Message of Gov. J. S. Hogg to the twenty-third Legislature of Texas. Page: 9 of 28
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MESSAGE OF THE GOVERNOR.
debtedness of the voting population within many of the counties is indeed
excessive. While the State government for all its purposes levies upon the
citizen only 27 cents on each hundred dollars valuation of property each year,
there is no county whose tax is so low, while many of them collect from
seventy-five cents to over one dollar annually on the one hundred dollars
worth of property. This condition as to counties, though bad, stands in
favorable light compared with that of many of the towns and cities. The
per capita indebtedness on the adult male population of some of the municipalities
amounts to over $400. while many of them in apparently prosperous
condition, have a bonded indebtedness of from S50 to $300 per capita of voting
population within their several limits. These statements are made simply
to draw the minds of your honorable bodies to the public necessity of calling
a halt on this line by adopting some measure that will at least reduce the spirit
of extravagance now so rife in the land to the minimum. This should be
done to protect the people from oppressive taxation. and to shield the rising
generation as well as posterity from unjust burdens, whose chief element
must be the stamp of shame placed on them by the reckless extravagance
of their avaricious ancestors.
The heritage of posterity in this State should be at least a government clear
of burdens and complications that preservation of the government itself -has
not made necessary. In addition to this consideration, the people at large are
entitled to protection from the damage and humiliation that must result to
them from the repudiation of any class or amount of public security bearing
the name of their State, by any county or municipality. Public securities can
not be legitimately executed except for public purposes. When those purposes
overstep the necessities of the times, the element of extravagance enters,
and repudiation often follows as a result. It should be distinctly understood,
and so determined through a well-framed law, that whenever a town, city or
county, executes a bond of any nature whatsoever, every foot of taxable property
within the jurisdiction shall be solemnly pledged to its certain and full
payment. There should not be left the slightest excuse for their taint or defeat.
To comply with the demand on this subject the following suggestions
are respectfully made to your honorable bodies:1.
Repeal the law of April 4, 1889, permitting the funding of floating indebtedness.
It is one door through which extravagance enters without any
just reason whatever.
2. Provide that any county or municipal government issuing or having
bonds for sale shall first submit them to the Attorney General of the
State who shall carefully inspect and examine the same in connection with the
law under which they were issued, and shall diligently inquire into the facts
and circumstances as far as may he necessary to determine the validity thereof;
and that, upon being satisfied that such bonds were issued in conformity
with law, and that they are valid and binding obligations upon the county,
city or town by which they purport or appear to have been executed, he shall
thereupon so officially certify.
3. That said bonds shall be registered by the Comptroller in a book to be
kept for that purpose, and the certificate of the Attorney General to their validity
shall be preserved of record there for use in the event of litigation.
4. That these bonds, after receiving the certificate of the Attorney General,
and having been registered in the Comptroller's office, shall thereafter be held
in every action, suit or proceeding in which their validity is or may be called
in question, to be valid and binding obligations upon the particular county,
city or town issuing the same; and that in every action brougnt to enforce
their collection, the certificate of the Attorney General, or duly certified copy
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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/m1/9/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .