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STATE OF NEW YORK.
ALBANY, January 2, 1883. Į To the Legislature :
In obedience to the provision of the Constitution which directs that the Governor shall communicate to the Legislature, at every session, the condition of the State, and recommend such matters to them as he shall judge expedient, I transmit this, my first annual message, with the intimation that a newly elected executive can hardly be prepared to present a complete exhibit of State affairs, or to submit in detail a great variety of recommendations for the action of the Legislature.
From the statement furnished me by the Comptroller, the details of which will be found in the annual report of that officer, it appears that the finances of the State are in a satisfactory condition.
The total funded debt on the 30th day of September, 1882, after deducting an unapplied balance in the Sinking Fund of the Canal Debt, was $6,385,356.30. Of this sum, $122,694.87 is the amount necessary to yield, at six per cent. ·
interest, the sum required to pay the annuities to Indians ; $3,000 is the unclaimed bounty debt; and the remainder, $6,259,661.43, represents the Canal Debt. The only change in the funded indebtedness of the State during the last fiscal year was a contribution of $309,717.00 to the Sinking Fund, thus reducing by that sum the debt remaining unprovided for on the 30th day of September, 1881.
The aggregate receipts of the State Treasury during the last fiscal year, including a balance from the previous year amounting to $5,531,858.71, were $17,735,761.59 ; the payments during the same period amounted to $13,898,198.21, leaving a balance in the treasury at the beginning of the current fiscal year of $3,837,563.38.
The amount received from taxes on corporations during the last year was $1,539,684.27, being an increase of $446,959.11 over the previous year.
The rate of taxation for the current fiscal year was fixed by the last Legislature at 24 mills on the dollar. This it is estimated, will yield on the present valuation of property a revenue of $6,820,022.29.
The imperfection of our laws touching the matter of taxation, or the faulty execution of existing statutes on the subject, is glaringly apparent.
The power of the State to exact from the citizen a part of his earnings and income for the support of the Government, it is obvious should be exercised with absolute fairness and justice. When it is not so exercised, the people are oppressed. This furnishes the highest and the best reason why laws should be enacted and executed which will subject all property, as all alike need the protection of the State, to an equal share in the burdens of taxation, by means of which the Government is maintained. And yet it is notoriously true that personal property not less remunerative than land and real estate, escapes to a very great extent the payment of its fair proportion of the expense incident to its protection and preservation under the law. The people should always be able to recognize, with the pride and satisfaction which are the strength of our institutions, in the conduct of the State, the source of undiscriminating justice, which can give no pretext for discontent.
The revenues and expenditures of the canals for the year ending September 30, 1882, were as follows :
1,910 85 10,456 62
$143, 276 81
30,000 oo 361,906 04
For ordinary repairs :
Superintendent of Public Works .......
hire, pay of inspectors and office expenses.. Weighmasters and assistants, for salaries and
office expenses...... Salaries chargeable to the annual revenues,
refunding tolls, printing and miscellaneous expenses ..................................
Surplus revenue ..