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mittee on resolutions and announce his appointment before the meeting adjourns. A committee on credentials seems to be one of the committees that should be appointed. The rules provide that each state shall select its own member of the committee on resolutions, and I would suggest that immediately after we recess the members of the different states get together and make their selections and announce them to the secretary or to the chairman of that committee. I will also announce the committee on credentials, although there will probably be nothing for such a committee to do, a little later. There is also another commtitee that I think ought to be taken care of at this time, which has to do with the national tax association rather than with the conference, a nominating committee to nominate men in place of the retiring members of the executive committee and to nominate a president and vice-president of this association for the coming year. If a motion to name such a committee is made by any member of the association, I shall be glad to entertain it.
MR. TOBIN: I move that the usual committee of five be appointed by the chair as a nominating committee of the national tax association, to bring in the necessary nominations for officers and executive committee.
CAPTAIN WHITE: Second the motion.
CHAIRMAN LORD: It has been moved and seconded that a nominating committee of five be appointed by the President of the national tax association, for the purpose of selecting officers for the coming year. Are there any remarks?
Ayes and noes.
CHAIRMAN LORD: The ayes have it and I will designate the committee later on.
The Minnesota tax commission in the fifteen or sixteen years that it has been in existence has spent many weeks in the preparation of reports designed for the benefit of the members of the legislature. It has been something of a problem with us to determine how many members ever look inside of the two covers of those books. Brother Armson and I have made some calculations and we figured ourselves lucky if two per cent of the membership even look at our labored productions. I don't know as I blame them any. It is rather tiresome reading; but I should like to feel that they are a little more sought after. Our last legislature appointed an interim commission to study the question of taxation, and it has been our hope that possibly this commission might be tempted to look inside of these books and see if we have produced anything worth while in the way of suggestions for legislative action.
We have with us tonight the chairman of the commission, the speaker of the House of Representatives of Minnesota, and it gives me great pleasure at this time to introduce him to this audience as the presiding officer of this session of the conference-Mr.' Nolan. W. I. NOLAN, presiding.
CHAIRMAN NOLAN: Mr. President and ladies and gentlemen: Senator Lord has stated to you that the legislature of Minnesota probably needs some education along tax lines, or at least the inference is that we ought to know more about taxes than we do. As was stated, the last session of the legislature appointed an interim committee for the purpose of studying taxation, and we have looked forward to this conference as one of our principal sources of information. If we do not get out of this conference something that is really worth while, that will help us in reshaping the tax laws of this state, we are going to be disappointed. Now, I realize that it is not the duty of a presiding officer to make the speeches, and with that idea in view I am going to delegate to others the duty of dropping the seed. It is customary in gatherings of this kind to be welcomed by official representatives, and tonight we are represented by the City of Minneapolis and by the State of Minnesota, and I am first going to call on our honored Mayor. Here in Minneapolis we are proud of many things. We believe that we have a city for which we do not have to apologize, and we know that we have a Mayor for whom we do not have to apologize. It is my pleasure at this time to introduce to you the Mayor of Minneapolis, Col. George E. Leach.
GEORGE E. LEACH, Mayor of Minneapolis: It is a distinct pleasure for me to have this opportunity of welcoming this convention to Minneapolis. I have only been a professional politician a short while, but I have learned this, that when you start out to run for office, the main thing that the voters seem to be interested in is: how are you going to reduce our taxes? It is often very difficult to tell them how they are going to be reduced, if you only have one term. And then every other person that calls at your office wants to know why you don't reduce them; so I think I can say that probably the people of Minneapolis could extend no warmer welcome to any group of men and women in the country than to this convention to discuss taxes. It certainly is an unlimited subject and a great field for endeavor; and sometimes I think that the people of this country are a little unreasonable because a complete system has not been devised for distributing taxes more equitably, and I would like to call your attention to the City of Minneapolis. Take, for instance, the ground we are standing on. In 1855, Mr. Stone, a homesteader of the Uniter States Government, built a cabin here. This was a 160-acre homestead in 1855, and
after he proved up on it he sold it to a man named Fridley. Mr. Fridley bought it for two thousand dollars, and I think about ten years after, it was sold to a Mr. Snyder for three thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars, and platted, and last year there was a trust deed given to the Curtis hotel people for six hundred thousand dollars for a little piece of this homestead. Now, that is quite an achievement in a short time. My father lived here before the first piece was homesteaded. My mother is still living and she was here too, so in one generation this land has increased from a few dollars an acre that the homesteader paid for it, to six hundred thousand dollars for a few lots off the corner of it, that he probably would not have noticed in the division of the land. That must create conditions that make readjustment of taxes very difficult.
I have only one thing to say-I have no constructive message to bring to you-but I wish you would fix it so that the small home owner won't have to pay any taxes at all. I have not even got as far as the small home owner, but we have a lot of people in Minneapolis and we are trying to build up a happy city, and the only way you can do that is to have everybody own his own home, which is a most desirable condition in any country. When he has only started to own this home, the taxes make it very difficult. So if you can arrange so that the man who has a two or three thousand dollar home won't have to pay any taxes on his home until it is paid for, we shall all be very much obliged to you.
I wish to assure you that every one in this city is very proud to have you here. I hope you have a good time. I cannot help you much in the convention, but if you step on the gas too fast or get into any difficulties with the police department, I shall be glad to see you in the city hall. In any event, I hope you will have all the fun you can, and I assure you again that Minneapolis is very proud to have you here. (Applause)
CHAIRMAN NOLAN: Unfortunately the governor of the state is out of the city at this time, and so as it is impossible to furnish a full portion we will try to do the best we can with a half portion, and it is my pleasure at this time to introduce to you on behalf of the State of Minnesota our Lieutenant Governor, Corporal Louis Collins.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR LOUIS COLLINS: Ladies and gentlemen. I suppose that you expect me to come back at the speaker, but I am not going to do it, because I tried it once and I want to tell you about that, and by the way I am going to limit myself to your fiveminute rule, because after these rules were read, I was talking with Judge Hough of Indiana: I said, those are good rules," and he said, "yes, the best one is the five-minute rule"; but I am not
going to try to get back at the Speaker because of a thing that happened in the governor's office. They have a picture of the battle of Nashville, painted by Pyle, in the governor's office. We were looking at the picture together one day. My father and the Speaker's father, the elder Mr. Nolan, were in the same regiment at the battle of Nashville. The picture shows the charge of the regiment at Nashville. As we were looking at this picture one day Bill said, “my father was in that fight," and I swelled up-in so far as a man of my size can swell up-and I says, "so was mine". “Well,” he said, “my father was all through that charge." I said, "yes, so was my father." I said, "yes, and by the picture, my father is leading your father by one hundred feet in that charge." I laughed at my own joke. The speaker said, "yes, and coming back they tell me your father led by one hundred yards." (Laughter)
I am very sorry Governor Preus cannot be here to greet you. He sent me word to come over here to represent him. I asked
him what he wanted to say, and he said he would put no limitations on me but wanted me to welcome you to the State of Minnesota. I am not going to overdo this five-minute rule.
I will tell you a story I heard about a public speaker talking on a platform. Somebody in the gallery yelled "louder," and a fellow sitting down in the parquet, within seeing and hearing distance. said, "can't you hear him?" And the fellow said, "no," and yelled, "louder". The fellow down below says, "oh, keep quiet, shut up. and thank the Lord."
I don't think you want to hear me talk much about the State of Minnesota, and you are going to have an opportunity of seeing something of the state.
I want to supplement Mr. Leach's statement about the value of this property, in one feature. In 1803 the City of Minneapolis was sold to the United States Government by France for seven cents an acre, and you experts on valuation step out and look around the city and see what you think of that purchase. We think it is a very good one.
Just a moment about something that Senator Lord has said which I wish to emphasize a little. I think one of the problems for this conference is the problem he called attention to, and I think you men and women of other states have this same difficulty facing you. You know the subject of taxes is a subject which is much talked about, and about which little is known. Men get up and yelp for lower taxes. We want to lift the tax burden, we want to do it, but don't know how to do it. The State of Minnesota for fifteen years has had a tax commission, and I know you ladies and gentlemen who have followed this association know that we have a good one. Your honorable president is a member of our commis
sion and was a charter member of it, and I know that you know that he is an authority on taxation, and I know that you know one of the members of our commission, Mr. Armson, is a national authority on the subject of taxation. Now, these men during fifteen years these and others, most of them experts — have been trying for the State of Minnesota to solve taxation. They are up against this situation: the state officeholders and members of the legislature like to talk taxes when they don't have to go into detail, but when it comes to the proposition of studying taxation and trying to do something, they all shy away from it. You know that is true in your different states. A man comes down to the legislature. He said at home he was going to decrease the burden of taxes. He has gone on the platform - candidates do this in this state, and have done it recently and opposed some project, some new state department, or the increasing of salaries for some state officials, or something.
In the state of Minnesota, from general tax levies of 1921, not a cent goes for state expenses. Our state administration is taken care of from gross earnings taxes and special taxes, but they howl about the increase in state taxes. In Minnesota I think approximately somewhere between 70 and 80 per cent of our taxes are for local purposes, that is, they are for roads or bridges or for some other such local purpose, as education, and are levied by local authorities.
My point is this, that when you are sick you go to a doctor, and when your automobile is out of order you go to a mechanic, and when you solve a taxation proposition you go to tax experts, and I hope you gentlemen will help us in arousing the people and arousing the politicians to that fact. I thank you.
CHAIRMAN NOLAN: Now, that you have been duly and properly welcomed by the representatives of the city and the state, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Judge William A. Hough of Indiana, who will respond on behalf of the Tax Association.
W. A. HOUGH of Indiana: Mr. Chairman and ladies and gentlemen: I am sure it is a very great pleasure for me to respond on behalf of the Tax Association to the gracious words of welcome we have had from the Mayor and from the Lieutenant Governor. I don't believe I can agree with the Speaker. He said that it was unfortunate that the governor could not be here. I think we are very fortunate indeed to have the lieutenant governor here and to hear the words of wisdom that fell from his lips.
A good many of the men who are here were rather in hopes that the proximity to the Canadian border would produce some little change, perhaps, in the situation here, but we have not had any intimation of any change yet, except in the words of the Mayor,