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RECAPITULATION OF THE STATE TAXES ON CORPORATIONS. Bonus on charters.-This source of revenue is not strictly a tax, but the price or consideration paid for the charter privileges. It is now one-quarter of 1 per cent upon the amount of authorized capital of the corporation, or any subsequent increase, payable in two installments, one at the time the charter is granted and the other within one year thereafter. The revenue from this source amounted during the fiscal year 1899 to $780,626.

Tax on capital stock. -A tax is assessed upon the actual value in cash of the capital stock of corporations at the rate of 5 mills upon the dollar, with the exceptions noted. The amount collected in 1899 from capital stock (exclusive of banks) was $4,575,511.

Tax on gross receipts.-A tax is imposed upon the gross receipts of transportation, telegraph, telephone, and electric-light companies, derived from business done wholly within the State, the rate being 8 mills upon each dollar of such receipts. The tax from this source amounted in 1899 to $748.214.

Tax on gross premiums.- This tax is imposed upon the gross premiums of domestic insurance companies, derived from business done within the State, at the rate of 8 mills upon the dollar. The receipts from this source amounted in 1899 to $61,882.

Tax on corporate loans.—This tax is imposed upon the interest-bearing loans or indebtedness of corporations, and is collected from the holder of the indebtedness by the treasurer of the corporation, who is required by law, as the agent of the State, to deduct the tax when paying interest to resident and taxable holders. The tax is at the rate of 4 mills upon the nominal or par value of the loan or indebtedness, and the amount collected from this source in 1899 was $1,149,409.

Tax on bank stock.This is imposed upon the shares of bank stock at the rate of 4 mills upon its actual value, and is collected from the shareholders of the bank. The amount derived from this source in 1899 was $548,800.

Tax on net earnings or income.This tax is imposed at the rate of 3 per cent upon the net earnings or income of incorporated State banks and savings institutions without capital stock. The revenue from this source in 1899 amounted to $83,337.40.

(Bankers and brokers are required to pay a tax of 3 per cent upon net earnings or income, and the ainount is included above.)

Tax on foreign insurance companies.- This tax is imposed upon the business of foreign insurance companies done in Pennsylvania, at the rate of 3 per cent of the gross premiums, and is collected through the commissioner of insurance. The revenue derived from this source in 1899 was $646,775.

Classified statement showing amounts paid into the State treasury by the several

classes of corporations named for the fiscal year 1898.

Tax on

Class of corporations.

Tax on capi

tal stock.

Tax on

gross re-

Tax on gross premiums.

$314, 179.04 $23,761.13

$16, 880.79

63, 617.58

6,444.36 29, 297.82 287, 361.55

197.80 125, 387.13 76, 229.54

7, 906. 05
2,099. 68
74, 415.00

158. 32


1 National banks..
2 State banks
3 Trust companies
4 | Incorporated savings institutions (without

capital stock)
5 Brewing companies.
6 Brick, clay, slate, stone, and quarry companies.
7 Bridge and turnpike companies..
8 Coal, coke, and coal-mining companies
9 Ferries.
10 Gas (artificial and natural)
11 Insurance companies (domestic).
12 Insurance companies (foreign)
13 Land and improvement companies
14 Light, heat, and power companies.
15 Manufacturing companies

Market companies 17 Oil and mining companies 18

Railroads (steam) 19 Railways (passenger) 20 Transportation companies (miscellaneous) 21 Telephone and telegraph companies.. 22 Water companies.. 23 Miscellaneous companies

38, 698.01 620, 922. 08


60,322. 37
70, 811.21
138, 426. 19
11, 479.06
27, 288, 23
974, 688.64
293, 386.25
19, 121.91
72, 936, 46

14, 148.75
13,990.09 42, 283.37
86, 258. 91
3, 453. 15
2,838. 31

451, 617.06 423, 709.04
74,668.77 163, 591, 49
39, 196. 45 36, 246.98

460.49 24,586.39 26, 7419.88 132.91 20, 898.34



3,328, 644.28 866, 316.38

691 522.99


Classified stutements showing amounts paid into the State treasury by the several

classes of corporations named for the fiscal year 1898—Continued.

Class of corporations.

Tax on

Tax on net Bonus on
earnings. charters.


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1 National banks...

