Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Direct Taxes.

$1,484,000, and that the same be apportioned to to the judgment and discretion of the listers or the several States in the following manner:

assessors. To the State of Vermont

$28,000 Exemptions from the assessment on polls are To the State of New Hampshire

56,000

allowed in favor of settled ministers of the ChrisTo the State of Massachusetts

196,000

tian religion, the president and tutors of colleges, To the State of Rhode Island

28,000

constant schoolmasters, students of colleges, until To the State of Connecticut

98,000

three years after receiving their first academical To the State of New York

140,000 degrees; as, also, in favor of persons disabled by To the State of New Jersey

70,000

sickness or infirmity. The ratable estates of setTo the State of Pennsylvania

182,000 tled ministers, and the president of the college, To the State of Delaware

14,000 lying in the towns where they live, and not exTo the State of Maryland

112.000 ceeding five hundred pounds in value, are also exTo the State of Virginia

266,000 empted, together with all lands sequestered and To the State of Kentucky

28,000 improved for schools and other public, pious, and To the State of North Carolina 140,000 charitable uses. An exemption from taxation, for To the State of Tennessee

14,000

ten years, is, moreover, allowed for lands properly To the State of South Carolina

84,000

cleared and tilled for orchards, and planted with To the State of Georgia

28,000 apple trees, and containing not less than forty

trees upon an acre. Amounting to

1,484.000

Lists of the ratable estates of individuals are From which there being deducted for

collected in the following manner: At the annual abatements, erroneous assessments,

town meetings in March, the inhabitants of each and charges of collection, fifteen per

town elect a number of officers, styled listers, who cent., or

222,600 are sworn to a faithful discharge of their office.

In the month of May, annually, the inhabitants There will remain the estimated nett

are warned to exhibit, before the 10th day of July proceeds of the proposed tax, being - 1,261,400 following, lists or written accounts of the ratable

polls and estates of which they are respectively An account of the systems of taxation at pre- possessed, on the 20th day of June. To these lists, sent prevailing in the several States, and informa- as exhibited by individuals, the listers add such tion on various points connected with the subject sums as they judge reasonable, in cases where the under consideration, is next proposed.

law requires assessments to be imposed on profes

sions and occupations. OF VERMONT.

Lands are, in all cases, rated in the towns where The taxes imposed in this State, whether for the lands lie'; but cattle' on farms, not under the the use of the State, or of counties, towns, societies, management of a tenant, are rated in the towns or other subordinate communities, are levied by where the owners live. No warning by the listone rule, that is, in proportion to a general listers is required beyond the limits of a town. of ratable objects, composed of the following par- The sums total of the ratable property, in each ticulars :

town, are returned by the listers to the General Polls, of male persons from twenty-one to sixty Assembly in October, with certificates that they years of age, are rated at six pounds each. have been sworn to a faithful discharge of their

Lands, after being improved two years, either trust; in case of omission or neglect, the listers for pasture, ploughing, or mowing, or stocked become liable to a penalty, and the town, in rewith grass, and within enclosure, at ten shillings spect to which the omission happens, becomes subper acre.

ject to be assessed, at the discretion of the General Oxen, four years old and upwards, at three Assembly. pounds each.

The possession of ratable articles on the 20th of Other neat cattle, three years old and upwards, June is, by law, declared to be presumptive eviat two pounds.

dence of property, and, if not included in the list Neat cattle of two years old, at one pound ten of the possessor, he becomes liable to a two-fold shillings.

assessment; on proof being made to the listers, at Neat cattle of one year old, at fifteen shillings. any time before the 25th of September, that the

All horse kind, except stud horses of three years articles omitted to be returned were, on the 20th old and upwards, at four pounds.

of June, the property of some other person than Horse kind, of two years old, at two pounds. the possessor or occupant, relief may, however, be Horse kind, of one year old, at twenty shillings. obtained.

Stud horses of two years old and upwards, at The compensation allowed for the services of twenty pounds.

listers, arises from the taxes on two-fold assessMoney, on hand or due, or obligations for goods ments, one-half of which accrue to their benefit. or produce over and above all debts due by the in- When individuals are aggrieved by the decisdividual creditors, at twenty per centum of the ions of the listers, either in respect to two-fold asamount, to be exhibited on oath, if required; to sessments, or by assessments on the profits of cerwhich may be added

tain professions and occupations, an appeal is Assessments proportioned to the profits of all allowed to a justice of the peace and two selectlawyers, traders, and owners of mills, according, men of the town, who, after notifying two or more

Direct Taxes.

of the listers, may proceed to make a final de- upon an annual election by the people, yet, in recision.

spect to unpaid taxes, the powers of the collector The first constables are collectors of taxes, and continue until a final collection and seitement are chosen by the inhabitants of the respective can be effected; and, in case of the death of a coltowns, which are responsible for their conduct; lector, his powers and responsibility, while living, when a tax is granted by the State, a warrant is descend to his executors or administrators

. If, issued by the treasurer, directed to the collector, however, a collector remove out of the State, or declaring the rate or proportion of the tax, the die, and his estate is found to be insolvent the sum due by the town, and the time prescribed for people of the town may proceed to the choice payment into the treasury. It then becomes the of a new collector. duty of the selectmen to apportion the said tax All persons employed in the collection of tares among the inhabitants of the town, according to possess the usual power and authority of sheriis, their respective lists, and to deliver a statement and may command any assistance necessary to thereof to the collector, by which to regulate his the performance of their duty. demands upon individuals; a time and place is

OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. then appointed by the collector for. receiving the tax, which the inhabitants are bound to observe; The Constitution of this State directs, that a on failure of payment at the time and place ap- valuation of all estates shall be made, at least, pointed, the collector may afterwards distrain the once in five years, under regulations to be pregoods and chattels of delinquents for the amount scribed by the General Court or Legislature. of the tax, with an addition thereto of one-twelfth The last valuation was made by the selectmen of part for extra trouble and expenses. Where no the several towns, in 1793, and confirmed by law, goods or chattels can be found or are tendered, the in, February, 1794. In taking said valuation, the person of the delinquent may be committed to proportions of the different articles, of ratable proprison. If the delinquent abscond, and no goods perty were estimated in the following ratio: or chattels can be found, the lands of the delin- Pólls of male persons, from eighteen to seventy quent become liable, of which a sufficient quan- years of age, at eight shillings each. tity for the payment of the tax and the necessary Orchard land, accounting for an acre, a sufficharges, may be sold at public auction. Prior to cient quantity to produce, on an average of sevethe sale of lands, notice of the proposed sale must, ral years, ten barrels of cider or perry, at one however, be given for three weeks in the town in shilling and sixpence per acre. which the land lies, and in two adjoining towns; Arable land, accounting for an acre, a sufficient as, also, in one or more of the newspapers printed quantity to produce, on an average of several in the State. Lands sold for the payment of taxes years, twenty-five bushels of Indian corn, or may, however, be redeemed at any time within other grain equivalent, at one shilling per acre. one year after the sale, by the payment or tender Mowing land, accounting for an acre, a suffiof the sum advanced by the purchaser, with in- cient quantity to produce, on an average of seterest at the rate of twelve per centum per annum. veral years, one ton of English hay, or other hay

When a collector is delinquent in collecting and equivalent, at one shilling per acre. paying over a tax entrusted to his management, Pasture land, accounting for four acres, a suffit becomes the duty of the treasurer to issue a war- cient quantity to support, on an average of severant, directed to the sheriff of the county, com- ral years, one cow, at fivepence each acre. manding him to collect the sum unpaid, by dis- Unimproved lands, and all buildings, whether training the goods, chattels, and estate, of such owned by inhabitants or non-residents, at onecollector. In case a sheriff omits to execute the half of one per cent. of the real value. warrant of the treasurer against a delinquent col- Stud horses, two years old and upwards, at one lector the treasurer is empowered to issue a like pound ten shillings. warrant against the sheriff, directed to a consta- Other horse kind, four years old and upwards, ble of the town in which the sheriff lives; and if at three shillings. a constable, in such case, should omit to collect Oxen, four years old and upwards, at three the tax from the sheriff, he, in turn, becomes lia- shillings. ble, and the treasurer may commit the collection Cows, four years old and upwards, at two shit of the sum unpaid to any other person, at his dis- | lings. cretion.

Other neat cattle, three years old and upwards, When a collector of a tax becomes insolvent, at one shilling and sixpence. the treasurer may issue his warrant against the Other neat cattle, two years old, at one shilselectmen of the town, directed to the sheriff of ling. the county, who, in this case, become liable for Other neat cattle, one year old, at sixpence. the arrearages due by the insolvent collector. The All stock or property of tanners, curriers, blackselectmen may, however, indemnify and reim- smiths, or other tradesmen, employed in the busiburse themselves, by assessing a sufficient tax ness of trades, at one-half of one per centum. upon the town, for collecting which, the warrant

All stock in trade of merchants, shopkeepers, of any one justice of the peace is a sufficient au- or other traders, reckoning the same at the averthority.

age value thereof for a year, at one-half of one Though the office of collector is, by law, at- per centum. tached to that of first constable, which depends All money on hand, or at interest, more than

Direct Taxes.

[ocr errors]

the owner pays interest for, and all property in their warrants, and the time therein prescribed public funds, estimated at its real value, at three for the settlement of the taxes entrusted to them fourths of one per centum.

for collection.. Mills, wharves, and ferries, at one-twelfth part In cases where the selectmen neglect to assess of their yearly nett income, after deducting re- a tax pursuant to a warrant from the treasurer, pairs.

their persons and estates become liable to the The polls and ratable property returned from the payment of the tax, which may be taken and disdifferent towns, with the assessments upon such trained for the same. When the name of the coltowns as did not comply with the act prescribing lector is not returned to the treasurer, pursuant a valuation, amounted, in 1794, to forty-two thou- to warrant, the selectmen also become liable, sand and ninety-nine pounds six shillings and and are, moreover, precluded from any remedy fourpence, or one hundred and forty thousand against the town for any costs and expenses atthree hundred and thirty-one dollars and five tending the collection, exceeding the quotas mencents. In proportion as the lists of the several tioned in the treasury warrant. If the estates of contributed to this amount, their quotas were es- the selectmen are found to be insufficient, or tablished by law, to continue until a new valua- their persons cannot be taken and imprisoned, tion may be made. The quantities of the dif- the treasurer may issue his warrant against the ferent kinds of ratable property, of which the inhabitants of the town generally, who, in this list was composed, will be seen by reference to case, become, jointly and severally, responsible. an annexed document, A.

The collectors of taxes are required to give When a tax is granted by the State, the quotas fourteen days' notice of the sums assessed upon of the several towns are calculated according to individuals, before they proceed to collect the the rule above mentioned; warrants are then same by distress; and in no case is it lawful to issued by the Treasurer of the State, directed to take by distress the tools or implements necessary the selectmen, requiring them to assess the said to the trade or occupation of any person, nor his quotas upon the inhabitants. The assessments arms, or the necessary household furniture of a upon individuals are governed by the principles family. of the rule by which the quotas of towns are de- For want of goods or chattels whereon to make termined. The selectmen are, therefore, empow distress, the person of the individual indebted may ered to require, annually, inventories of the polls be taken and committed to prison. and ratable property of the inhabitants. The When no personal estate can be found whereon time for taking these inventories, is the first day to levy by distress, and the person of the delinof April in each year. Those who omit to exhibit quent cannot be taken, real estate may be taken inventories

, or refuse to verify the same on oath, and sold for the payment of taxes, under certain when required, may be doomed or assessed by the prescribed regulations, calculated to give publicity selectmen, as they judge equitable. In cases to the sale. On the sale of real estate, according where it is discovered that there has been a fraud- to law, the collectors may execute conveyances, ulent concealment of ratable property, by an in-defeasible within one year, by the payment or dividual, the selectmen are empowered to in- tender of the sum advanced, with interest and crease the assessment to four times the amount at costs. which the concealed property would otherwise The powers of collectors continue until the have been rated.

taxes committed to their management are finally The selectmen are empowered to abate taxes, adjusted. Their compensations are various, and and to correct erroneous assessments. Individuals depend upon agreements with the selectmen of who are aggrieved, may, within nine months af- the several towns; on a medium calculation, they ter notice of an assessment, apply by petition to are estimated from four to five per centum on the the court of sessions of the peace for the county, amount of the taxes. It is customary to require whose judgment is conclusive.

bonds, to secure the towns against their delinTo prevent trouble and expense from repeated quencies. collections during the same year, the selectmen The time commonly prescribed for collecting may include, in one tax bill, the taxes granted by and paying a tax into the treasury, is one year. the State, the county, and the town, with an ad- In what degree the requirements of law, in this dition of five per centum to cover defalcations respect, have been fulfilled, is not ascertained. It arising from abatements or other causes; the sur- is to be inferred, from the information received, plus of which, if any is found to remain, accrues that delays beyond the prescribed term frequently to the treasury of the town.

occur, and that, when heavy taxes have been imCollectors of taxes are either chosen by the in- posed, arrears have remained uncollected for sehabitants, or they may be appointed or employed veral years, which have been afterwards entirely by the selectmen, from whom they receive tax remitied. The principles of the system of taxabills, with warrants to collect the sims therein tion, now established, have been generally apexpressed. The selectmen are directed to cause proved by the people of the State. their proceedings, in assessing taxes, to be re- The existing debt of the State is inconsideracorded by the town clerks, and to make returns ble, and is likely to be entirely discharged in a to the treasurers of the State, county, and town, short time. The whole expense of supporting of the sums assessed to be paid to them respective-civil government, paid by the State, is estimated ly, with the names of the collectors, the dates of | at about twenty-eight thousand six hundred dol

Direct Tares.

lars per annum. The aggregate amount of coun- a custom, by which a proportion of their increase ty, town, and parochial taxes, is known to be is reserved to the owners; the number of enmore considerable, though not ascertained. closed acres of woodland; also of lands unin

proved, owned by individuals and by towns; of OF MASSACHUSETTS.

lands unimprovable, or used for roads, or covered The Constitution of this State provides, that, with water; distinguishing each by estimate. while the public charges of Government, or any In making up the returns above mentioned. part thereof, shall be assessed on polls and es-provision was made for exempting from valuatates, in the manner practised prior to the esta- tion the polls of the president, fellows, professors. blishment of the said Constitution, there shall be tutors, librarian, and students of Harvard College; a valuation of estates taken, once in ten years, of settled ministers, of grammar school-masters. and as much oftener as the General Court or Le- and masters of the several incorporated acadegislature shall direct.

mies, with their estates, under their own actual The valuation under which taxes are, at this occupation and improvement, and also all the estime, assessed, was taken in pursuance of an act tates belonging to Harvard College, and ihe said passed on the 22d of February, 1792.

academies. By this act, the assessors of the different towns, The object of this minute detail of the different districts, and plantations, (officers always exist- species of property possessed by the inhabitants, ing) were directed to take and lodge in the office was to obtain information of the sources of the of the Secretary of State, on or before the 10th revenue or income of the whole State, and thereday of October, 1792, true and perfect lists of all by to establish an equitable ratio of contribution male polls, including negroes and mulattues, six- for the several counties and towns. It was speteen years old and upwards, whether at home or cially declared in the act, that the enumeration of abroad; distinguishing the polls of persons from the articles of the produce of the lands should sixteen years to twenty-one years of age, from not be taken into consideration in forming the those of persons twenty-one years of age and up- valuation, for any other purpose than for ascerwards, and also distinguishing the polls of per- taining the relative value of lands in different sons exempted from taxation. Also, particularly districts. In collecting and making up the rementioning dwelling-houses, with shops within turns, the assessors were under oath faithfully to the same, or adjoining thereto, shops separate from execute their trust; and they had power to redwelling-houses, tan-houses, slaughter-houses, su- quire of individuals, a verification, on oath; of the gar-houses

