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The amount of assessment in fourteen counties for 1842, has not yet bcen ascertained at this office-probable amount inserted with an asterisk (*) is $34,610 82.
In 1837 the State received $477,919 14 of surplus revenue from the General Government. One law directed that part of this sum should be applied to pay off the debt due the school fund, which was at that time $335,592 32, another law directed it to be added to the school fund, and a third directed it to be paid to the banks upon the stock taken by the State in those institutions. In the midst of these conflicting directions, the Fund Commissioner paid $335,600 to the banks on account of stock, and the Auditor added $335,592 32, not in money, but in credit to the school fund; upon this credit the State is still paying interest. The whole amount actually borrowed of the school, college and seminary funds at different times is $472,493 07. Upon this, I conceive the State bound, under all circumstances, to pay interest faithfully; but it will be for the Legislature to determine, whether the people shall be called upon for taxes to pay interest on surplus revenue as school fund, which has been invested in Bank stock.
The following statement, shows the probable amount of funds necessary to
defray the ordinary expenses of the Government, for the years commencing 1st December, 1842, and ending 1st December, 1844.
For what particular branch of expenditure.
$10,000 00 3,000 00
Conveying convicts to the Penitentiary
been paid into State Treasury, and to be paid over to
900 00 5,000 00 5,000 00 56,729 00 12,000 00
200 00 1,000 00 50,000 00 5,000 00 2,500 00
1,300 00 27,000 00 4,000 00 3,000 00 2,000 00 2,000 00 1,400 00 5,600 00
These reductions it will be seen, are not only practicable but required by the inability of the people and the wretched condition of the currency. The salaries of officers cannot be considered exorbitant now, but owing to the depreciation of State Bank paper, they have been compelled to accept less for some time past, and the foregoing amounts will afford then something like remuneration for their services. With an abundant treasury it might be politic perhaps to encourage by bounties the growth of silk, the killing of wolves &c., but in the present embarrassed condition of the finances, such expenses can be dispensed with without af. fecting the general prosperity. From the best information I have been able to collect on the subject, the p:iblic printing and binding will admit of some reduction. The laws of the session like the journals, might be bound in boards. Indeed some of the old wealthy.states,arc more economical than we are in this respect, as it is only their revised laws which are bound in boards. Some reduction might also be effected in the expense of collecting the revenue. Printers instead of being paid as now by the lot or tract, might be paid by the thousand ems. This would reduce the expense of advertising delinquent lands about one half. The pay of assessors, col. lectors and clerks may also admit of some reduction. It is not absolutely necessary for collectors to traverse their respective counties to collect taxes. A public notice at the county seat of each county or in each justice's district of the time and place of payment, would most likely be sufficient. The collection of taxes in the several counties through the joint agency of sheriffs and collectors, produces uravoidable complication in the accounts of these officers. All this could be prevented by giving the entire collection of the revenue to one class of officers. It would constitute an immense saving of time, trouble and expense, if delinquent lands could be sold without the intervention of a court: the rendition of judgment against delinquent lands is in its practical operation à mere cercmony, affording little or no protection to the rights of the citizens, and if only introduced to obviate the difficulty that might arise, from a fanciful construction of the constitution, miglit be safely abolished. The extraordinary loss which the State sustains by the annual sale of delinquent town lots, the most of them entirely valueless for any purpose except to swell expenses, calls for immediate legislative correction. The amount of tax levied in this State for county purposes appears very exorbitant. In 18 10 it amounted in all to $202,860, while the State tax only amounted to $116,466. In 1841 it amounted to $260,337, while the State tax for the same year amounted to $210,445, thus showing that more is annually levied to maintain these local administrations than the administration of the State Government. It will be for the Legislature to determine whether a further limitation upon the county commissioners courts in this matter is not called for.
The proclamation prohibiting the reception of State Bank paper took effect from the 12th day of September last. Previous to that day a part of the revenue of 1812 had been collected and paid into the treasury, amount. ing in all to $11,179 67. This leaves of the revenuc of 1842 which has not yet reached the treasury $182,800. By a reduction of the taxes, those who have already paid, and those who have yet to pay, the taxes of the current year, could be placed on a footing of equality. A reduction of