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Loan of 1899 for the Fifth Regiment Armory whenever the same should be issued. A site for said armory has recently been secured, costing $125,000.00, leaving $175,000 00 for the erection of a building. Consequently the remaining part of this loan has been issued as of January, 1900, the whole being taken by the State as follows:

Schools in sundry counties
Commou Free School Fund.
Consolidated Loan of 1899, Sinking Fund

$ 9,125 00

15,488 00 275,387 00

Total

$300,000 00

Hence the condition of the Sinking Funds January 1, 1900, including increment accruing that day, will be:

Consolidated Loan of 1899
Penitentiary Loan
General
Insane Asylum Loan.

Stock.
$780,387 00

35.000 00
49,000 00
11,000 00

(ash.
$19,763 00

8,863 18 66,470 00 13,330 00

Totals..

$875,387 00 $108,426 18

Therefore, the Treasury officials have taken the entire issue of $900,000.00 of the Consolidated Loan of 1899 for its Sinking Funds and schools, without one cent of cost for premium or commissions, besides placing to the credit of those funds the large balance as above shown of $108,+26.18.

OYSTER FUND.

In Statement “H” is shown the apparent, although not true condition of the Oyster Fund.

The receipts, including balance brought down, aggre. gate $59,733.80, while the disbursements are shown to be $55,444.09, leaving a balance of $1,289.71 on hand September 30, 1899-a sum immediately wiped out in the beginning of the fiscal year 1900. Besides this, bills unpaid, for salaries and expenses brought over from last year, amounting to $35,000.00, were paid from the revenues accruing since October 1, 1899, extinguishing almost to the cent the entire revenues received to January 1, 1900, leav. ing nearly the entire salaries and expenses of the force since October 1, 1899, unpaid--a most deplorable condition. The ordinary receipts and disbursements of this fund for several years past is as follows:

1890..
1891
1892.
1893.
1894.

1895
*1896.

1897. 1898. 1899.

Receipts. Disbursements. . $58,178 67 $70,955 91

52,260 33 73,645 81 46,652 83 79,665 11 48,437 12 91,302 03 48,271 69 56,422 25 64,994 09 01,410 42 64,244 02 67,340 86 67,270 73 166,761 97 57,718 58 55,083 92 56,590 38 5.5, 444 09

The balance to the credit of this fund September 30, 1890, was $101,106.24. Notwithstanding this large balance but diminished revenue for the next few years, as well as increased disbursements, the fund on the 30th of September, 1894, showed an overpayment of $1,306.99, at which time its embarrassment really began During the next two years the revenues were not sufficient for its maintenance by the sum of $15,000.00, the members of the Board of Public Works, in the meantime, loaning their individual credit to pay the officers of the force, until the revenues of the next year became available to retire such liability, This course has been pursued by the present administration, as being, under the circumstances, the only practical method, hoping the revenues in the future might, under Chapter 118, 1896, be sufficient to make it self-supporting. This hope has not been realized. On the contrary, each year has shown, with one exception, smaller receipts, with every indication that the present season, 1899--1900, will yield a much smaller return. The Legislature of 1896, Chapter 346, sought to aid this fund, but only yielded a Jemporary relief-borrowing froin one year to be paid back from the next. It should have made a direct appropriation.

The cost and expenses of the force must and have increased with each succeeding year, by reason of extra cost in the maintenance and equipment of old boats, until the deficit of six years has become such a burden that you must come to its rescue or the force must be disbanded and the great oyster industry of the State completely annihilated. Permit me again to refer to my former Report:

" The last Legislature was appealed to in vain, and unless the next one takes hold of this matter intelligently and heroically, both our oyster industry and navy will suffer materially for lack of such assistance. Indeed, this industry is the main support of many thousand citizens of this state, and it is, in my judgment, the duty of the Legislature of 1900 to come to the assistance of the State Fishery Force, hy making an appropriation sufficient to relieve it of its present embarrassinent."

* Including $15,000.00 borrowed from Treasury, Chapter 346, 1896. + $16,000.00 borrowed from Treasury, Chapter 346, 1806, repaid.

This important question is for you to determine, and I plead with you to treat it fairly and liberally.

ASSETS.

In Statement “I” will be found the productive and unproductive assets of the State. While the stock of the Washington Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company has paid no dividend since 1896, yet the value of the stock warrants the same in being carried among its productive assets.

STATE DEBT.

