Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 40 of 263
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are to be submitted to the Legislatures of Colorado and New Mexico
in the immediate future and it is highly desirable that Texas ratify the
Compact extension agreement at this time.
JAMES V. ALLRED
Governor of Texas
February 25, 1935
(For delivery March 4, 1935.)
To the Forty-fourth Legislature of the State of Texas:
No higher duty can be imposed upon those chosen for actual participation
in State government than the responsibility of promulgating a
sound financial policy which will secure adequate revenue for the efficient
conduct of the government, and which, at the same time, will not
impose an unfair burden upon any class of citizens. This task is now
more difficult because we inherit groups of taxes that have accumulated
since the formation of our present Constitution without any thought as
to how they might logically fit into an intelligent plan.
We have inherited an ad valorem tax system which goes back to a
time in Texas history when 95% of the people were-engaged in agricultural
pursuits; and when, therefore, land ownership was practically the
sole source of wealth. We have since progressed to a point of social
and economic complexity when almost half of the people busy themselves
with urban occupations. This antiquated ad valorem system no longer
justifies itself as the primary basis for taxation. Indeed, it no longer
affords sufficient revenue for the conduct of the government.
Within the past few years both state and federal governments have
been called upon to perform an ever increasing number of duties once
thought to lie exclusively within the realm of private charities or local
communities. More and more, people in every walk of life and every
character of business are demanding additional protection and security
at the hands of government. This increasing demand has necessarily
increased the necessity for revenue. We inherit that problem along with
an antiquated tax structure.
In determining how revenue should be raised for support of the State
government, we must proceed along one of two theories: either adequate
revenue must be raised to pay the deficit and meet current operations of
the State without serious thought to the source of collection; or a system
of taxation should be worked out that will be fair to those called upon
to discharge the State's economic responsibilities. Personally I cannot
subscribe to a tax plan which, although it guarantees revenue, at the
same time offers patent inequities or unfairness. I believe the Governor
and the Legislature should first consider how the tax revenues of the
State are to be raised rather than how much we are going to raise.
The State Auditor has reported that the accrued deficit inherited by
this administration as of August 31, 1934, was $6,998,178.07. The same
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Allred, James V. Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939, book, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3899/m1/40/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .