Message of Gov. J. S. Hogg to the twenty-third Legislature of Texas. Page: 22 of 28
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MESSAGE OF THE GOVERNOR.
government in aid of private enterprises, as class favors repugnant to democratic
principles and unwarranted by a correct construction of the constitutional
powers of congress.
Wllile the State legislature does not and cannot claim jurisdiction over
either of these questions, it nevertheless possesses the power to pass suitable
resolutions voicing the sentiment of the Texas people instructing their United
States senators and requesting their representatives in congress to carry out
the wishes of the people in so far as their authority or powers may go in these
several particulars. In addition to this your superior wisdom may appropriately
lead to the adoption of a resolution inviting a conference of delegates
from all the States friendly to these reforms for the public good, at such time
and place that may be deemed proper and expedient.
It is a fundamental principle of good government that taxation shall be
equal and uniform, without discrimination in favor of or against any individual
or class. To equalize taxes in this State, property values must be
levelled up. Invidious discrimination in the valuation of property produces
Without entering into a full discussion of this important question affecting
the public welfare, the following suggestions are respectfully made that may
be improved upon by the wisdom of your honorable bodies:1.
Fix the minimum value of lands, below which the assessor shall not
accept it for taxation.
2. Prohibit county assessors from accepting urban property at less than
the value rendered to the city assessor for municipal purposes
3. Direct that the assessor shall not accept any property at less than the
amount for which it stands mortgaged.
4. Tax insurance companies on the amount of the business done annually.
5. Increase the permit tax on all foreign corporations doing business in
the State. Let it be made an anual tax on the franchise.
6. Impose an annual occupation tax upon all persons who sell or offer for
sale pistols, bowie knives, dirks and daggers.
7. Place a tax upon all persons engaged in the manufacture or sale of all
classes of cigarettes and the material used therefor.
8. Levy a tax on every telephone used, to be paid annually by the company
owing or controlling them.
9. Impose an occupation tax on each sleeping, palace or dining-room car
company, and on all companies leasing or renting cars to railway companies
for any purposes whatever; or better still, adopt the Pennsylvania law
on this subject. Make the right of the companies to do business in this
State depend on payment of the tax.
10. Tax rectifiers and brewers.
It is confidently believed that by a judicious application of these measures,
property values may be levelled up; taxes more nearly equalized, and many
who are now escaping taxation may be forced to pay their just dues to the
government, and as a consequence the ad valorem tax of the State, though now
very low, can remain without any necessity of increase.
The codes of criminal law and criminal procedure in the main are strong,
simple and efficacious. With a few amendments to the law of homicide and
Here’s what’s next.
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Hogg, J.S. (James S.). Message of Gov. J. S. Hogg to the twenty-third Legislature of Texas., book, January 12, 1893; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5861/m1/22/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .