls..
Treasurer's mile
8f,e Taxes refunded.
Fuel and Light
State Board of
Swau's Revised
Curwen's Revis'd
Statutes :
Expenses of Free
Three per cent.
Fund paid to
counties. ..'
Slate Board of
Mis'laueous Items
Total amount of
7,097 40
6,467 03
Drafts is8ued63,699,77Q75 63,5($4
Total amount of
Auditor's Dr'fts
redeemed. 63,093,253 00 63,512,484
Cesh balance in -State
15th Novem. ,
6584,68100 6703,370
; This (laces before ypn the receipts
and eipeditore of- the
ment dtmm it tesrs, ead 'Ihete
ia no difficulty id ascertaining the da
partmanta in which In Creased or dim
inlih expenditures or revenues have
taken place' To determine, however,
whether the State authoritiea oi thoie
of the Counties, Townships and citiea,
are responsible for the high Taxes com
plained of by the people, we must ex
amln e into the various amounts levied
by thte several authoritia.) and for
this purpose the following tabular
statement has been prepared, exhibit
ing the taxes levied for the specified
purpose iu the years named:
1854. 1855.
Number of acres
Value of lands
Value of Towns
Val. of chattels
Totai tax. valu
ation 25,063,032 25,220,083
1 429,2 15,467 6432.26 1 .785
140,623,943 145.0'Jli,754
27,061,572 283.018X1
6866,029,962 6S60,&77,354
For Sinking
Fund .... tl.083.6G3 40 9 6360.577 35 4
For General
Revenue... 606,850 S3 3 &16.526 41 2
For State Com
mon Schools 1,309,394 974 1,291,3160V'
For District "it 'V
School Li--
brariej-. . . 86,093 93 4 86,087 73 3
Total State
Taxes 63,077,601 40 9 62,754,807 51 6
For county ex.
peuses 1,148,565 670 1,153,503 29 2
roi bridge pur
pose 316,677 60 4
For Poor purp'se 187,202 93 6
For Building -.
purposes-... 463,577 16 2
For roud purp'se 370.025 U9 2
332,073 05 3
238,333 &l 5
272,533 05 2
361,715 13 I
366,073 06 &
For R.R.purp'se 233.7S7 53 0
Total co. laxes 2,725,19694 9 2,702,30.') 02 8
For Township
292,939 13 0 302.841 50
For school and
school hoiifo
1,205.43-1 83 G 1,216,316 COS
For City town
expenses.. ..1,3-Jci,iua 11 U 1,1'J1,UU3 5
For other special
ournoses.... 155,672 29 7 200,326 917
Total Township,
city special
taxes 3,072,428 38 2 2,943,618 00
217,112 75 7 493,78135
Total Taxes on
Duplicate- 9.092,339 49 7 8,931,5 II 89
I va anxious to piesmil iu a tabular
atatement euch delaileiMnforiristio aji
telereoce 10 our iouuiy, ownp suit
Ciiy transactions as would enable the
people to compare their ownlocaladmio
isttations with those of other piotions
of the slate. I found, however, that this
not attainable at the seat of government
without much labor, and terlaiu addi
tional lads which those organizations
ihemselves can alone supply. Existing
laws provde for the publication at home
of t he amount of their levies, collect
ions and expenditures; but it would
greatly faciliale the object in view
the affairs of each county, township
and city administration were anualy
published, in a condensed form, for
general information throughout theStale
iS'uc"li cemparisoas aid suggestions
-o uld Naturaly spring from these expo
sitions as would gradually lead to the
adoption of the desired restrains upon
their action, and eventualy to more
healthy legislation on the subject..
Of the teas of County, Township, and
other local officers, 10 accouut appears
to be kept which is acessible to the pub
lic; a matter to which I again, call
the attention of the General Assembly,
and repectfully suggest that a law be
passed requireing every public officer
compensated by lees, to keepau accurate
account of his receipts and expenditures
an ) transmit the same to the apropriate
department, at the seat of Government,
with the view that a general synopsis of
such accounts be published ouce a year
for the information of the people of the
State. These local officers are generally
lucrative, and it is believed that not
less than two millions are anually col
lected by fees from the people, and
can see no good reason why the latter
should nut be able to ascertain the
compensation which is severally receivd
by thair ownagents.lt is almost im
possible to secure proper legislation on
this important subject while so little
tangible information is before the Gen
eral Assembly.
The preceeding alatemeulscontain.it
is believed, all that is necessary, with
the accompanying jeports and exhibits,
to enable you to tee in what particular
divisions of the public service, aud for
what objects, the exaciiuus are improp
erly high, and where our efforts should
be especially directed to bring about
reduction. The local causes which have
so disproprotiouate ly aweld the burdens
of the people, yau, coming from 2l parts
of the States, can no doub; eiplaiu
each other.
In reference to these causes however
and especially the fees of county aud
other local ollicers, it would prove much
assistance iu your deliberations, if in
the early part of the session you would
order su table iuquiries to be addressed
to the proper authorities.
, All will adopt that the public, for
7Tfwruraut happily so very circum
VJitMoed iu its sphere as ours, are high
beyond aplogy. true, high taxes are not
of themselves couclusive evidence of
bad, nor low taxes' always proof of
good government, yet the aniou&t i
matter proper for comparative inquiry
especialy where the rise issudden.Such
examinations lead to reliable informa
tion, both as to the amount, sod, which
is a more important point, the purposes
to which the money is - applied , Souad
political economy does jioi test a iny
.--i6 rannnt of. Xai,UBr Hi
ott uea.n adraisiratioiv f nublie aff
airs, as guided by pioper sprit of fru
gality end republican ai uiplicity, dis
charges scrupulously every duty essen
tial to the public welfare. Every fin
ancial transaction slioul be subjected to
the most rigid accountabl y, and all mis
applications of the public money bit se
veiefy punished.
Public virtue is ! essential to the
mainuinancn of repubiciau government,
and t is the most da a ge.ous offender
who a turn pis to undermi.ie or dtatrop
it. -
Tlia people of Ohio justly, complain
of Ugh public exactions. They have
d?piijed you to reduce them. Every
property noiaer in me &tateeujoius this
upou you aa your firat great duty. But
ref"kr, to be bnificil. must t.ie the
rigTi Jirectlon.- To produce high taxes
or Id connive at exorbitant fees or
salaries, is wrong; butts misdirect eJ
dea viiis to correct public ebusesis no
less nischievous. Unmatured wholesale
reduijiiooS of fees an 1 salaries areaaie
to bl eoon repealed. Such measures al
wuyVI loose to the people the real reform
which they demand. True reform first
ascejlaius carefully where extravigance
and WiaUeasauce exist. It exposes and
corrJots them. It screens 110 publii
abuije from merited obloquy, and yet i'
shields from ul.just, sweeping censure
the pright public servant. It examines
into and therfure understands public
Stilf, and the laws which follow become
iu consequence yf their wise diccrim
inailon, the permanent policy of the
Qaeslions arising out of aud count a
ted with public revenue, have been
ext'.ious in all ages' and la all govern
metiiJ. They are so in ours. Taxes,
w lie 1 lie r lei vied by a monarch's arbitary
will, or through the legal action of
popular government, are unpleasant
thoe who pays them. The number
thoso are anxious to -aha re the expendi
tures of the government, is far greater
than those who volunteer to contribute
to wards them- Propositions to deplete
the 1 re usury for objects of speculation,
oiuameiii and pride, find frequently
more supporters than t'.ioia ackuowled
crd geiterat utility. The revenue officer
win. collect the laxes rendered necessa
ry 'in cuiisequnece some ill-adtised
appropriation, is always blamed. whiU
he who occasioned them, often escapes
the vublic censure. The constitution
wisely provides 'that every law irn
posing a tax 6!mU state distinctly
object of the sairfWi .which only it shall
be applied. '.fa ' i provision, In
full meaning andLTntent were properly
M.Wid out su Mi to enable the public
to fix with certainty the responsibility
of taxes upon those who really occasion
them, it would, iO : Z',iZ fxten', guard
jgaiiihl inconsiderate public outlays.
Profligacy Mould be earlier exposed,
and the required reform applied in sea
son to prove a remedy.
We 6hould discriminate between
mere machinery for the collection
taxes and the influences leading to, and
the authorities directing the levy.
Our revenue laws should affotd to
tax payers Irequent and early oppor
tunities to watch, jui'ge and direct our
financial policy. The fewer indirect
and special taxes we have the less chan
ces there is to conceal improper expen
ditures, and the more certainly will
the rise end fall of direct taxes indic
ate the financial quality of our govaru
ment. Yft are rapidly approaching
period when our direct property taxi
tion will afford, such indications uul6s
e purposely counteract this tendency.
Special taxes are becoming inoperative,
their levy .indeed being of doubtful
constitutionality. The extraneous re
veuues to the State Treasury are like
wist constantly diminishing, and near
ly all our resource will soon have to
derived through the grand duplicate,
We shall then, with greater certainty
and simplicity in our finances, have the
unerring index above alluded to.
'Le constitutional provision upon
the subject is a guaranty against aibit
ifurr iuXiiiiou. Iteretolore such 4 guar
anty has been secured to corporations
aloue through judicial iuterposiliou;
now they and the people equally enjoy
it by constitutional rule. In other
Governments the taxing power is with
out limiu tiunsjiu our it i also wisely
confined whithiu very narrow limits.
Under such system financial abuses can
uot be longcoucealed, because the am
ouut of taxation will indicate to each
tax-pay er the degree of economy or was
tefulness that may at each period char
acterize the Government. The fact
that taxes are oue thing, the tax law
auother, will thsn become apparent
all; and we will luok to the Genera'
Assembly, and to the local authorities
of the Slate, fore reductiou of taxes,
utbe r than to Executive oOicers. Any
attempt to reduca the taxes iu the ag
gregate by a mere change iu the mode
aud msniur of collecting them, will
prore as lull.le as an attempt to change
the weather by breaking the boromeler.
Real retrenchment, to bae a lasting
ed'ect mustspring from aud be maintain
ed by General Assembleys whose econo
my and watchfulness shall reflect
wishes of a frugal and enlightened peo
ple. Ifeel great solicitude tbit the system
of requiring all Stale expenditures
every description to be brought uuder
the revision of the-chief financial ollic
er of the State, shall be strictly and
permanently aJhered to, This is de
manded by the constitution as well
by sound policy. It operates as a pre
ventative of malpractices which had
hitherto defied all attempts at
- " - " v 1
The contracts recently entered into
by the Board of Public Works for tbtf
repairs canals, involving err'en-
tire tkijjf of pelley 00. inat subject,
elicited a very general ptbtie die-
curH,i,n--rTTTtTiao'tbe State
t V"''-' ? -
- i . - -
' : t Y
- " 'r " V
this change amounts to ninety-three
thousand one hundred aud serenty-two
dolUrs per annum, when compared with
the average expenditure of the last six
years and will no djubt exceed, that
sum under future letting. The contract
system has many advantages over the
policy that has been hitherto pursued,
and I am inclined to think should be
permantly adopted. The success of any
system, however, involving so large an
expenditure of the public money, de
pends in a great'measure on the manner
and spirit inj which it is earned out
A very general publicity of the lettings
and the confidence of the people in the
impartiality and fahnes of the awards,
are elements without which it can ne
ver become beneficially established. .
Tlie contract system is Increasing iu
importance and extent, and will no
doubt, gradually supercede the imploy
ment.of regular officers in many of the
def ortmenta of the public service. The
charge in - jr. Instances would be e
healthy one, and should m mr.j8..
be encouraged by the passage of such
laws as would allay all . apprehensions,
and secure the confidence of the people.
We aie accustomed to the responsibiliti.
es and restrictions imposed by law op .
on public erfficers, aud the time reasons
should induce us to stop similar status
ry regulations and safeguards; in refer
ence to pnblic contracts. If all induce
ments to do wrong on the part of the
agents of,'governinent were' effectually
removed, there would ba little or. no
grounds fjr popular distrust. I therefore
suggest the propriety of a general law
on the subject of public contracts, em
bracing those that may oe entired into
on the part ol counties, townships, and
other corporations as well as on the part
of the State,
The irresponsible and extravagant
system of administration which prevails
in some 01 our counties and cities, fur-
unties the principal cause for the ex
actions which are so generaly complain
ed 'of. These public contracts are aran.
ted to favorites, which occasion the
most lavish expenditures, There, also,
we find officers with incomes which
shock all correct ideas of public com
psnsstion, rue se things have their
effect upon the general, tone of our pub
lie morals, County leiorra is a duty
enjoined by every considrati'u of public
virtue, 00 me wno sutler under these
evils denounce the tax law without
much consideration aa to the cause of
the heavy burdens under which theyjare
mooring; out a utile closer reflection
wouia snow :uem mat it is the taxes,
not the tax law, which are exorbitant,
ana. that the tax law is but the unwel
come wiluesj. Thi local treaties
should be brought under the same sys-
temized restraint as the State tieasury.