$194, 712.44 2 State banks

65, 746.33 3 Trust companies 4 | Incorporated savings institutions (without

capital stock) 5 Brewing companies 6 Brick, clay, slate, stone, and quarry companies. 7 Bridge and turnpike companies.. 8 Coal, coke, and coal-mining companies 9 Ferries. 10 Gas (artificial and natural) 11 Insurance companies (domestic) 12 Insurance companies (foreign) 13 Land and improvement companies 14 | Light, heat, and power companies. 15 Manufacturing companies 16 Market companies 17 Oil and mining companies 18 Railroads (steam). 19 Railways (passenger) 20 | Transportation companies (miscellaneous) 21 Telephone and telegraph companies... 22 Water companies.... 23 Miscellaneous companies

3, 712.34 24, 138. 44 124, 668.48

3.75 1, 156.33

36,624. 19 80, 462.83 14,373.54 46,761.76 378, 563.77

492. 17 191, 449. 40 114,927.55 620, 922.08

78, 183. 46 151, 253.11 319, 353.58 14,935. 96

31, 306.63 1, 850, 014.74

934, 852.07 497,636.34

53, 405. 16 133, 064.25 104,785.88

20,556.88 128, 806. 66

9, 236.37 24,807. 25 10,918.01


560, 458.77

36,624. 19 446,897.55

6, 606, 966.04


Valuation of property taxable for local purposes, 1898. Real estate taxable..

$2,685, 199, 712 Horses, mares, geldings, and mules over 4 years old.

23,771,539 Neat cattle over 4 years old...

11, 915, 317 Salaries and emoluments of office, offices, posts of profit, professions, trades, and occupations

125, 622, 996 Aggregate value of all property taxable for local purposes... 2,846, 607, 609 The secretary of internal affairs in his report for 1898 says in relation to the taxation of property for local purposes: · It is probable that the system of taxation, according to the enactments of the legislature of Pennsylvania, is as equitable a one as has yet been devised, and the failures that are encountered and the inequalities that exist are attributed in most part to the faulty execution of the laws rather than to any defects in the enactments themselves. Therefore it follows that the wrongs that exist, if such wrongs do exist, are due to a failure on the part of the people to execute with fidelity the duties imposed upon the officers chosen by the people to carry out the laws.'

Taxes for all purposes, 1898. Amount of taxes collected in counties for all purposes.

$50, 315, 870.81 Amount of taxes collected on personal property- $3,427,385.63 Amount collected on occupations, etc....

1,934, 982.05 Amount collected on licenses

5,779, 153.96 Amount on real estate, railroad (locally asse

ssessed) 757, 593. 48 Amount on real estate of other corporations


14, 400, 538.72 Balance on real estate of individuals.....

35, 915, 332.09 The tax on occupations, professions, etc., is not generally enforced, some counties, among them Philadelphia and Dauphin, making no returns whatever.

More stringent legislation for the enforcement of this tax is urged by officials.

Assessments are made triennially under the authority of the county commissioners of the several counties. Precepts are issued by such commissioners to the local assessors, who proceed to take an account, in forms directed by law, of the names of all taxable inhabitants of their respective districts, and also an account of the following real and personal property:

First. Real estate, viz: All houses, lands, lots of ground of all descriptions, all furnaces, forges, bloomeries, distilleries, sugarhouses, malt houses, breweries, tanyards, and ferries.


Second. The following personal property, viz: All horses, mares, geldings, and cattle above the age of 4 years.

Third. All offices and posts of profit, professions, trades, and occupations; also all single freemen above the age of 21 years who do not follow any occupation or calling:

Only the subjects of taxation thus enumerated are directly taxable for local purposes. The whole system is under the supervision of a State board of review commissioners, consisting of the auditor-general, State treasurer, and secretary of the Commonwealth.

The cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburg have special systems of their own for local taxation from like sources.

In conclusion we quote the following from Eastman on Taxation for State Purposes in Pennsylvania as to the attempts made in recent years to change the system in that State:

“At the session of 1887 an act was passed which would have materially changed the tax system of the State, but which failed to become a law, as will be remembered, owing to the failure of the president pro tempore of the senate to affix his signature thereto. A tax commission was created by law at the same session of the legislature, which reported a revenue bill, a principal feature of which was the substitution of a single tax on corporations to take the place of the existing taxes thereon on capital stock, gross receipts, and loans or bonded indebtedness. The legislature took no action on the bill so reported, and at the session of 1889 another tax commission was created. The members thereof failed to agree on any measure and made individual reports, suggesting various changes in methods of taxation, none of which was made.

“At almost every session of the general assembly for the past 8 or 10 years persistent efforts have been made to secure the passage of bills usually known as 'granger bills,' because very generally supported by the members of the order of Patrons of Husbandry, so drawn as to effect sweeping changes in our tax legislation.

“As a concession to the supporters of these measures, the auditor-general was instructed by resolution of the general assembly at the session of 1895 to procure from all corporations in the State reports made in the manner required by the tax bill then pending, and to make feigned settlements thereon, in order to ascertain whether the proposed measure would supply a sufficient amount of revenue to meet the expenses of the State government, or, in other words, whether the proposed system would produce an equal amount of revenue with the old. Such reports were to be obtained for 2 consecutive years. They have already been obtained for 1 year, and have recently been required for the second year. It is understood that the statistics thus far obtained have failed to show that the proposed measure would produce the necessary amount of revenue.

“In 1892 a Pennsylvania tax conference was formed by the representatives of various important interests in the State, an unofficial but highly

respectable body, owing to the talents and earnestness of the meinbers thereof. The object of the commission was to supply statistics upon which discussions of proposed changes of taxation might be based. It has been mainly owing to the lack of such data that former attempts to agree upon a revision of the tax laws have failed. Two preliminary reports were made by this conference, one containing much valuable information relative to objects of taxation in Pennsylvania, and the other giving a comparative statement of the tax systems of all other States. The commission finally reported the revenue bill introduced at the session of 1895, above referred to, data concerning the operations of which, if it becomes a law, are yet being procured. Owing to the death of Joseph D. Weeks, of Pittsburg, the chairman of the conference, its operations have of late languished, if indeed its organization may not be considered as practically dissolved.

“In closing this sketch it may be said that, while the State tax system of Pennsylvania can doubtless be improved in many respects, the system itself is a very excellent one. The burdens of taxation for State purposes are almost wholly placed upon corporations, leaving individual taxables subject to taxation for local purposes only, except that the mortgages, bonds, and other classes of personal property taxable under the laws of the State held by them pay a State tax, but three-fourths of even this tax is returned to the counties to relieve the burdens of local taxation.

“The State tax laws of Pennsylvania are not only in the main just, but they have been so thoroughly construed by hundreds of decisions of the courts that but little opportunity exists for disputing over the proper interpretation thereof.

“ Before wholly abandoning a system so long established, so thoroughly interpreted, and so generally equitable, far the purpose of adopting any untried sygtem devised by theorists, every feature of which must be construed by the courts, it is believed that thoughtful men will require nothing short of an absolute demonstration that the proposed system will prove in all important respects the superior of the old.”


The power of the legislature in this State over taxation under the constitution, as determined by the decisions of the supreme court, is thus defined by the Ohio tax commission of 1893:.

“First. The constitution prohibits the taxation of persons.

“Second. As to property: (a) It must be taxed for general revenue and by a uni. form rule, according to its true value in money; (b) it may be taxed by assessment for special benefits derived by it from public improvements.

“Third. Business, which includes all subjects of taxation other than persons and property, may be taxed either for general revenue or for the purposes of regulation, in such mode and manner as the legislature in its discretion may determine.”

GENERAL PROPERTY TAX. To these excessive limitations upon the legislative power, imposed by the constitution of the State, appears to be due, to some extent at least, the retention of the general property tax system, which, in principle, is a survival of the economic conditions of the early part of the century," and the most vigorous efforts to subject property to taxation by means of one uniform tax on all classes.

The general property tax still constitutes the principal source of revenue for State as well as local purposes, and Ohio has adopted the most rigorous and drastic methods devised in any State for bringing upon the tax rolls all classes of property, real and personal.

During recent years efforts have also been made through special legislative enactments, without pursuing any uniform or definite plan,

to supplement the general property tax system and bring it more in harmony with modern economic conditions. In consequence of such desultory efforts we find in this state the general property tax “side by side with the gross-receipts tax, the excise tax, and assessment by the unit rule obtained from the stock, bonds, and earnings, and others, all imposed on corporations essentially alike in character and differing only in name.”

