Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 54 of 263
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Comptroller has discovered that the operators of these telephone
utility companies secure large returns from various other sources than
those enumerated in the statute. The Attorney General correctly held,
however, that these additional sources of revenue, such as advertising
in telephone directories, are not subject to the gross receipts tax.
I recommend that Article 7070 be amended so as to levy a gross
receipts tax on revenues from all sources and from uncollected accounts.
Under the present law, no such tax can be collected.
I call your attention to Article 7343, and suggest that you clarify
the lien given to independent school districts to secure their taxes.
Further, that you consider the creation of a tax lien that will follow
oil after it has been removed from the earth in order to secure the
ad valorem tax due by mineral estates.
We must not be unmindful of the fact that one of the primary difficulties
with the existing system of taxation is the fact that under
present administration, less than half of the actual taxable property
is actually being placed upon the assessment rolls, resulting, therefore,
in necessarily increased burdens on property submitted for taxation. It
is my purpose in calling your attention to the existing tax leaks, to
solve, at least in part, the problem of tax inequities by making actually
uniform the system of practical assessment and collection, made theoretically
uniform by that provision of the Constitution requiring that all
taxation in this State be equal and uniform.
Turning now to the subject of delinquent taxes, I call your attention
to a problem I believe to be fundamental. The working out of any
tax to a large extent depends on the certainty of payment. It is bad
policy, whether a tax be wise or unwise, just or unjust, to encourage
a system of laxity and evasion by permitting taxes to remain delinquent
over a long period of years and by deferring enforcement of those taxes
until after huge sums have accumulated against the property. In order
to enforce the collection of taxes there was originally designed a delinquent
tax law providing for the institution of delinquent tax suits by
county officials and for the sale of property at sheriffs' sales after
judgment had been rendered, with the right of redemption remaining
in the taxpayer for a period of time.
We are all familiar with the political aspects resulting from placing
this responsibility in the hands of county officials. Without any unjust
criticisms, but stating an obvious fact, we have come to realize that
tax collectors are actually tax receivers. The number of suits instituted
for collection of delinquent taxes, and the number of judgments secured
are almost negligible. As a result, huge sums of money are now due
the State in delinquent taxes, with little or no effort being made to
secure their payment.
It is my recommendation that there be placed in the State Tax Commissioner
some elements of control over all local tax assessing and
collecting agencies in the State of Texas. I recommend a law providing
that tax collectors and assessors shall be required to make a quarterly
report to the State Tax Commissioner in such manner as he may provide,
reflecting the efforts made by all county officials to actually collect taxes
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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/m1/54/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .