Railways in the United States in 1902 Part 5 State Taxation of Railways HC 1903

Railways in the United States in 1902 Part 5 State Taxation of Railways HC 1903

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Railways in the United States in 1902 Part 5 State Taxation of Railways HC 1903
Railways in the United States in 1902 Part 5 State Taxation of Railways HC 1903
State Taxation of Railways and Other Transportation Agencies
Interstate Commerce Commission
Hard Cover
Copyright 1903
462 Pages
The problem of State railroad taxation, whether it be regarded from the point of view of corporate administration or governmental organization, is a fundamental one. The amount of taxes paid by railroads during the fiscal year 1890.was $31,202,469; in 1901 it was $46,707,835. Of more significance than the amount, however, is the confusion and uncertainty which attend the assessment, the levy, and the collection of this tax, a result which follows naturally, though not necessarily, from the large number of taxing jurisdictions to which this species of property is exposed. Not only is a line of railroad which extends through two or more States liable to be taxed by different and possibly unsympathetic methods, but the municipalities and minor civil divisions of each of the several States exercise an independence in administration which occasions yet further confusion and uncertainty. To the railroads this means exposure to double taxation; to the agencies of government it means liability to tax evasion. No one who has familiarized himself with the situation can avoid the conclusion that reform in railroad taxation lies in the direction of the substitution of simplicity for complexity, of an harmonious system of legislation for conflicting laws.
It is no part of this report; however, to discuss methods or principles of reform. Its purpose will be fully realized by presenting a simple, yet comprehensive statement of-the facts in the case; and all that is necessary in a note of introduction is to indicate the scope of the investigation, to explain the plan adopted for presenting the details of. the various methods by which the States, the municipalities, and the minor civil divisions undertake to tax the property and instruments of transportation by rail, and to call attention to some of the more significant facts and tendencies which a study of the details contained in the body of the report naturally suggests.

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