Message of Governor James S. Hogg to the twenty-fourth legislature of Texas Page: 16 of 48
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MESSAGE OF GOVERNOR HOGG.
These taxes now due are being paid rapidly into the Treasury. It will
be seen, therefore, that this amount due will extinguish the registered
warrants and leave a balance of $692,303.90 for future expenses. This
sum will be inadequate for the next appropriation year. Unless some
extraordinary measures be taken a large deficiency must occur by next
suiumer or fall.
Foreseeing this result, I admonished the last Legislature, by message,
to resort to methods which I deemed amply sufficient to avoid it. Failing
to get the relief asked for, I was compelled to veto items in the appropriations
bill that amounted to over $350,000, intended mostly for
improvements of the public educational and charitable institutions.
These improvements are yet demanded, but cannot be made from the
public revenue in its present condition.
After all, the question is: How will the State re-supply the treasury
so as to settle the deficiency, to defray current expenses, and to improve
the several State institutions as may be demanded by public interests ?
That your honorable bodies may have sufficient information on which to
base an intelligent idea of the expenses of the government in all its details,
I submit herewith in tabulated form the financial operation of each
and every department and institution for and during the four years
ended November 1, 1894. Careful study of these tables will demonstrate
the economy practiced throughout the administration, except in
the costs of felony prosecutions. A discussion of this subject appears
under a suitable head further on. So, turning to the question just
asked, which the Legislature must settle, I respectfully beg to offer the
To meet the deficiency the Legislature must do one, and perhaps all,
of three things in the order named: First, to enforce the collection of
delinquent taxes; second, to increase the property valuations; and third,
to raise the tax rate.
Should suitable measures be adopted to enforce the collection of delinquent
taxes, now amounting to about three million dollars, and to compel
the fair rendition of all taxable property to the the assessors on the
lines hereinafter suggested, the necessity for increasing the tax rate may
be temporarily avoided. Failing to do this at the present session, the
tax rate must be raised immediately, and with this a prolonged deficiency
cannot be escaped. The tax rate now is very low. Its increase cannot
be well avoided a great while. Temporary expedients may be devised
to delay the inevitable, but it must come;-the tax rate must be raised I
The main difficulty is in providing a method by which the money may be
had to resupply the treasury for the present and current purposes. The
Constitution provides that no debt shall be created by or on behalf of
the State to supply deficiencies in the revenue to exceed the aggregate at
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Hogg, J.S. (James S.). Message of Governor James S. Hogg to the twenty-fourth legislature of Texas, book, 1895; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5862/m1/16/: accessed February 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .