Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 56 of 263
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At the present time there are innumerable tax collectors who share
responsibility in collecting State taxes. In the first place, each of the 254
county tax assessors and collectors acts entirely independently of other collectors
of ad valorem taxes on both real and personal property. The
Comptroller of Public Accounts, an officer whose name would indicate
functions of current auditing and accounting control, now collects the bulk
of the State taxes other than those collected by local tax collectors. In
addition, the State Treasurer participates in the collection of State taxes,
as does the Secretary of State, the Insurance Department, and other
agencies of the State government.
In order to have effective tax administration, it is the responsibility of
government that the collecting authority be fixed and centralized under a
single responsible administrative head. We must not be unmindful that
the State proposes to collect its revenue by a systeim or plan of taxation.
In such a system, each individual tax represents a part-not an entityseparated
or differentiated from all other taxes. Each tax should so balance
with every other tax that it becomes an integral part of a well
conceived tax plan. It can only lead to inequity and unfairness to tear
from a unified tax system a single tax and administer it separately from
other taxes, without thought as to how it may fit into a unified financial
Further, the administration of any tax is a technical and difficult task,
requiring continuous study, supervision and specialized training to penetrate
ever increasing complex business structures. In this connection the
collection of taxes should not be confused with the regulation of public
business. The regulation of a corporation in no way requires as an ancillary
weapon the administration of a corporate tax; the regulation of insurance
companies does not require that the same administrative head levy and
collect insurance taxes. To one field of the government properly belongs
the duty of regulation, and to an entirely different field belongs the function
of tax administration.
I therefore recommend for your consideration the ultimate unification and
centralization of State tax administration in Texas under a single administrative
head. Such a result may not be possible or expedient at this session
of the Legislature, but the policy of such centralization should be definitely
Once taxes have been collected by the State and become a part either of
the General Revenue Fund or of some special fund of the State government,
the State must then solve a problem of sensible spending as well as sensible
collection. To that end I direct your attention to the budgetary control
existing as a part of the State Government.
The Board of Control is now charged with the responsibility of preparing
for each biennium a budget for consideration by the Governor and
the Legislature. The Board of Control is already an over-burdened agency
of the State Government, being required to administer, among other heavy
duties, the State's elemosynary institutions; and now constituting the
State Relief Board. It is impossible for the Board of Control to prepare
effectively a budget for the entire State Government with sufficient financial
data on the work of all State agencies. It is impossible for the Gov
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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/m1/56/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .