Message of Governor O. B. Colquitt to the thirty-second legislature of Texas. Page: 9 of 24
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without further apropriations, of $232,706.03. This of course,
does not include the expense of establishing and maintaining the
home for aged and indigent Confederate women, nor any other emergency
appropriation that may be deemed necesary by the Legislature;
neither is the estimated increased cost of conducting the affairs
of the penitentiary system taken into account in this estimate.
During the last four years, according to statements furnished me,
$1,585,825 was expended for new buildings and permanent improvements
by the various state institutions, including the University,
but exclusive of the penitentiary. Some of the state's public buildings
are reported to be in a bad state of repair and all of them are
asking for large sums for repairs and new buildings, the total
asked far for two years being approximately $1,539,315.
A statement from the Treasury Department shows, at the opening
of business on August 31, 1909, there was a balance in the Treasury
of $1,743,208.18, and on August 31, 1910, there was a balance of
$1,424,641.61. On January 1, 1910, there was a balance of cash in
the Treasury of $1,093,331.45, and the Treasury began business on
January 1, 1911 with only $156,258.16 on hand. The figures given
are from authoritative sources and succinctly give the real state of our
finances. The correctness of the estimates can be easily verified. The
members of the Legislature are earnestly invited to look carefully
into the figures herein given and the facts which they represent.
OUR SYSTEM OF TAXATION.
Our system of taxation is not a just one. Although we have progressed
some along lines suggested a number of years ago in a bill
and report prepared by the Texas Tax Commission, in that objects
of taxation have been reached which theretofore contributed nothing
to the support of the government, still our system is not uniform and
not just in its operation.
Under our present system property is assessed by a separate assessor
in each county and equalized by a commissioners' court for each
county, and there is no uniformity of valuation or uniformity in
assessment now any more than heretofore. I believe the solution of
this vexatious question is the separation of the objects to be taxed
for state purposes from those taxed for county and other local uses.
The time will soon come when we can derive enough revenue to meet
the expenses of the state government from a tax on corporations
having no physical property in the state, and from excise or occupation
taxes, and make the collection of a state tax on land and personal
property unnecessary. This could be done now by a separation
of the objects of taxation and thus leave the taxing of lands and
personal property to the counties. The valuation of same would
then be a matter of local self-control in which the people of other
counties would have no interest. It is manifestly unfair to make
lands and other property in one county, of practically the same value,
subject to higher renditions and heavier taxes for state purposes than
the owners of like property pay in adjoining counties. Before the
Legislature can provide for the separation of the objects of taxation,
however, as suggested, the article in the Constitution on Taxation
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Colquitt, O. B. Message of Governor O. B. Colquitt to the thirty-second legislature of Texas., book, 1911; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5834/m1/9/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .