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Local taxation.-Railroads are locally assessed and taxed on all their property, on the basis of annual lists which they are required to make in each county. Rolling stock is valued on a pro rata mileage basis.
Telegraph and telephone companies.1
The property of these companies is taxed like the property of individuals. They are required to return annual schedules to the county assessors. These schedules are transmitted to the State auditor.
Express, transportation, and stage companies.
These companies are taxed on their personalty in the counties where it is kept.
State aid. The credit of the State shall not be granted in aid of any individual or corporation, nor shall the State ever assume the debts of any individual or corporation, nor shall the State become a stockholder in any company or association. (Art. X, sec. 6.)
Uniform tax on property.-Taxation shall be equal and uniform on all property throughout the State. (Art. X, sec. 1.)
Listing, valuation, etc.-Railroad companies are required to make detailed annual reports to the State auditor, setting forth property of operation, capital stock, bonded debt, earnings, and expenditures. On the basis of these returns, after approval by the board of public works, who have access to corporation books and papers and may examine corporation witnesses, the State auditor sets a valuation upon railroad property and apportions the same among the local tax districts, where the tax is computed at the usual rate and certified to the State auditor. The total taxes are then paid into the State treasury.
Local taxation.-Railroad real estate not employed for purposes of operation is locally assessed and taxed. Each local district also receives its share of the taxes paid into the State treasury.
Telegraph and express companies.1
The property of domestic telegraph and express companies is assessed and taxed like other property in the State. Foreign telegraph and express companies pay a State tax of 2 per cent on their gross receipts from business done in the State. Other transportation and transmission companies.5
Incorporated transportation and transmission companies, other than railroad, telegraph, and express companies, are locally taxed as follows: Real estate is taxed as in other cases. The value of the capital is determined and taxed by the following method: The aggregate value of personal property (not exempt from taxation) wherever situated, and including moneys, credits, and investments, is determined, and after deductions have been made for all amounts owed by such company as principal debtor, the remaining sum is taxed at the usual rate.
Internal improvement.-The State shall never contract any debt for works of internal improvement, nor be a party to carrying on such works, except where grants of land or property have been made to the State for that purpose. (Art. VIII, sec. 10.)
State aid. The credit of the State shall never be given or loaned in aid of any individual, association, or corporation. (Art. VIII, sec. 2.)
Uniform tax on property.-Taxes shall be uniform, and upon such property as the legislature shall prescribe. (Art. VIII, sec. 1.)
1 Laws of 1897, p. 154.
2 Ibid., p. 142.
Code of West Virginia, Chap. XXIX, sec. 67.
4Ibid., Chap. XXXIV.
"Ibid., Chap. XXIX, sec. 64.
State taxation.-Railroad companies are required to make annual returns to the State treasurer, showing their gross earnings for the year, and specifying the earnings per mile of line. License fees" are then levied on gross earnings as
4 per cent on total gross earnings of $3,000 or more per mile.
3 per cent on total gross earnings between $2,500 and $3,000 per mile.
3 per cent on total gross earnings between $2,000 and $2,500 per mile.
2 per cent on the excess above $1,500 per mile, plus $5 per mile when gross earnings are between $1,500 and $2,000 per mile; $5 per mile when gross earnings are less than $1,500 per mile.
Railroads built on pile and pontoon bridges pay at the special rate of 2 per cent on their gross earnings.
Local taxation.-There is no local tax on railroads, except that lands owned by railroad companies, but not used for railroad purposes, are assessed and taxed like similar property of individuals.
Telegraph and telephone companies.
Telegraph companies pay a State tax as follows: On a single wire, $1 per mile; on a second wire, 50 cents per mile; on a third wire, 25 cents per mile, and on each additional wire 20 cents per mile."
Telephone companies pay a State tax of 3 per cent on gross earnings of $100,000 or over and 24 per cent on gross earnings under $100,000.3
Express, sleeping car, equipment, and freight line companies.1
These companies are required to make annual returns to the State treasurer, who puts such returns before the State board of assessment. The tax is assessed on a pro rata mileage portion of capital stock, with certain deductions. In the case of express companies, deduction is made for real estate situated and taxed outside of the State and for personalty not used in the express business; in the case of sleeping car and equipment companies, for real estate situated and taxed outside of the State; and in the case of freight-line companies, for real estate situated in the State.
Internal improvement.-The State shall not engage in works of internal improvement unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of the people. (Art. XVI, sec. 6.)
State aid.-The legislature shall not authorize the State to contract any debt in constructing any railroad or to loan its credit in aid of the same. (Art. III, sec. 39.)
The State shall not loan its credit or make donation to any railroad or telegraph line. (Art. X, sec. 5.)
The State shall not loan its credit, make donations, or subscribe to stock in aid of any individual, association, or corporation. (Art. XVI, sec. 6.)
Uniform taxation—Listing, etc.-All taxation shall be equal and uniform. (Art. I, sec. 28.)
All lands and improvements thereon shall be listed and assessed separately. (Art. XV, sec. 1.)
Railroads.-There shall be a State board, consisting of the auditor, treasurer, and secretary of state, which shall assess at their actual value the franchises, roadway, roadbed, rails, and rolling stock of all railroads and other common carriers. This valuation shall be apportioned among the counties as the basis of taxation. (Art. XV, sec. 10.)
Reports of railroad companies.-All railroads operating in the State must make annual reports of their business, as the legislature may prescribe. (Art. X, sec. 3.) Local aid.-The legislature shall not authorize any county to contract any debt in constructing any railroad, or to loan its credit in aid of the same. (Art. III, sec. 39.)
No local division shall loan its credit or make donation to any railroad or telegraph line. (Art. X, sec. 5.)
No local division shall loan its credit, make donations, or subscribe to stock in aid of any individual, association, or corporation.
(Art. XVI, sec. 6.)
1 Revised Statutes of Wisconsin, secs. 1211-1213.
a Ibid., sec. 1222a.
4 Laws of 1899, chaps. 111-114.
Listing, valuation, etc.-Railroad companies are required to make annual reports to the State board of equalization, setting forth all property of operation. On the basis of these reports a valuation is determined covering property and franchises, and is apportioned among the local districts for the computation and collection of the tax.
Local taxation.-Railroad real estate not employed for purposes of operation is locally assessed and taxed. There is also a local tax on the values apportioned by the State.
Telegraph and sleeping car companies.1
These companies are taxed like railroads.
For the convenience of persons who may desire to make further investigations of this subject, the following bibliography is submitted:
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