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tax was repealed in 1891, since which time snch companies have been subject to the general law for all taxes.
It is quite generally believed that their property under the general law is very inadequately taxed.
ROAD COMPANIES. Plank and gravel road companies are required to pay to the State treasurer an annual tax of 24 per cent of the gross earnings, on or before the first day of July in each year, in lieu of all other tax upon their property.
Upon such companies taxes were charged in 1898 amounting to $921.63; in 1899, $1,188.51.
FRANCHISE FEES. Every corporation organized under any general or special law of the State, and every corporation permitted to transact business in the State, is required to pay a franchise fee of one-half of 1 mill on each dollar of the authorized capital stock of such corporation, and a proportionate fee upon any and each subsequent increase thereof, which fee shall in no case be less than $5.
The amount of franchise fees received by the State under this law in the year 1897 was $32,715.43; in 1898, $22,140.75, and in 1899, $99,511.35.
There is a law in Michigan providing for the taxation of the business of manafacturing or selling spirituous or intoxicating liquors, or malt, brewed, or vinous liquors in the State, as follows: Upon the business of selling only brewed or malt liquors, $500 per annum; upon the business of selling spirituous or intoxicating liquors at wholesale or retail, $500 per annum; or at wholesale and retail, $800 per annum; upon the business of manufacturing brewed or malt liquors for sale, $65 per annum; upon the business of manufacturing spirituous or intoxicating liquors, $800 per annum.
These taxes are paid in the several counties of the State, and the receipts reported annually to the auditor-general of the State by the county treasurers.
During the year closing December 1, 1896, the aggregate amount of such taxes paid to the county treasurers was $1,839,960.92; year closing December 1, 1897, $1,154,998.19; and December 1, 1898, $1,827,667.13.
The above liquor taxes are designated as license fees, and persons paying them do not thereby secure any immunity from other methods of taxation.
The legislature in 1899 passed an act providing for the taxation of inheritances. It imposes a tax of 5 per cent upon the clear market value of any property, real or personal, of the value of $500 or over, when transferred by will or by intestate laws from any person dying seized or possessed of the property while a resident of the State; or when the decedent was a nonresident of the State at the time of his death, if the property is within the State; or when the transfer is of property made by a resident, or by a nonresident whose property is within the State, by deed, grant, bargain, sale, or gift, made in contemplation of the death of the grantor or intended to take effect after death, with the following exception:
When the property passes by such transfer to or for the use of a father, mother, husband, wife, child, brother, sister, wife or widow of a son or the husband of a daughter, or to or for the use of any lineal descendent of such decedent or grantor born in lawful wedlock, such transfer of property is not taxable under this act, unless it is personal property of the value of $5,000 or more, in which case it is taxable at 1 per cent of the clear market value of such property in excess of $5,000. Provision is made for the collection of such taxes and their payment into the State treasury and application to payment of interest on the educational funds as other specific taxes are applied.
The constitutionality of this act has been sustained by the supreme court of the State in a recent decision.
The law went into effect so recently that the amount of revenues that will be obtained can not be stated.
The system of taxation which obtains in Illinois is that of the general property tax which has prevailed since the organization of the State.
The distinguishing feature is the local assessment of all real and personal property at a "fair" cash value in “ the county, town, city, or district where it is usually kept.”
The intent and purpose of the whole system of revenue laws seem to be to bring all kinds of property, individual or corporate, upon the assessment rolls of the various local-assessing districts at a uniform rate of taxation for State and local revenues.
These laws provide for the taxation of corporate property, whether of private or quasi-public corporations, in the same manner that the property of individuals is assessed and taxed. That is, all corporations doing business in the State are subject to assessment and taxation on all their tangible property at the place or places where the property is located.
The capital stock of all companies and associations incorporated under the laws of Illinois, except those for purely manufacturing purposes, the mining and sale of coal, printing or publication of newspapers, or the improving or breeding of stock, is, however, subject to assessment for its value, to be ascertained by the State board of equalization, deducting therefrom the assessed value of the tangible property assessed by local assessors.
The valuation of capital stock in excess of the valuation of tangible property of corporations is, however, apportioned for taxation among the various localassessment rolls and added to that of the tangible property valuations assessed locally, so that all assessments, State and local,
appear on the local assessment rolls, and the rates of taxation authorized by the laws are extended upon such valuation.
The taxes extended against the property and capital stock and franchises of corporations, being thus mingled with those upon the assessed valuation of other property in that State, are not, as a rule, separately tabulated by the public officials of the State, and it is therefore difficult to present in a satisfactory manner the results of the system of taxation as to the property of corporations.
From this general statement it will appear that whatever defects of undervaluation or omission of property from the assessment rolls exist will extend to all classes of taxable property.
The constitution of the State places some limitations upon the power of the legislature in matters of taxation, declaring that the general assembly shall provide such revenue as may be needful by levying a tax by valuation, so that every person and corporation shall pay a tax in proportion to property valuation to be ascertained by persons selected in such manner as the assembly shall direct, and not otherwise; and authorizing various occupations, franchises, and privileges to be taxed in addition.
Property, in the constitution and revenue laws of the State, is held by the courts to include all values. While under these provisions of the constitution the revenue laws of the State have apparently been framed to bring all species of property under the general rule laid down, intended to apportion the tax upon the actual appraised value of all property, the constitution as construed by the courts permits some diversity of methods in the taxation of property and business, and gives considerable flexibility to the general rule.
For instance, it has lieen held that it is within the power of the legislature to exempt property from taxation or to commute the general rate for a fixed sum, and the exceptional provision in the charter of the Illinois Central Railroad exempting its property from general taxation upon payment of a certain rate of taxation fixed by law upon its gross earnings, has been sustained as being within the restrictions of the constitution. (17 III. Rep., 291.)
LOCAL ASSESSMENT SYSTEM,
Tho revenue laws of Ilinois provide that the following classes of property, except such as may be exempt by law, shall be assessed and taxed:
First. All real and personal property in the State. Second. All moneys, credits, bonds or stocks, and other investments, all shares of stock of incorporated companies, and all other personal property, including property in transitu, owned or controlled by persons residing in the State.
Third. Shares or capital stock of banks or banking companies doing business in the State.
Fourth. The capital stock of companies and associations incorporated under the laws of the State shall be assessed and taxed, except the property for public and charitable purposes which is exempt from taxation.
The real property subject to taxation, whether owned by individuals or corporations, is assessed locally where the property is situated," valued at its fair cash value, estimated at the price it would bring at a fair voluntary sale." In valuing any property on which there is a coal or other mine, or stone or other quarry, the samo is valued at such a price as such property, including the mine or quarry, would sell at a fair voluntary sale for cash.
A recent statute provides that all real property shall be listed and assessed for the year 1899 and every fourth ye thereafter, which assessment shall be known as the general assessment, and, modified, equalized, or changed, as provided by law, shall be the assessment upon which taxes shall be lovied, and during the quadronnial period for which the same is made.
Personal property subject to taxation is valued as follows:
First. All personal property, except as herein otherwise directed, shall be valued at the fair cash value.
Second. Every credit for a certain sum shall be valued at a fair cash value. Third. Annuities and royalties shall be valued at their present total value.
Fourth. The capital stock of all companies of the State, except those required to be assessed by local assessors, is valued by a State board of equalization, so as to determine the fair cash value of such capital stock, including the franchises, over and above the assessed value of the tangible property of such companies, in all cases where the tangible property or capital stock of any corporation is assessed or taxed in the State. This clause does not apply to capital stock or shares of banks, and there is a further provision that companies organized for purely manufacturing parposes, or for the mining and sale of coal, or printing or publishing of newspapers, or for the improving or breeding of stock, shall be assessed by local assessors in like manner as the property of individuals is assessed.
The listing system is a distinguishing feature in Illinois taxation. Every person of full age, being a resident of the State, is required to list all his moneys,
credits, bonds, or stocks, shares of stock of joint stock or other companies (when the capital stock of such company is not assessed in this State), moneys loaned or invested, annuities, franchises, royalties, and other personal property, and also all moneys and other personal property invested, loaned, or controlled as agent or attorney, or on account of any other person or company, and the moneys deposited subject to his order, check, or draft, or credits due from or owing by any person or corporation.
Personal property is listed and assessed in the county, town, city, village, or district where the owner resides, except such as is specially required to be listed and assessed otherwise.
The capital stock and franchises of corporations or franchises held by individual persons, except as otherwise provided, are listed where the place of business is located.
The property of manufacturers and others in the hands of an agent is listed where the business of such agent is carried on.
Personal property in transitu is listed and assessed where the owner resides.
The personal property of banks or bankers, brokers, stockjobbers, insurance companies, hotels, livery stables, saloons, eating houses, merchants, manufactur ers, ferries, mining companies, and companies not especially provided for, is listed and assessed where the business is carried on.
The personal property of gas and coke companies, except the pipes laid down, is listed and assessed where the principal works are located. Gas mains and pipes laid in roads, streets, or alleys are held to be personal property, and listed and assessed in the town, district, city, or village where the same are laid.
The personal property of street railroad, plank road, gravel road, turnpike, or bridge companies is listed and assessed in the county, town, district, village, or city where the principal place of business is located. The track, road, or bridge is held to be personal property and listed where located.
The horses, stages, and other personal property of stage companies or persons operating stage lines are listed and assessed in the county, town, city, or district where they are usually kept.
And so with the personal property of express or transportation companies.
A deed of real estate, held as security for the payment of a sum of money, is regarded as personal property and listed and assessed as credits.
Persons having personal property are required to make out, under oath, a schedale of the numbers, amounts, quantity, and quality of all personal property in their possession or under their control required to be listed for taxation.
It is the duty of the assessor to determine and fix the fair cash value of all items of personal property, including all grain on hand. In assessing notes, bonds, accounts, and moneys he is governed by the rules of uniformity that he adopts in assessing other personal property.
If any person refuses to make such schedule under oath, the assessor lists his property according to his best judgment and information, and adds to the value of such list an amount equal to 50 per cent of such value, and severe penalties are imposed for making false schedules or refusing or neglecting to make them upon request.
FORM OF SCHEDULE.
The schedule, whon completed by the assessor, contains, in separate columns, the enumeration of such property and the value thereof.
First. The number of horses, all ages.
Seventeenth. Every steamboat, sailing vessel, wharf boat, barge, or other water craft.
Eighteenth. The value of merchandise on hand. Nineteenth. The value of material and manufactured articles on hand. Twentieth. The value of manufacturer's tools, implements, and machinery (other than boilers and engines, which shall be listed as such). Twenty-first. The value of agricultural tools, implements, and machinery. Twenty-second. The value of gold or silver plate and plated ware. Twenty-third. The value of diamonds and jewelry.
Twenty-fourth. The amount of moneys of bank, banker, broker, or stock jobber.
Twenty-fifth. The amount of credits of bank, banker, broker, or stock jobber.
Twenty-sixth. The amount of moneys other than of bank, banker, broker, or stock jobber.
Twenty-seventh. The amount of credits other than of bank, banker, broker, or stock jobber.
Twenty-eighth. The amount and value of bonds or stocks.
Twenty-ninth. The amount and value of shares of capital stock of companies and associations not incorporated by the laws of this State.
Thirtieth. The value of such property such person is required to list as pawnbroker.
Thirty-first. The value of property of companies and corporations other than property herein before enumerated.
Thirty-second. The value of bridge property.
DEBTS DEDUCTED FROM CREDITS.
In making up the amounts of credits which any person is required to list for himself or any other person, company, or corporation he is entitled to deduct from the gross amount of credits the amount of all bona fide debts, except in the case of banks or those exercising banking powers or privileges. Such deductions are verified by the oath of the persons claiming the same.
MUTUAL BUILDING AND LOAN ASSOCIATION STOCK.
Stockholders of these associations, whether organized under the laws of this State or any other State, list for taxation with the local assessors where they reside the number of shares of stock owned and the value thereof, which are assessed and taxed as other personal property.
In determining the value of such stock for the purpose of taxation the value of the real estate owned by the association is first deducted from its assets, and such real estate assessed as other real estate.
PROPERTY OF BANKS, BANKERS, BROKERS, AND STOCK JOBBERS.
These persons or corporations are required to make out and furnish the assessor a sworn statement showing:
First. The amount of money on hand or in transit.
Second. The amount of funds in the hands of other banks or others subject to draft.
Third. The amount of checks or other cash items not included in the foregoing.
Fourth. The amount of bills receivable, discounted, or purchased, and other credits.
Fifth. The amount of stocks and bonds of every kind and shares of capital stock of other companies held as an investment or in any way representing assets.
Sixth. All other property appertaining to said business other than real estate (which real estate is listed and assessed as other real estate).
Seventh. The amount of all deposits.
The aggregate amount of the first, second, and third items in said statement is listed as moneys. The amount of the sixth item is listed the same as other personal property. The aggregate amount of the seventh and eighth items is deducted from the aggregate amount of the fourth item, and the amount of the remainder, if any, is listed as credits. The aggregate amount of the ninth item is deducted from the aggregate amount of the fifth item, and the remainder listed as bonds and stocks.
All property held in pledge or security for money by pawnbrokers is listed and taxes charged to the pawnbrokers on the fair cash value of such property.
CAPITAL STOCK OF CORPORATIONS AND FRANCHISES OF PERSONS.
Bridge, express, ferry, gravel road, gas, insurance, mining, plank road, stage, steamboat, street railroad, transportation, turnpike, and other companies incorporated under the laws of this State other than banks, and the corporations required to be assessed by local assessors, in addition to other property listed, are required to make out and deliver to the assessor a sworn statement setting forth:
First. Name and location.
Fourth. The market value, or it ro market value, then the actual value of the shares of stock.