The legislature seems to have been inclined to resort to any expedient within constitutional restrictions which promised to bring about improvement in the antiquated system of the State, and we find corporations substantially alike in character taxed by 6 distinct methods, which will be described hereafter.


The amount of taxation necessary to be levied annually for State purposes is determined by the legislature, for county purposes by the county commissioners, for township purposes by township trustees, for school purposes by the boards of education, for municipal corporations by the city councils. Each of these bodies reports its estimates to the county auditor, who levies the taxes upon the valuation as reported to him by the various boards of equalization.


One assessor is annually elected in each ward and township to list and return personal property. His labor is supplemented by the county auditor and the annual city and county boards of equalization.

Other assessing officers and boards are the county auditors; the board of appraisers and assessors for express, telegraph, and telephone companies, composed of the State auditor, State treasurer, and the attorney-general; the annual Štate board of equalization for banks, composed of the governor, the attorneygeneral, and the State auditor; the annual State board of equalization for railroads, composed of the State auditor, the attorney-general, and the State treasurer; the decennial city, county, and State boards of equalization for real estate.

All property in the State, whether real or personal, and whether belonging to individuals or corporations, and all moneys, credits, investments in bonds, stocks, or otherwise, of persons residing in the State, are declared to be subject to tax. ation, except only such as may be expressly exempted.


Under the provisions of the constitution the legislature has granted exemptions to public-school property, all property of public colleges not used with a view to profit, cemeteries, State and Federal property, county buildings, houses used exclusively for public worship, poorhouses, buildings belonging to institutions of purely public charity together with the land occupied by such institutions not used with a view to profit, property used for extinguishing fires, public property used for public purposes exclusively, personal property to an amount not exceeding $100, etc.


Real estate is defined to include not only land, but all buildings, structures, and improvements and fixtures of every kind thereon, and all rights and privileges belonging thereto unless otherwise specified, to be assessed where located according to its true value in money."

Real estate is assessed decennially by assessors elected by the people for the various assessment districts, which are coequal with the number of wards and townships within the county, each assessor assessing the real property within his district.

The action of the assessors is reviewed by the city and county decennial boards of equalization for real estate, and their action in turn is reviewed by the decennial State board of equalization for real estate. Changes in valuations and errors in the valuation of real estate are reported by the annual assessor of personal property, and changes in valuation and errors are corrected and equalized by the annual city and county boards of equalization.



Personal property of all kinds, tangible and intangible, is by law subject to taxation, almost without exemption.

Apparently to avoid misunderstanding and escape from the duplicate, such property is defined with great minuteness of detail.

The statute provides that the term “ investment in bonds "includes all moneys in bonds or certificates of indebtedness or other evidences of indebtedness of whatever kind, whether issued by domestic, public, or municipal corporations, or by the United States, held by persons residing in Ohio, whether for themselves or others. The term “ investment in stocks” includes all moneys invested in the capital stock of any company, for the taxation of which no special provision is made by law, held by persons residing in the State, either for themselves or oth

The term “personal property" includes, first, every tangible thing, being the subject of ownership, whether animate or inanimate, other than money, not forming any part of real property; second, the capital stock, undivided profits, and all other means not forming part of the capital stock of every company, and every share, portion, or interest in such stock, profits, or means, by whatsoever name the same may be designated; third, the money loaned on pledge or mortgage of real estate, although a deed or other instrument may be given for the same, if between the parties the same is considered as security merely. The term “money” includes any surplus or undivided profits held by societies for saving, or banks having no capital stock, gold or silver coin, bank notes of solvent banks in actual possession, and every deposit which the person owring, holding in trust, or having the beneficial interest therein is entitled to withdraw in money on demand. The term “ credits" means the excess of the sum of all legal claims and demands, whether for money or other valuable thing, due or to become due, including deposits in banks or with persons within or out of this State, other than such as are held to be money, when added together (estimating every such claim or demand at its true value in money), over and above the sum of legal bona fide debts owing by ihe owner; but in making up the sum of such debts owing, there shall be taken into account no obligation to any mutual insurance company, nor any unpaid subscription to the capital stock of any joint stock company, nor any subscription for any religious, scientific, literary, or charitable purpose; nor any acknowledgment of any undebtedness, unless founded upon some consideration actually received and believed at the time of making such acknowledgment to be

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