The total funded debt of the State as of September 30, 1899, is plainly shown in Statement “J," aggregating $5,709,326.13, as against $9,284,986.24 for the year previous. In order to properly undersjand this difference, reference must be had to my former report and Chapter 219 of the Acts of 1898. Said statute provided for the refunding and consolidation of the entire State debt of $9,281,986.24, except $600,000.00 of Maryland 31s, 1911, issued under Chapters 164 and 166, 1896, as well as the issuance of a new loan of $900,000.00 for the Penitentiary, Second Hospital for Insane, House of Correction and Fifth Regiment Armory before mentioned. Much of this debt was not due ; but inasmuch as the Defence Redemption Loan of $3,000,000.00 maturing January 1, 1899, could not be liquidated, although its Sinking Fund exceeded the loan by $825,020.11 by virtue of its large holdings of the following State stocks : Exchange Loans of 1886, 4980,632.00 : 1889, $369,800.00, and 1891, $558,552.05, amounting to $1,908,981.05, nearly all of which was not due, the Treasury officials, as well as the Legislature of 1898, deemed it the part of good financiering to refund the entire debt, thereby cancelling the large holdings of the State's own stock in the Sinking Funds, amounting to S1,167,190.11, and consoli. dating the four old loans, as well as the new one, into “the Consolidated Loan of 18:39." Notwithstanding the intricacy and labor of this trust, with its many details, in locating $2,521,609.00 coupon bonds, save $7.400 00 and all other work incidental io the refunding and issuance of such a large amount, the same has been successfully accomplished at the small cost for engraving certificates, advertisements, etc., of $2,500.00, the sum appropriated being $10,000.00. Upon the present Treasurer, Hon. Thomas J. Shryock, this work largely devolved, and it is to his skill and financial ability the same was brought to a successful consummation.

In said Statement “ J," at the close of the fiscal year, the gross debt, after consolidation is shown to be, $5,709,326.1:3, with an offset of 33,112,283.18, leaving the net debt of the State at that date, $2,597.042 95. In said statement is not included the $300,000.00 issue for the Fifth Regiment Armory, since the commission had failed up to that time to secure a site therefor. Subsequently however, the Commission has secured a site for the same, and the building will soon be in course of construction. Therefore, the Treasury officials have issued this sum as of January 1. 1900, completing the entire issue of “the Consolidated Loan of 1899." After taking this issue of $300,000.00, the debt of the State on January 1, 1900, will stand as follows:

3 per cent. Exchange Loan of 1889.
3+ per cent. Penitentiary Loan
37 per cent. Insane Asylum Loan
3 per cent. Consolidated Loan of 1899

7,400 00 500,000 00

100,000 00 5,401,926 13

$6,009,326 13

CONTRA.

Stock Annapolis Water Co

30,000 00 Farmers National Bank, Annapolis. 46,470 00 Balto. & Fredericktown Turnpike Co. 11,000.00

B. & 1. R. R. Co., Washington Branch 550,000 00 Northern Central Railway ('0. (Mortgage).. 1,500,000 00 Stocks in Sinking Funds

875,387 00 Cash in Sinking Funds.

108,426 18 $3,121,283 18

Net debt of State

$2,888,042 95

Permit me to call your attention to what has been accomplished during the past four years : Net debt September 30, 1895. .

$3,005,253 13 January 1, 1900

2,888,042 95

Decreased in four years, three months.

$117,210 18 And yet in meantime have issued bew loans amounting to $1,500 000 00

Actual reduction..

$1,617,210 18

In other words, there has been paid during this period $1,617,210.18 of the State debt ; and that, too, with a tax rate for loan taxes of two cents less. The record speaks for itself.

ASSESSMENT AND LETY OF 1899,

Statement "K" shows the assessed value of property, subject to the 174 per cent. tax rate, except tax on capital stock of corporations, amounting to $611,539.616.00, or a gain in basis over previous year of $8,213,550.00, with a corresponding gain in tax of $14,579.07.

To show the increased basis of taxation under the new assessment law of 1896, I herewith submit the following table :

Years. 1896.. 1897. 1898. 1899.

Basis
$540,461,747 00.
607,965,272 00.
603,326,096 00.
611,539,646 00.

Annount of Levy.

959,319 33. 1,079,138 27. 1,070,903 81. 1,085,482 88.

Rate. 178 cents. .171 cents. .179 cents. 176 cents.

Let me remind you, however, such increase is not beneficial to the Treasury proper one cent, but is specifically dedicated to the Public Schools, Free School Books and the Sinking Funds.

PUBLIC SCHOOL Tax.

In Statement “L” is shown the levy, receipts and disbursements on account of the Public School Tax for the fiscal year 1899. The receipts during the year aggregate $774,725.57, together with the balance on hand October 1, 1898, of $338.938.25, make the large sum of $1,113,663.82. There was disbursed during the year $736,663.63, leaving the balance of $377,000.19 on hand for future distribution. During the past six years, the following amounts have been distributed and paid to the public schools of the State:

1894. . $600,294.57.
1895.. 601,088.04.
1896., 591.753.00
1897.. 496,224 69.
1898.. 827,366 71.
1899.. 736,663.63.

FREE SCHOOL BOOKS.

Statement "M" exhibits the amount of levy, receipts and disbursements on account of Free School Books during the fiscal year; receipts, $147,084.26 ; disbursements, $146,101.39, the latter being $3,598.61 less than the amount appropriated-$150,000.00---for such purpose by Chapter 135, 1896. This difference was apportioned to Worcester county, but by reason of legal complications as to who were the proper school authorities in that county, the said sum was not paid until after the close of the fiscal year, and until the case had been finally adjudicated by the Court of Appeals.

By said statement it will be apparent that the 2 cents of the 17} tax rate, yielded nearly sufficient revenue to make this account self-supporting, but by reason of the heavy deficits for the preceding three years the said fund still shows a deficit of $133.702.11.

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