The heavy draKs)u?6ii tbeul under pre
lence of some law, must be ellectua'jy
checked, the requirements of the Con
stitution that uo money shall be drawn
from any county or township treasury
except by authority of law,' must be
rigorously enforced. The General As
sembly should distinctly designate the
specific authority upon whose appro
priatioc the public moneys shall be ciis
bursed. Our courts have been in a habit
of ordering county auditors and treasur
ers to pay out money a for purposes of
personal couvenience an exercise of
power for which I cau find no warrant
in the Constitution. These orders are
only obeyed from a fear of the appar
ently uulimilrd power of ihe court to
punish for contempt. The fees of coun
ty ollicers should behoroughly revised,
and iho law providing for removal from
office und other punishments for sje.u a
lion, should be made more stringent.
Some two or three of the larger coun
ties of the States, might be supplied
with Boards more numerous than tht
of the preseut County Commissioners.
'I' L . . . .
i no buo lie interests won I ft hn h.iior
guarded, and the power to levy taxes
and uulse appropriations be brought un
der a greater degreekof responsibility,
'f be separation of civil from criminal
business, with distinct officers for each
court would also facilitate the business
of such counties without any increase
of the public expense.
As to the mere machinery for the
collectionof the taxes, it must be ad
milted, as a general truth, that all tutli
enactments ere hut approximations to
what should be their legitimate object,
via: their equitable apportionment
among the individuals composing it,
Private ingenuity counteracts the best
designs ol the legislator; and many per
sons often succeed in pushing the their
own proper burdens upon others.
Frequently, too, the Legislature uses the
taxing power for favoiiug or discourag
ing special interests ot objects This
was so long and so generally acquiesced
in, that the idea became prevalent that
taxes are levied.net so much for purpo
ses of revenue, as for those of favorit
ism or oppression. Hence we find per
mi 1, a denouncing lax although imposed
by general laws, as being aimed al the
destruction of their particular class;
end hence, it likewise is, that we find
them demanding exemptions for certain
special objects, because, iu their opinion.
they deserve to succeed.
laese appeals to . the favor of pur
Legislature have in ineuy instances
been successful, The valuatiou of im
proved lands iu a state of nature which
was tbe rule previous ta-fB16,weaioien
dad as t revor to the ' agricultural . iu
terest, v The extmpiiouof tools and
machinery was designed as an encour
Kgement to.She mechanic and manufac
luretsoutne site; laxiug oauks ou
their profits only was held out as a
bonus fur foreign capital; while tbe ex
emptlun 01 property appropriated to
educational approval of those object.
Under this policy the duplicate decreas
ed until it embraced only 'about- oue
forth of tbe actural'wealth of the Stale,
Attampt.inj' (J'' Mery deserving
object in soeiety multiplied the plea
for further exemptions, '.and thett was
dinger that the true idea of t.xstioe '
would be entirely lost. Aa a neterat
cousequence however, proJucei bat
little revenue.
In IS IS a change of oar fldtaclal sys.
tern occurre I. ' Annual dedcitt eursj
pel led the Legislature to return to what
should be the primary object of all tax
laws, to wit: ;he collection of reveou.
rrevious errors were then la part rem
edied, but many very flagrant ones were
continued from ill-advised partiality. ,
A new tendency was, however, inaugu
rated; and the rule of equality ia tax.
a lion gained constant strength. In ajhte
of opposing interests. , The Couattta
tional Cnnventien met- under these aa
spices, and the tax rule established la "
the Constitution was the. rasult. Its
gteat principle is the abrogation Of all,
arbitrary taxation. Man, as such, hie
busines, occupation, and profusion. are
no lunger subject u legislative caprice.
" 1 1 - i r
A few exemptions far objects "v
of almost universal interest areeuihos.
ized, but in such a manner that they
can uever become independent gf tite
popular will. :., ...
