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Annual Report of the Comptroller, 1871
Volume 235, Page 17   View pdf image (33K)
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amount. In such cases the information, to be obtained by inquiry
of the county authorities, is meagre and unsatisfactory, and no cer-
tain conclusions can be attained from it. Another difficulty arises
from the fact, that the county or city authorities can only tax the
shares of the stock owned within their own limits, and these Insti-
tutions are only obliged by law to report to them such shares as are
so owned.

The assessment should be made by this Department with a right
reserved to the Institutions to appeal from its decision to that of
the Courts if desired. The circuitous route now necessary to gain
the information, and the entire incompetency of the legal provis-
ions to obtain or enforce it, render it impossible to calculate on a
successful collection of the revenue due from this source. If the
Comptroller had the power to make the assessments, and the officers
of the Companies or Corporations were compelled by penalties to
answer the interrogatories, or exhibit the statements necessary to
ascertain the facts in regard to the value of the shares of the stock
of these Corporations, and that power was also lodged with him to
increase the clerical force of the office, in case it is necessary to
complete the examinations and make up the accounts preparatory to
a proper determination of the amounts involved, the revenues of
the State from this source would be greatly enhanced.

Section 58 of Article 3, of the Constitution, makes it the duty of
the Legislature to "provide by law for State and Municipal Taxa,-
tion upon the revenues accruing from business done in the State by
all foreign Corporations."

This provision of the Constitution is important in the highest
degree. . No Company or Institution incorporated by any other
State or, country has the right to exercise its franchises within
the limits of this State, without ber consent and permission, and
this consent and permission constitutes a valuable franchise, for the
exercise of which, the Corporation should be required to pay an
adequate compensation. Justice to our own citizens peremptorily
requires that foreign capital should not have privileges and advanta_
ges over that of the people of the State, which is the case to an un-
warrantable extent under our present laws. I cannot too strongly
urge upon you the absolute necessity of complying with tins im-
portant injunction of the Constitution.

The gross receipts of all foreign Corporations doing business in
this State should be taxed, and their officers compelled by law to


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Annual Report of the Comptroller, 1871
Volume 235, Page 17   View pdf image (33K)
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