Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation Page: 21 of 61
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TO CAESAR THE THINGS THAT ARE
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY GOVERNOR PAT M. NEFF AT FREDERICKSBURG,
TEXAS, DECEMBER 22, 1922, DISCUSSING THE INEFFICIENCY OF
OUR TAX LAWS, URGING NECESSITY OF EQUALIZATION OF
TAx BURDENS, AND DECLARING THAT INVISIBLE AS WELL
AS VISIBLE WEALTH SHOULD CONTRIBUTE ITS PART
TO THE SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT.
Friends and Fellow Citizens:
The question of taxation is as old as civilization. It is co-ordinate
and co-existent with organized society. It touches every fireside. It
links every citizen to his government. Government cannot endure except
supported by taxation. There is no money in Texas with which
to sustain our institutions except that taken from the pockets of the
people by taxation. Every citizen is supposed to bear his part of the
burdens of government. When Christ declared that every
should "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's," He was but
emphasizing the duty every citizen owes his government.
WHERE Do WE GET OUR TAX MONEY ?
In a study of this age-old problem, our first thought is from what
sources do we get our tax money? The answer to this query is that
with the exception of income from the permanent school fund, all
our public revenue is derived from taxes levied on property, on occupations,
on franchises and on corporate privileges. Last year, from
all these sources, there came into the public treasury $28,453,149.
For the purpose of supporting the government last year every person
was supposed to pay 62 cents on every hundred dollars worth of property
he owned. If he enjoyed any special rights or privileges he was
also supposed to pay for that. Neither property nor privileges have
any value except that which comes to them through protection of government.
Under protection of government both property and privileges
may be enjoyed alike, subject only to the rights of society and
the necessities of the State. It is the protection that government gives
to these things that make them valuable and that is why every man
is enjoined to render to the government the things that are due the
WHAT DOES THE STATE DO WITH ITS TA MONEY ?
Every dollar collected by the State in taxation is supposed to be
used by the State for the benefit of the people. Of the $28,453,149
collected last year by the State in which total sum there is included
the income from the permanent school fund amounting to $2,458,
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Neff, Pat M. Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation, book, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5835/m1/21/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .