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REPORT OF COMMITTEE
TAX ATION AND FINAN (; E.
We, your. Committee on Taxation and Finance, to whom was referred the subject of Taxation and Finance, and who were instructed to report a constitutional provision respecting the same, beg leave to submit the following report: - ARTICLE I. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State, and all property, both real and personal, shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as prescribed by law. No one species of property, from which a tax may be collected, shall be taxed higher than any other species of property of equal value. ARTICLE II.
No tax shall be levied upon any citizen of this State for taking or catching any of the natural productions of the waters thereof; nor shall any tonnage tax be imposed on vessels engaged in transporting said natural productions. But Oysters removed from their natural bed and planted, may be taxed as a portion of the personal property of the owner.
The General Assembly may levy a tax on incomes in excess of $1,000 per annum, and upon the following licenses, viz.: the sale of ardent spirits, lottery tickets and lottery policies, theatrical and circus companies, menageries, jugglers, itinerant peddlers, and all other shows and exhibitions for which an entrance fee is required, commission merchants, persons selling by sample, or all other business which cannot be reached by the ad valorem system.
The capital invested in all business operations shall be assessed and taxed as other property. ARTICLE IV. The General Assembly may levy a poll tax, not exceeding five hundred dollars assessment, on each male citizen who has attained the age of twentyone years, which shall be applied exclusively in aid of the public school fund.
The General Assembly shall provide for a re-assessment of the real estate of this State in the year 1869, or as soon thereafter as practicable, and on every tenth year thereafter ; provided, in making such assessment, no land shall be valued at less than one dollar per acre.
No debt shall be contracted by this State except to meet casual deficits in the revenue to redeem a previous liability of the State, to suppress insurrection, repel invasion, or defend the State in time of war.
The General Assembly shall provide, by law, a sinking fund to be applied solely to the payment and extinguishment of the principal of the State debt, which sinking fund shall be continued until the extinguishment of such State debt; and every law hereafter enacted by the General Assembly, creating a debt or authorizing a loan, shall provide a sinking fund for the payment of the Sä, Esle.
The unfunded debt shall not be funded or redeemed at a value exceeding that established by law at the time said debt was contracted, nor shall any discrimination hereafter be made in paying the interest on State bonds, which shall give a higher actual value to bonds held in foreign countries, over the same class of bonds held in this country.
No money shall be paid out of the State Treasury except in pursuance of appropriations made by law. ARTICLE X. The credit of the State shall not be granted to, or in aid of, any person, association or corporation. ARTICLE XI. No scrip, certificate or other evidence of State indebtedness shall be issued except for the redemption of stock previously issued, or for such debts as are expressly authorized in this eonstitution. .
- ART's (of E XII. The State shall not subscribe to, or become interested in, the stock of any Company, association or corporation. ARTICLE XIII. The State shall not be a party to, or become interested in, any work of intermal improvement, nor engage in carrying on any such work, otherwise than in the expenditure of grants to the State of land, or other property. ARTICLE XIV. Every law which imposes, continues, or revives a tax, shall distinctly state the tax, and the object to which it is to be applied, and it shall not be sufficient to refer to any other law, to fix such tax or object. ARTICLE XV. The State shall not assume any indebtedness of a county, borough or city, nor
lend its credit to the same.
A full account of the State indebtedness, and an accurate statement of receipts and expenditures of the public money, shall be attached to and published with its laws, passed at every regular session of the General Assembly.
T. E. E O TH, T
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE PREAMBLE, BILL OF RIGHTS
DIVISION OF THE POWERs OF GOVERNMENT,
The committee to whom were referred the Preamble, Bill of Rights and Division of the Powers of Government, have had the subjects to them referred under consideration, and have, in performance of the duties devolved upon them, agreed to recommend to the Convention the adoption of the following Preamble, Bill of Rights, and Articles one and two of the Constitution :
A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free Convention, which rights do pertain to them and their posterity as the basis and foundation of government.
I. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
II. That this State shall ever remain a member of the United States of America, and that the people thereof are part of the American nation, and that all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve said |Union or to sever said nation, are unauthorized, and ought to be resisted with the whole power of the State.
III. That the Constitution of the United States and the laws of Congress passed in pursuance thereof, constitute the supreme law of the land, to which paramount allegiance and obedience are due from every citizen, anything in the constitution, ordinances or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
IV. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.
V. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public Weal. - .
VI. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public Se]”vices; which, not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge to be hereditary.
VII. That the legislative, executive and judicial powers should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain and regular elections, in which all, or any part of the former members, to be again eligible or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.
VIII. That all elections ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good.
IX. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
X. That, in all capital or criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.
XI. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
XII. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to Seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted. .
XIII. That, in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held Sacred.
XIV. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments, and any citizen may speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
XV. That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty, and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
XVI. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of, the government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.
XVII. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
NVIII. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other.
|XIX. That neither slavery nor involuntary Servitude, except as lawful im– prisonment may constitute such, shall exist within this State.
XX. The rights enumerated in this Bill of Rights shall not be construed to limit other rights of the people not therein expressed.
AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY MIR. H.A.W.XHURST AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR ARTICLE VIII.
That all elections ought to be free ; and that all men (not disqualified by crime, insanity or idiocy) have the inherent right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives, so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have in like manner assented, for the public good.