, pot and pearlash works, ware-houses, lists of property by them respectively exhibited. wharves, grist mills, fulling mills, saw mills, iron In cases of neglect to exhibit written lists of proworks and furnaces, bake-houses, and all other perty subject to valuation, or of refusal to attest buildings and edifices of the value of five pounds the same on oath or affirmation, the assessors and upwards; the number of tons of vessels, and were authorized to doom or assess the individuals small craft of every kind, upwards of five tons so neglected or refusing, according to a conjectural burden, whether at home or abroad; the amount estimate of their property. of each person's whole stock in trade, including The result of the returns taken, according to all goods, wares, and merchandise, at home or the act before mentioned, is annexed, (B.) la abroad, paid for or not paid ; also, those in their determining the quotas of towns, all property, exhands by factorage; Government securities of all cept unimproved lands, was estimated at six per kinds, distinguishing those of the United States; centum of its supposed real value; and unimall moneys placed out at interest, exceeding the proved lands at two per centum of the real value. sums due on interest by the individual creditors; At these rates, the wealth of the whole State was moneys on hand, including moneys deposited found to be nine hundred and thirty-seven thouwith an agent, or in any bank ; stock owned by sand six hundred and ninety-eight pounds four stockholders in any bank; ounces of plate of all shillings and two-pence half-penny, lawful mokinds; horses and neat cattle, of three years old ney; upon which sum, in combination with an and upwards; and swine of six months old and assessment on polls, hereafter mentioned, the quoupwards.

tas of the several counties, towns, and plantations, In rendering lists of lands, the assessors were in a tax of one thousand pounds upon the State. directed to distinguish the improvements thereon were established, and by these quotas, taxes are by the following criteria: The number of acres now imposed. The number of taxable polls reof pasture land, with the number of cows turned, was one hundred and six thousand one which the grass of each entire farm would sup-hundred and sixty-seven; which were assessed port, together with the number of barrels of one half-penny each, or two ninth parts of a tas cider produced, on an average of several years, of one thousand pounds upon the State. upon each farm; the number of acres of tillage The proportions of taxes payable by counties land, with the number of bushels of grain or and towns, being thus settled by a rule which corn of all sorts usually produced; the number may continue for ten years, unless changed in of acres of salt marsh, with the tons of hay consequence of a new valuation, they are assessed usually produced; the number of acres of Eng- upon individuals, and collected under the followlish upland and fresh meadow, mowing land, ing regulations : with the tons of hay of each sort usually pro- In the month of March or April, annually, when duced; the number of cows, let out, according to other town officers are chosen, the inhabitants of

Direct Taxes.

[ocr errors]

the respective towns, severally, elect three, five, the selectmen or town clerk of the delinquent seven, or nine assessors

, who are sworn to a faith-town; if, however, within sixty days, the sheriff ful discharge of their duty. A person chosen to receive a certificate that the taxes required by the be an assessor, and refusing to take the oath, be- warrant have been assessed, he may return the comes liable to a fine of five pounds; which may, same unsatisfied, to the treasurer. however, be remitted by the court of the general The process pursued in executing the treasusessions of the peace, at their discretion.

rer's warrant to assessors is similar to that before If a town omits to choose assessors, or they re- described for taking a valuation; that is, a time is fuse to serve, the selectmen become assessors, of prescribed, by notification to the inhabitants, for course. If a town omits to choose either assessors exhibiting lists of their polls and ratable property; or selectmen, or if they omit to do their duty, such as omit a compliance, or as refuse to verify assessors may be appointed by the court of the their lists on oath, when required, are liable to be general sessions of the peace for the county ; doomed or assessed, at discretion. who, in addition to their other duties, may be Persons aggrieved by erroneous or excessive authorized to assess a fine upon the town, not assessments, may obtain relief by application to exceeding one hundred pounds, nor less than the court of general sessions of the peace for the thirty pounds, as may be determined by the county.