1 he first General Assembly unJtr
the new Constitution passed audi tax
lawi aj were supposed to bs ia accor
dance with its requirements. Differ
ence of construction arose, as wai td
be expected, and wera very properly
referred to the Court, whose decision
has been acquiesced in by tha great
body ot the people.
It is not denied that the rule referred
to hag produced occasionally ' some .
hardships, but itia equally tru that -
these hardships would be scarcely ob
servable, if, instead of supporting ex
emptions and deductions, we would
make the grand duplicate represent (ba
entire wealth ot the State, it is estU v
mated that no less than three hundred
millions of property in the State escap .
ed taxation.
A earful examination of the questioa
will suggest mauy reasons advers to any
precipitate or uuadvisedachangei ia oar
tax laws. All agree that p'roperty shouU
be taxed ivhere it is by a uniform ruts,
that, the resident and non resident ow
ner shall pay his due proportion, eui
that this proportion shall iucluda State,
county, township ao.l city taxes, Tbe
tax is 011 the pruperty witiiu the State,
and not on its inhabitants. The leiu for
the tax ia not upon the owner, but on -tbe
property.' It makes no difference
whether is owned by residents or uo
residents. Possession, andnot ownership
is the point of inquiry. A New York
merchant doinj-business in our state
will not ba asked whether bis capital
is own or borrowed. The .whole stock
tound in his possession is the measure
of his taxation- Our owu merchants are
treated precisely in the same way, A
differen. rule would obviously work se
rious injustice to Ohio merchants, be
cause, witn Reductions for credits, for
eign merchants might trade in our stale
without paying one dollar of taxes.
Agaiu, Virginians own lands in Ohio.
They owe a portion oi the purchase
money either in one or the other of these
States. Shall the township or city la
which the land lies loose the right te
levy a fair proportion of taxes upon the
lands in quesiou? The rule for dedua
'.ion of debts would evidently work eul
Ies3 coufutiou. Take the case of one of
our evil citzen, many of whom owe
both real and personal property 111 more
than one locality, and are indebted for
part of ths same: where shall tbe 'de
duction be made? Shall it be at tfcetr
own option?
The doctri. e so frequently adranoeJ
thaf'min should be taxed only on what
he has and not upon what he has not,"
does not la fact apply to our system of
taxation. Our duplicate lists, the visi-
s property in the State, and not the
persons. A large number ot the inhabi
tant) of the State are not apon it, while
it contains the mines of many who re
side beyoud its limits. This is a suffi
cient answer to such avowals.
Simplicity, both of detail and prin
ciple, is an important elemeal ia the
uouslr jrtieil of all. rerunJi.H
s'ons multiply with exemptions and de
ductions, aud the individual tax payer
will be apt, through mealal reservation,
to enlarge the sphere for which the leg
islatiou has sent him aa example. He,
too, has favorite objects which be '.hioke
it hard to lax. The taore generally we
adopt the priucipul of taxingequally all
pr p rU.the more equitable and fair will
be its effect. Their Unequal operation,
rather than their amount; .(takes taxes -oppressive.
In our State tax inequalities
are necessarily unjust. Every dollar that
is remitted to. or witheld by, one per
son, must be made up and paid by oti
era. The amount of e cipe, the only re
sult is that the taxes' are unjnslly levied.
Exemptions aud deductions but mat the
uniformity and equality of our tax laws,
and for this reason, if for no other, '.here
should he as few allowed as possible.
An equal tax ta ' property based oe
these rules, with few exemptions ' aai
deductious, leaves very little opportuni
ty for Individual evasions. " lis assess
ments and valuations are mote easily
perfected; ' they may be made quicker
yet be less inquisitorial. Such. a sys
tem must eventually tecoramend itself
to all as the oue best adapted to out
circumstauce as a people. . , Under it
the measure of tanaliuit would bs fiasei
upon a general principle .that pricipla
would be enforced by the people, them:
selves. .They would watch ar. I expose
individual failures to lls, arid thereby
carry out th bouest object of the. lev
Then in peopl will soon hebiiaet
themselves to look for tad delect ik
true cause of any Increase iu the . taxes,
anaTtietr teiorma tory trTotts.beinf
vllllll I II. m .
mis- Ju Covfrnrnpht,
a t
W8 U,.

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