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not deemed proper for this department to be constantly notifying any bank of such repeated violations of its charter, and as the legislature have in the charter of that bank reserved the power to repeal it at any time by a vote of two-thirds of each house, it was thought more proper to submit to the legislature the propriety of repealing the charter of an institution, whose officers live in such constant neglect of a plain and simple provision of the very act giving them a corporate existence. The fact that they so grossly neglect and overlook such a simple requirement of law, and one imposed too as a condition of their corporate existence, certainly affords no very strong presumption that they observe any other provision of their charter, or of existing laws, whenever these may conflict with any real or supposed pecuniary or other interest of the corporation.
The propriety of repealing the charter of the above institution, and at the same time of enforcing in some way the payment of the specific tax due from any other banking institution in existence in the state, is respectfully submitted for the consideration of the legislature,
State Tax Land: In the accompanying table inarked (A,) is given an abstract of the sales of State Tax Lands, at the annual tax sales in October. The total amount due on said lands, as advertised under the law of last winter, it will be seen, was $20,638 81 ; the amount withheld, being mostly on account of lands being redeemed prior to the sale, was $1,066 56, and the amount sold, exclusive of the amount bid above the minimum prices, was $8,320 61, leaving unsold at the minimum price established by law, lands amounting to $11,251 64, or more than one half in amount of the above lands as advertised. The great er portion of the unsold lands, however, consists of village property and supposed refuse lands, of which the former was laid out, and the latter purchased during the speculating mania of 1836 and '37.
Although most of these unsold state tax lands, so far as they have been sold for taxes of 1841, '42 and '43, have no doubt been bid off to the state for those years, as well as for 1840 and previous years, yet, as some of them may have been bid off by individuals for one or more of those latter years, and if left unredeemed by the state, her title on account of being bid off to her for taxes of preceding yeart,
would be cut off, it must be lest for the legislature to determine wheth. er 10 authorize or require the Auditor General to redeem all such lands so bid off to individuals for taxes subsequent to 1840, or to leave it discretionary with him or some other state officer to redeem such only of them as would probably, at some future sale, b:ing the rnini. mum price for which they were advertised last fall, together with the additional price to be added for their redemption from sales for taxes of subsequent years. Under the act of last winter, providing for the sale or redemption of these lands, the unsold state tax lands are still subject to redemption, bui it may be worthy of consideration, whether it would not be advisable to provide that any person night at any time, before they are again offered at public sale, (if any provision shall be made for so re-otoring them,) come in and pay the miniinum price for which they were offered lust fail, with additional interest since to the time of payment, and become thereby entitled to a deed of the lands, conveying to him the title of the state, with the same effect as though he had purchased at the sales in October last.
The state tax lands, lying in towns 6, 7, 8 and 9 N, R 8 E, having been returned originally from Lapeer county, were allowed, by an oversight in the office, tɔ be advertised and offered for sale in that county, instead of Genessce county, where the lands now belong. Some provision will, therefore, have to be made to authorize the persons thon purchasing to obtain deeds, as if sold in Genesee county, or for their being again off:red ai some future sale in that county.
In October, 1817, under existing laws, there will be offered for sale as state tax lands, all the lands bid of by the state for taxes at the October sales in 1844 and 1545, which shall remain unredeemed or not otherwise discharged. The minimum price will be the amount for which each description was bid in by the state for taxes of 1841, '42 and 43, or any prerions years, at the sales in 1814 and 1845, with interest up to the time of being off:rod for sale. Ii'it is intende ed, thic efore, in the approaching revision of the laws, as it no doubt should be, as far as can be forseen and provided for, to obviate the necessity of any additions or alterations in our tax lawrs hereafter, then it would be proper, perhaps, in that revision, to determine by law, whether in the cyent of one or two of the years' taxes, for which these lands may be sold in October, 1847, proving to have been paid or otherwise illegally or improperly returned, the deed for the des
cription shall be cancelled, or whether it shall be deemed good, so long as one or more of the ceveral years' taxes for which it was ad. vertised and sold, shall appear to have been a legal lien upon
the land. And in case a deed shall issue, or remain good, notwithstanding the failure of one or two of the three years' taxes for which the aforesaid lands will be offered in 1847, then it would be proper also for the legislature tu direct whether the amount added on account of any year's tax which may be proved illegal, shall be refunded to the pur. chaser; or whether so long as the deed is held good, the purchaser shall be considered as having offered the amount of his bid for a deed or the land, whilst any one or more years's taxes for which it was offered, should appear to be good. These questions should, at all events, be settled before the sales of state tax lands in 1847; but there will be no necessity under our present tax laws, of extending any such provisions in reference to sales of state tax lands after that year, because, as at present provided by law, the sales of state tax lands in 1848, will be those bid off to the state at the October sales in 1846, for taxes of 1844;yand in 1819, those bid off in October, 1847, for taxes of 1845, and so on thereafter for only one year's tax at a time.