The compensation allowed to assessors It is a general rule to make a list for every tax chosen by the towns, is four shillings per diem, which is granted; but when county or town taxes while employed in service; and to assessors ap- are so small as to render a separate assessment inpointed by the court of general sessions, ten shil- convenient, they may be combined with other lings per diem, payable, in both cases, out of the taxes, and collected together. To cover defalcatown treasuries.

court.

tions arising from abatements, and for the purpose When a tax is granted by the State, the trea- of avoiding inconvenient fractional divisions, the surer issues his warrant, directed to the assessors, assessors may apportion, beyond the sums proposcommanding them to assess the proportion or ed to be raised, a surplus or addition of five per quota of the town; the sum to be assessed on centum; provided, that such addition does not exeach poll is always expressed in the treasurer's ceed forty pounds in the whole, for any town. warrant, and is, as nearly as may be, one half-When the assessors have completed an assesspenny for each thousand pounds of the tax laid ment, copies of their proceedings are lodged in upon the State. The tax on polls being uniform, the office of the clerk or register of the town. is assigned to each individual; a sufficient sum The collectors of taxes are chosen by the into secure a collection of the remainder of the habitants of towns, at their annual meetings, and town quota, is then apportioned upon estates. In are sworn to a faithful and diligent discharge of this apportionment the assessors are directed by their trust; if no collectors are chosen, the conthe treasurer's warrant, in which reference is had stables are collectors, of course; in towns where to the objects of taxation, and rules of estimating no constables are chosen, the taxes are collected the same, which governed in fixing the last valu- by the sheriff of the county or his deputies. ation. In making out the assessments upon

in- The towns agree with the collectors upon the dividuals, the assessors are required to distinguish sums which they are to receive for collecting the proportions assessed for polls, for real estates, taxes, and their compensations are paid by the and for personal estate and income; also the towns respectively ; these compensations vary number of acres of unimproved land for which a from three to five per centum on the sums coltax is assigned to a non-resident proprietor, and lected; when the collections are made by the shethe value at which the same is estimated ; also riffs or their deputies, (in consequence of omisthe tax assessed to any person upon property held sions to choose collectors or constables,) they are in trust for others. The warrant moreover di- allowed to take a commission of five per centum rects, that, when the list is completed and signed of such persons as voluntarily pay the sums asby a majority of assessors, it shall be delivered to sessed upon them within thirty days after a pubthe collector of the town, with a warrant and di- lic and general notification and demand; those rection for collecting the sums therein expressed, individuals who neglect to pay their proportions and paying the quota of the town over to the for a longer term, become liable to the charges intreasurer, by a certain day. It also prescribes a cident to a levy and collection by distress. day for rendering a return to the treasurer of the The powers of collectors are derived from warname of the collector.

rants granted by the assessors or selectmen; these If, for any reason, there be no assessors to exe- warrants accompany the lists of assessments upon cute the treasurer's warrant before mentioned, or individuals, and specify the quota payable by a if they neglect to perform the duties enjoined' on town, the time when it is to be settled with the them for the space of five months, it becomes the treasurer, and the duties of the collectors. duty of the treasurer to issue a warrant, directed Unless there is reason to suspect that a person to the sheriff of the county, commanding him to from whom a tax is due is about to abscond, no collect the amount of the tax by distress and sale collection by distress can be made until twelve of the estates, real and personal, of any of the in- days after a demand; after twelve days, goods habitants of the delinquent town. On receiving and chattels sufficient to satisfy the tax may be this warrant, it becomes the duty of the sheriff taken. The goods and chattels so taken must, forth with to transmit an attested copy thereof to l however, be kept four days, at the risk and charge

« ForrigeFortsett »