Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation Page: 30 of 61
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dealing. The extent to which such consolidations have grown, and
with it the value of privilege, is fairly reflected by financial statements
of twelve selected corporate enterprises operating in Texas, not including
the railways, whose gross receipts from Texas business for the fiscal
year ending September 30, 1922, aggregated $250,474,216. Those of
the railways for the year 1922 have not as yet been reported. For the
calendar year 1921 their gross receipts from Texas business totaled
$222,690,572, which, if maintained for the year 1922, would indicate
that these thirteen classified corporate enterprises collected within one
year gross receipts from Texas business amounting to $473,164,788.
When we consider that many other corporate enterprises, acting upon
like privileges, are engaged in business in Texas yet do not report
their gross receipts, included among these sulphur companies, refineries,
packers, wharf companies and terminal companies, we should
have no great difficulty in reaching the conclusion that while there
exists a need of equalizing valuations of property as between the counties,
the need is no less urgent that we equalize the tax burden as between
property and privilege, and that of the total wealth created by
the industry of the whole people, privilege partakes of a far greater
share than does property. The principal trouble in Texas is not that
of finding sources of wealth, for we have them upon every hand; it is
in finding those who have courage to say to all alike, "Thou shalt
render to Caesar the things that are Caesars."
TAX LAWS SHOULD BE REWRITTEN.
If there is any part of the Texas statutes that is rude and crude,
inefficient, unjust and unfair, it is that part which contains the tax
laws of this State. Let us remove our constitutional stumbling blocks,
rewrite the tax laws, fix a standard of valuation, make every dollar's
worth of property, and every privilege, pay its rightful tribute to the
State government. Then our tax burdens, equally borne, will be.light
on all and we will have money enough to build in this State a civilization
worthy of our rare, rich and romantic history. Texas will
then within a few years be made the best place in all the world in
which to live and prosper.
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/30/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .