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PROPOSED REVENUE LAW.
Recent decisions of the Supreme Court of California having made necessary a change in the Revenue Laws of the State, the subject was brought prominently before the members at the Seventeenth Session of the Legislature. Laws were passed amending the laws on the statute books to conform to the opinions of the highest tribunal in the State ; but the necessity of a comprehensive law, to be applicable and to operate equally on property in every portion of the State, was apparent to all. The bill herewith published was introduced by Senator Shaw of San Francisco on March eleventh and referred to the Committee on Finance and favorably reported; but the short space of time intervening before the expiration of the session by constitutional limitation, and the press of other business, precluded that calm consideration of the bill which its importance demanded. Therefore the Senate, by a unanimous vote, ordered it printed and copies thereof distributed to members of the Legislature and revenue officers throughout the State, that the subject may be thoroughly considered, and the bill perfected and acted upon at an early period in the Eighteenth Session of the Legislature.
SENATE BILL No. 268.
INTRODUCED BY MR. SHAW, MARCH 11, 1868.
AN ACT TO PROVIDE REVENUE FOR THE SUPPORT OF
The People of the State of California, represented in Senate and Assembly, do
enuct as follows:
GENERAL PROVISIONS CONTROLLING THIS ACT.
SECTION 1. All property in this State shall be taxed in proportion 2 to its value, to be ascertained as dirocted by this Act.
SEC. 2. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the 2 State, and double taxation shall not be imposed nor exacted, directly 3 nor indirectly, except as a forfeiture, as hereinafter provided, to 4 prevent frauds and inequalities in assessments.
Sec. 3. Taxes necessary for the support of Government are levied 2 upon all visible private property now or hereafter in this State, in 3 proportion to its value; and all titles and claims thereto shall be 4 held at all times subject to the payment thereof, as annually fixed 5 and assessed according to law.
Sec. 4. To ascertain the property to be taxed for the support of 2 Government, in proportion to its value, all property in the State is 3 divided into two classes, namely : property appertaining to Govern4 ment and property appertaining to persons.
Sec. 5. The property appertaining to Government shall be 2 deemed and adjudged to include all property belonging to the Gov3 ernment of the United States, the Goverpment of this State, or of
any county, city and county, town, village or school district in this 5 State; or to any incorporated college or school, and used exclusively 6 for purposes of education ; or to any eleemosynary or educational 7 school or society (not exceeding six acres in any city, nor twelve 8 acres elsewhere, and the improvements thereon), so long as the 9 same shall be entirely devoted to the care or education or main10 tenance of indigent orphans or other helpless persons; and all 11 church buildings and the lands they occupy, not held nor used as 12 private property, but devoted to public use for religious education 13 and worship; and all lots of ground surrendered by public necessity
to the dead and used exclusively for human graves, and not made a 15 source of revenue or pecuniary advantage to the owners; and all 16 public parks and public roads and highways.
Sec. 6. The property appertaining to persons is all the property 2 in this State, except the property appertaining to Government, as 3 specified in the preceding section of this Act.
Sec. 7. No property appertaining to Government shall be assessed 2
SEC. 8. All property appertaining to persons shall be assessed 2 and taxed.
Sec. 9. There shall not be more than one assessment of any 2 property in any one year. That assessment shall be the one directed 3 by this Act, and it shall be deemed and held the only lawful assess4 ment for any taxation during the year, whether imposed by general 5 Act or by any special Act, local in its operation, and whether for 6 State, county, city, city and county, town, village, school district or 7 any other purpose required or authorized by law, except where 8 otherwise provided by the charters of incorporated cities or towns 9 or villages.
Sec. 10. All Acts and parts of Acts requiring any other or differ2 ent assessment than that required by this Act are hereby repealed, 3 so far as they require such other or different assessment, but no fur. 4 ther; and the assessment herein required is made applicable thereto. 5 And all Acts and orders imposing or fixing the rate or amount of 6 any public tax shall be deemed and construed to mean a tax upon 7 the property therein named or intended, according to the value 8 thereof as ascertained under the assessments directed and required 9 by this Act, and not according to any other assessment.
Sec. 11. All persons, companies and corporations having prop2 erty or incomes within this State, and not residents of nor located 3 in this State, shall be assessed and taxed the same as residents.
Sec. 12. The Governor and his advisers, who are, for the pur2 poses and within the meaning of this Act, the Secretary of State, 3 Treasurer, Attorney-General, Controller and Surveyor-General, sball 4 see to it tbat the laws for the equal and uniform assessment and tas5 ation of all private property in the State be justly and equally 6 enforced throughout the State; that all officers chosen to assess and
7 collect the public revenues perform their duties with fidelity and 8 intelligence; that no unreasonable or unequal burdens be permitted 9 in any portion of the State, and that no partiality be allowed in 10 favor of any one portion of the State over any other portion of the 11 State. The better to insure these objects, the Governor may at any
time send or appoint persons thoroughly informed on the subject in 13 such counties as may be thought advisable, in order to ascertain the 14 mode and manner of assessing and collecting revenue therein, and 15 to advise, aid and assist the revenue officers therein in the proper 16 understanding and performance of their duties, and to disclose any 17 negligence in office, or defects or inequality in the operations of the 18 revenue laws; and may make such allowance to such persons, not 19 exceeding seven dollars per day, for the time actually employed, as 20 he may think proper; and the necessary money to pay the same, 21 not exceeding five thousand dollars in any one year', is hereby appro22 priated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropri23 ated, the same to be first audited and allowed by the Board of 24 Examiners, as other claims against the State.
Sec. 13. The Governor and bis advisers aforesaid, or a majority 2 of them, are authorized to agree to and publish such rules and 3 instructions for the better government of Assessors and Collectors 4 of taxes, and of Auditors and Treasurers of counties, as they may 5 deem proper or necessary, and as may not be contrary to any law 6 in force, and all Assessors, Collectors, Auditors and Treasurers shall 7 observe and obey the same.
Sec. 14. This Act is designated and shall be known as the Rev. 2 enue Laws; and all sections of Acts concerning the Revenue Laws 3 hereafter passed shall be arranged in their appropriate places by the 4. Governor and his advisers aforesaid, at the close of each legislative 5 session, and so numbered as to conform to the numbers of the sec6 tions of this Act; and the consecutive numbers of the sections of this 7 Act shall at all times be made to conform thereto; and at the close 8 of any session making amendments thereto, the same shall be 9 re-published in pamphlets, with the sections so arranged as afore10 said; and such publications are made official, and are given the same 11 authority as any other publication of statutes, and as well for the 12 purpose
of further amendments thereof as for any and all proceed13 ings, official, judicial or otherwise.
Sec. 15. In all biennial messages of the Governor hereafter 2 made, be shall specify what particular sections of the Revenue Laws, 3 if any, require amendment, and precisely the amendment, in his 4 opinion, required.
Sec. 16. In the year one thousand eight bundred and seventy2 one, and every year thereafter, all taxes necessary for State purposes 3 shall not be levied by percentages, but shall be levied and appor4 tioned in gross sums of money upon each and every county in the 5 State, in exact and equal proportion to the taxable property therein, 6 respectively, as ascertained from the official returns of assessments 7 of each preceding year.
Sec. 17. After said year eighteen hundred and seventy-one afore