Amendments to the Tat Laws, The only material alteration or addition to our existing tax laws, except those above alluded to, to which I would wish to call the attention of the legislature, would be so to ainend the 531 section of the act to provide for the assessment and collection of taxes, ap proved March 8, 1813, as to provide, in lieu of the county clerks transmitting the duplicate receipts of the soveral county treasurers once a month to this office, that the county treasurers should, al the closo of each month, make up an abstract of their receipts for the month, that the same should be compared by the county clerks of the respec. tive counties, with the duplicate receipts in their offices, and that if they find the abstract to correspond with them in the descriptions, amounts of tax, &c., that they should so certify at the foot of the ab stract, and forward the same to this offee. The advantage of this, besides the saving of postage on the transinission of the duplicates, would be, that it would lead to a monthly comparison of the duplicate receipts in the clerks' offices with the books of the several county treasurers, that all danger or possibility of a duplicate being lost in this
office, or in its transmission, would be thereby avoided, and that when such abstracts were received here, they would be known to contain the entire receipts for the month from each county, and would save considerable clerk labor here in preparing similar abstracts from the duplicate receipts. It would add but little, if any thing, to the time at present occupied by the several county treasurers, and would effect a great saving of time and labor in this office, and tend in a great measure to do away with much correspondence now required between this office and the several county treasurers, in regard to mistakes or mis-descriptions in the duplicate receipts forwarded here.
The attention of this office has sometimes been directed to the fact, that under our present tax law, the sheriff, or deputy sheriff, when called upon to collect the taxes in consequence of the default in a township treasurer to give bonds, is allowed five per cent. instead of the four per cent. added in the assessment roll for collection expenses, and also to the fact that land purchased from a previous white owner and conveyed to an Indian, becomes, under our present laws, exempt from taxation, when the legislature in exempting the "estates of Indians," intended probøbly to have it apply only to reserves, &c., never sold or conveyed by them to the general government, and not to lands sold by the United States to individual purchasers, whether Indians were the first purchasers from the government or not. But whether
any evil has arisen under one or both of these provisions, requiring legislative interposition, the legislature will be better able to judge than this department can from any data in its possession.
Receipts and Expenditures for 1845. As will be seen by reference to statemert marked (G,) the receipts to the credit of the general fund, exclusive of transfers from other funds, amount to $131,695 63. The cause of the receipts to this fund apparently exceeding so much the amount of the annual state tax, which constitutes its principal source of revenue, arises from the fact that the counties for some years past have returned here delinquent taxes equal to about twice the amount of the whole state tax.
The balance over and above the amount of the state tax, when collected here, though nominally passed to the credit of the general fund, forms no part of its available means for state expenses, being only
collected for the use of the counties returning a surplus of delinquent taxes beyond their quota of state tax.
The expenses of sales, the refunding of taxes twice assessed, &c., constitute other items arising from the same source, which cause an apparent excess in the receipts and expenditures of the general sund. Deducting the apparent excess arising from the above sources, the amount of the receipts last year, on account of state tax, redemption of lands bid off to state, sale of state tax lands, office charges, &c., ap. plicable to the payment of the current expenses of the state government, and of outstanding indebtedness of the general fund, would be about $112,000. The expenditures for the support of the state gov. ernment, including the expenses of the state prison, and geological survey, as will be seen from statement (,) amounted during the same period, to about $91,000, and $22,341 were applied in payment of outstanding tax stock and tax bonds.
It has been usual in the annual reports from this department, to submit an estimate of the supposed receipts and expenditures of the gen. eral fund for the ensuing fiscal year. But so long as the receipts depend almost entirely on the payments of delinquent taxes and rea demption of lands sold to the state for taxes, which may be paid sooner or later, according to the ability or opportunities of the several thousand owners of the lands, it is impossible to estimale before hand, with any degree of accuracy, the amount of receipts that may be re. alized in any one year. And so long, also, as the length of the sessions of the legislature have no limit fixed by the constitution, and the amount of the appropriattons that may be asked for or made by the legislature, is also indefinite, any estimate of expenditures for the current year, prior to the close of the session of ihe legislature, must be very vague; and I have therefore been unable to make out any estimate of the kind, which I think would be of any service to the legislature. The annual expenditures for salaries of the judiciary, and other stale officers, whose salaries are fixed by law, including posi. ages and stationery for offices, incidental expenses of courts, printing reports, &c., have been for some years past and might be estimated at $24,000 to $25,000 ; for interest on general fund and penitentiary stock, there is due annually $9,600, and including interest on Toutstanding general fund warrants, this may be estimated at $10,000; and there will be due next year, for interest on the principal due the