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ital, and ask for an act of incorporation, granting them powers which they could not have in the capacity of an ordinary business partnership. A more particular description of some of these corporations will be given in another chapter. (See Banks and Insurance Companies.]
Assessment and Collection of Taxes. 1. It appears from the foregoing chapters, that to transact the business of the state, requires the employment of a great number of persons; and consequently, that the amount of money paid out every year to all these officers, must also be very great. And as no government can be maintained without expense, and as every person is in some way benefited by the government, it is the duty of all who are able, to pay something towards its support.
2. Every government must therefore have the power to provide the means of defraying its expenses. The way in which this is done, is chiefly by taxation; and the money which the citizens are required to pay, is called a tax. Taxes are usually assessed and levied upon the property of the citizens.
3. All lands and all personal estate are liable to taxation in this state, except public property; buildings erected for colleges, academies, and common schools; meeting-houses, with two acres of land ; burial grounds; and the property of literary and charitable institutions. * Lands, real property, and real estate, have the same meaning, and include land, with all buildings and other articles erected or growing thereon. Personal estate, or personal property, includes all household furniture, money, goods, chattels, and debts due from solvent creditors.
4. As taxes are laid upon property, and as each person
2. How is money obtained to pay public expenses ? What is a tax ? 3. What property is exempt from taxation? What is roal, and what personal estate ?
is to pay in proportion to the value of his property, the first thing to be ascertained is, what amount of property is owned by each person. The county commissioners of each county, every
divide the county into districts, not less than two, nor more than four, (Hamilton into at least six, and not exceeding twelve,) and appoint for each a district assessor, who, in such year, takes a list of the names of the owners, with a description and the value of each parcel of real property in every township in the district, and returns the same to the county auditor.
5. A list of the personal property in each township is taken every year by the township assessor, who makes returns of the names of the owners, and the real value of the property, to the county auditor. He also corrects the val. uation and description of the real property, where new buildings have been erected and old ones destroyed. The returns of all the assessors, made to the county auditor, show the amount of the valuation of all the property in the county; and returns from all the county auditors to the state auditor, show the valuation of all the property of the state. It will next be shown how the taxes are assessed.
6. We have already seen that a large amount of money is every year required to defray the ordinary expenses of the government. Provision must also be made for paying the interest on the state debt, and such portions of the principal as become due from time to time. Now the legisla. ture, knowing what amount must be raised for state pur. poses, and what is the aggregate valuation of the property in the state, ascertains how much per centum, or how, inuch on every dollar of the valuation, is necessary to be levied for state purposes, and determines the same from time. , to time by law.
7. So also the county commissioners, knowing the amount to be raised for county purposes, determine annually how much per centum is to be levied to defray the coun
4. How, and how often, are district assessors appointed? What are their duties? 5. What does the township assessor do? 6. For what purposes besides ordinary expenses
money wanted ?
Who. determines the amount to be raised for state purposes ? 7. Who determine
ty expenses, and for road purposes. And the trustees of wwwnships determine how much per cent. is to be levied on the valuation in their respective townships, for township purposes, and for the support of the poor in the town. ships.
8. The county auditor, having been instructed by the state auditor how much per cent. to levy for state purposes ; by the county commissioners, how much for the county ex. .penses; and by the trustees of townships, how much for the township expenses, he makes out the tax list for the county ; that is, he estimates the amount of tax which each person
has to pay
9. The way of making out a tax list, or of apportioning the taxes, is presumed to be nearly as follows: Suppose the valuation of the taxable property of the state to be $200,000,000, and $600,000 to be wanted for state purposes. Three-tenths per cent., or three mills on every dol. lar of the whole valuation, will produce this sum. And suppose that two mills on the dollar of all the taxable property in the county, must be levied to defray the county ex. penses; and three mills on every dollar's value of property of the township, for township expenses; in all, eight mills on the dollar: the county auditor estimates every person's tax at this rate. Hence a man whose property is valued at $1000, is assessed $3; if valued at $750, his tax would be $6.
10. The taxes are collected by the county treasurer, and such persons as he may appoint to assist him. [For the manner of paying out moneys, and his compensation, see County TREASURER.]
the same for county and township purposes ? 8. Who makes out the tax lists? 9. Can you explain how this is done, by supposing a case ? 10. By whom are the taxes collected ?
Of the Funds, Revenue, and other Property of the State, and
the general management of them.-Canal Fund, and Canals.
1. The grand object of a good government is to promote the happiness and welfare of its citizens. To do this it must secure to them the free enjoyment of their rights, as has been already observed. But the whole duty of the gov. ernment is not done when it protects men in the enjoy.. ment of life, and the fruits of their labor. It ought to, go further, and make provision for improving the condi.. tion of the people, especially the less favored portions of them, that all may be rendered in the highest possible degree prosperous and happy. And as all must contribute to the support of the government from what they acquite by their labor, the government ought to do all it can to render the labor of all equally profitable.
2. But the people in different parts of a large state havenot equal advantages. The people who reside near navi. gable waters and good roads, are better rewarded for their labor than those who reside at a greater distance from them. A man's farm is not very valuable when it costs him half as much to transport his grain and other products to market: as he sells them for.
3. Hence we see the necessity of roads, canals, and other means of facilitating and cheapening transportation. But as individuals are not able to construct such expensive works, it becomes the duty of the government to provide for their construction. This is done in whole or in part by taxing the property of the people of the state. And although a. portion of them do not need these improvements, it is but just that they should contribute to the common good. Sometimes funds are created, and set apart for this purpose, the
1. What is here said of the duty of the government to its citizens ? 2. What respecting the disadvantages of the people in certain parts of the state ? 3. What is the benefit of canals, &c.? By what means aro
income of which pays a part of the cost of such improve. ments.
4. A fund, in general, is a sum of money used for carry. ing on business of any kind. The money, or capital stock, which a merchant employs in trade, is a fund. So the money that is raised to pay the officers of the government, and to carry on the business of the state, and such other property as is set apart for this purpose, are called the funds of the state ; and the interest of these funds, and all other income to the state, are called the revenue. The state has provided funds for several purposes; one of which is the canal fund.
5. In February, 1825, an act was passed by the legislature “ to provide for the internal improvement of the state of Ohio, by navigable canals ;' and the board of canal commissioners were authorized to commence the construction of a canal from the mouth of the Scioto to the lake, and so much of the Miami and Maumee line as lay between Cin. cinnati and Dayton.
6. For this purpose a fund was created, called the canal fund, to consist of such grants and appropriations of lands, property, and moneys as might from time to time be made for this object by the legislature and by individuals, and of taxes specifically pledged for the payment of interest on money borrowed. The net proceeds of all tolls collected on the canals also constitute a part of this fund. And congress has since made a grant of 840,000 acres of the public lands of the United States lying in this state.
7. Perhaps every young reader does not know how a law authorizing the construction of a canal is carried into effect. It cannot be done without money; but the income of the fund is not sufficient to pay the cost of the work as fast as it needs to be done-perhaps would never wholly pay it. And to levy a tax at once upon the citizens for the whole of its cost, would be too burdensome. The state therefore borrows the money of rich individuals for a long term of years. The business is done on the part of the state by
they made ? 4. What is a fund? A state fund? Revenue? 5. In what year was the construction of our canals authorized ? 6. Of what was the canal fund at first to consist ? What grant has congress made ? 7. How is the money procured by the state to make canals ? 8. What