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cipal governments and the schools; (5) The legislature is authorized to substitute other methods of taxation of property for the taxation thereof according to its value, but no property can be relieved of taxation according to value without such substitution. The second amendment is an entirely new provision and, in substance, provides that no indebtedness shall be incurred for current expenses nor for the acquisition of property having an estimated usefulness of less than five years with certain necessary exceptions of an emergency character. It is further provided that no funded debt shall run longer than forty years and no bonds or notes issued for property or improvements shall run any longer than the probable period of usefulness to be estimated and fixed as provided by law.
Oklahoma proposes to increase the rate of levy for all purposes in the state from 31.5 mills to 41.5 mills. The sole beneficiary is the local school district, which receives the added ten mills.
Oregon will vote upon a single tax measure proposed by initiative petition by the Oregon single tax league. This measure proposes that for four years beginning July 1, 1923 to and including July 1, 1927, all revenue necessary for the maintenance of state. county, municipal and district government shall be raised by the tax on the value of land irrespective of improvements in or on it, and thereafter the full rental value of land, irrespective of improvements, shall be taken in lieu of all other taxes for the maintenance of government and for such other purposes as the people may direct.
In addition to the foregoing the state taxpayers league proposes by means of the initiative an income tax measure which requires that one-half of the tax levied for state expenses shall be levied each year beginning with 1924 on the net incomes of natural persons and corporations. The annual rate of income tax to be fixea by dividing the amount of the tax required by the total net amount of all incomes subject to such tax. The exemptions provided in this measure are from $800 to $1,000 for unmarried persons; $1,000 to $1,500 for married persons and $200 for each dependent. Further exemptions are life insurance, gifts, bequests, devises and inheritances, and such corporations as are exempt by the federal income tax law.
The state grange of Oregon by means of the initiative proposes a further income tax amendment. This measure provides for a tax on the incomes of all residents and non-residents, the source of whose income is within the state and upon the net incomes of corporations, joint stock companies and associations not otherwise taxed. Natural persons are to pay on the net incomes of their business not otherwise taxed. The exemptions for the individual income are up to and including $1,500; for husband and wife. $2,500; for each child under eighteen years, or person entirely dependent upon the taxpayer $400. The measure also exempts mutual savings, building and loan, religious and charitable associations. The rates are graded, paying 1% on amounts up to and including $10,000, when the rate is 5.5%. At $11,000 the rate is 7% and increases 1% up to $50,000, at which it is 15% on that and amounts in excess thereof.
Utah proposes to classify property to the end that the burden of taxation may be equitable upon all property, and the legislature is empowered to divide all property, including money and credits as well as physical property, into classes and to determine what class or classes of property shall be subject to taxation and what exempt. The legislature is further empowered to impose a tax upon incomes, which tax may be graded and progressive, and reasonable exemptions provided.
A second amendment in Utah proposes to increase the debt limit for state purposes not to exceed 2% of the value of the taxable property of the state. The present limit is 1.5%.
Special Tax INVESTIGATING COMMISSIONS The Maryland legislature this year authorized the governor to appoint a tax revision commission of five persons, not more than three of whom shall be of the same political party, and to serve without pay.
The commission is authorized to investigate thoroughly the systems of state, county and municipal taxation in force in the state, including direct and indirect taxation, licensing, taxes, valuations, assessments and collections, and all other matters pertaining to the subject of revenue and taxation. They shall also inquire into the revenue systems in force in other states and shall ascertain the operations and effects of such systems, and particularly how far the same are satisfactory to the people of such other states and how efficient such systems are in raising revenue. The commission is to prepare a draft of a bill and to make a report in printed form to the governor by December 1, 1923.
New York continues its special tax commission and gives it the additional power of examining the statutes relating to municipal corporations and political subdivisions of the state and of inquiring into their organization, administration and fiscal affairs, for the purpose of discovering methods which will tend to eliminate waste and extravagance, and lead to a more economic administration of municipal and local affairs. The commission is to make its final report March 1, 1923.
Pennsylvania also continues the work of its tax law revision commission which is authorized to revise, amend and consolidate the laws relative to the assessment, levy and collection of taxes for county, city, town, township, school and poor purposes, and make a report to the legislative session of 1923.
State Tax ADMINISTRATION Kentucky gives the state tax commission power to increase or decrease the assessed valuation of the property of individuals and corporations. Provision is also made for notice and hearing, in which the county judge may take part, and in case the county judge is dissatisfied with the decision of the tax commission he, as well as the person or corporation taxed, may appeal from such decision.
New York amends the tax law in relation to reports made on corporations by the secretary of state to the state tax commission. Such officer is required to transmit to the state tax commission notice of all dissolutions, mergers, consolidations, increases and decreases of capital stock, changes of name, and reorganization of all domestic corporations and dissolutions, withdrawals and revocations and changes of designees of foreign corporations filed or reported in his office.
New York also amends the tax law concerning official visits by the state tax commission to the counties of the state. The clerk of the board of supervisors is required to send notice of such visit to each of the supervisors and assessors in the county ten days before the official meeting, and is further required to advise the state tax commission that such notices have been sent.
North Carolina enacts a new law authorizing the commissioner of revenue and his deputies in all matters concerning revenue and taxation to administer oaths.
LOCAL Tax ADMINISTRATION Alabama amends the section of the revenue code concerning tax collectors by providing that the tax collector and assessor in counties of more than 150,000 shall receive no fees in the collection of the school tax but shall be given the sum of $1,000 for their services in the assessment and collection of such taxes.
Massachusetts enacts a new law which requires assessors to make an annual report of the number of persons living within their respective limits who are liable to enrollment in the militia. A report of such persons is to be made to the town clerk for transmission later to the adjutant general of the state. A new measure also enacted by Massachusetts requires assessors to notify the financial officers of cities and towns of amounts to be raised by taxation for state, county and city or town purposes. The assessor is also required to notify the financial officers of municipalities of the amounts of abatement of taxes and whether such abatement is on account of assessments on property or on polls.
EXEMPTIONS FROM TAXATION Seven states amend their revenue laws relating to tax-exempt property.
Alabama amends the revenue act of 1919 by exempting concessions at any state or county fair or agricultural association from taxation when such concessions are on the premises owned or controlled by the fair associations.
Colorado, in the “declaration of principles” which accompanies certain initiative petitions submitting amendments to the Colorado state constitution, shows strong opposition to any further exemption from taxation of any class of property and further issuances of tax-exempt securities.
Maryland enacts a law exempting shares of homestead or building associations from taxation to the extent that such shares represent investments of certain classes of property. Such associations after January 1, 1923 if incorporated under the laws of Maryland shall not be required to file any statement or report with the state tax commission. The time for exempting property held by any hospital or asylum for future use and not for investment is extended two years from January 1, 1922 to January 1, 1924.
Massachusetts provides that real or personal estate held in trust for the benefit of incorporated organizations of veterans of any war in which the United States has been engaged shall be exempt. The adoption of this measure extends the exemption which formerly applied only to the real and personal estate belonging to such organizations. There is also exempt from taxation the personal property and buildings occupied or used by a benevolent or charitable institution which conducts an insane asylum or insane hospital. The state, however, taxes the fair cash value of the land owned by such institution and used for the purposes of an asylum.
Mississippi exempts from taxation hospitals maintaining one or more charity wards used for charity patients and which employs all its income for hospital purposes and not for profit. There is also enacted a new measure for the purpose of encouraging certain industries. Such industries are exempt from taxation on their tangible property used in or necessary to the operation of the industry for a period of five years. The products, however, are not exempt.
It is also provided by Mississippi that money on deposit in either national or state banks or trust companies shall be exempt from tax of any character. This state further amends the law relating to exemption of permanent new hotels from county and municipal taxation by extending the period within which such hotels may be constructed in order to obtain the exemption to January, 1924. The period of exemption is five years from February 1, following the date of the commencement of the work.
New Jersey exempts the land with improvements thereon used for public purposes and not exceeding five acres in extent, when such land belongs to one municipality and extends into another by reason of the formation of a new county or in the annexation of territory from one county to another. It is also provided that charitable, benevolent and religious corporations or institutions not owning property shall in order to obtain the benefit of exemption from taxation, show an equitable control or ownership as to use, management, occupancy, sale and disposition, though the legal title may be in another person or corporation. Such institution must further show that such property is being used on the taxing date for purposes of a nature which are exempt from taxation.
New York amends the tax law relating to exemption of new buildings from local taxation by extending for one year the time within which the construction of new buildings may be commenced in order to entitle such property to the exemption. A further amendment permits the local legislative body of a county or city to grant exemptions which do not exceed the exemption authorized by the general law. The term “ construction ” is defined and deemed to have commenced when the building plans are filed with the proper authority and excavation actually and in good faith commenced. This state also amends the law relating to franchise tax on corporations by omitting certain obsolete provisions in the section exempting certain corporations from the tax on capital stock and by making more definite the fact that the corporations taxable under the corporation income tax law are not taxable under the franchise tax law.
Rhode Island enacts a new law, local in character, which authorizes the city of Newport to exempt from taxation for a period not to exceed ten years such hotel property as may hereaiter be located in such city in consequence of such exemption. The land on which the building is located, so long as such property is used for hotel purposes, is also exempt.
INCOME Tax Massachusetts amends the income tax law by exempting from such tax ships and vessels engaged in the interstate or foreign carrying trade. Such vessels already pay an excise tax which is assessed locally. This state also requires employers to file returns of employees who receive in excess of $2,000, formerly $1,800, a year. Such employers are required further, when the tax commissioner so requests, to state the exact wages, salary or other compensation received by the employee. Massachusetts also enacts a measure which provides that where the tax commissioner finds that the income of any person has not been assessed, he may assess the same with interest at six per cent.
New York amends the personal income tax law by defining the term “resident " to be any person domiciled in the state of New