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Fund, aggregating $678,153.65. Deducting this sum from the excess of $820,984.55 above shown, would leave a net gain in the ordinary receipts during the fiscal year of $220,984.55.
A more thorough examination of this statement will be found interesting, in order to ascertain specifically such increase and whether the same is applicable to the ordinary receipts of the State government, or to the Public Schools, School Books and the Sinking Funds, for there is a marked difference between the two.
The amount received from collectors of State taxes during the fiscal year has been very large-$1,172,596,59--exceeding by far any previous year. The gain in the amount received from said collectors and the tax on Baltimore City Stock is $81,426.76 over the year previous, notwithstanding that year was in excess of 1897 by $85,936.81, while the sum received from Tax on Incorporated Institutions shows a loss of $5,334.00 for the year, hence the total gain from direct taxes amounts to $76,092 76, a sum specifically dedicated to the Public Schools, School Books and State Debt, or the Sinking Funds, and to this fact is attributable the large payments to the public schools during the past few years, made possible by the prompt collections, as clearly demonstrated by the small amount due at the close of the fiscal year from collectors of State taxes, Table 13 showing $147,376.21 less than the year 1898, and that, too, with an increased basis for 1899.
Therefore, the remaining amount of this gain of $220,984.55, viz: $144,891.79 accrues to the ordinary operating expenses of the government and is largely obtainable by increased receipts over that of the year previous from Tax on Gross Receipts of Corporations $69,308.08 ; Excess of Fees of Office, $15,886.29 ; Bonus on Corporations, $37,878,59, etc. Let not this increase mislead you. While the Tax on Gross Receipts of Corporations may equal that in the year now before us, yet the Bonus Tax will fall far short of the year now closed, since such receipts were unprece. dentedly augmented by virtue of the formation of so many new corporations with large capital stock, notably, trust companies. The creation of so many new corporations cannot reasonably be expected in 1900, hence this revenue must be largely diminished, estimated by me in Statement " to be $10,000. Again, the fiscal year 1900 has passed sufficiently to state that the revenue from Excess of Fees of Office will show a heavy shrinkage from $82,200 28, the amount received during the fiscal year. From such sources of revenue as these must be paid the judiciary, civil officers, the expenses of the present legislature, and all appro
priations to State and charitable institutions; therefore, I trust you may exercise the utmost caution and prudence in whatever appropriations you may make.
Your attention is respectfully directed to the amount paid into the Treasury by Registers of Wills from tax on commissions of executors and administrators and collateral inheritances, aggregating $100,305.72 as against $184,155.44 for the year 1898, or a loss of $83.849.72. While this tax must necessarily vary, yet the commissions allowed for its collection is highly exorbitant-25 per cent. In this connection I can but renew the recommendation made in my previous report to his excellency, Lloyd Lowndes, Governor.
** Prior to the year 1892 all Clerks of Courts and Registers of Wills were allowed a commission of 5 per cent. upon all State moneys collected by them, save and except the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, whose comtoission was and still remains 1 per cent--a very fair and reasonable compensation to all for the labor and responsibility of handling the State's money. By reference to Chapter 564 of the Act of 1892, you will find these rates of commission changed, ili so far only as they relate to Registers of Wills. By that statute they are allowed a commission of 255 per cent upon such collections, one-fourth of entire amount--a most exorbitant rate, in my opinion--and this tax can only be paid to the Registers ; must be paid within a specified time, and if not paid becomes, in some instances, a lien upon property, as, for example, the Taxon Collateral Inheritances. Every official should be compensated fairly and equitably, according to the service rendered, but when the compensation is more than this, the same is exorbitant, and is made at the expense of every taxpayer, and is derogatory to the Treasury of the State. Such statutes should unquestionably be repealed."
The receipts from Tax on Mortgages aggregated during the year $18,563.02, or a gain of $11.985.49. This revenue should and will gradually increase each year, and while much difficulty has been experienced in the past in securing the basis as well as collecting the tax, yet every new form of taxation has its difficulties, but I see no reason why all these should not be overcome and this tax collected as readily as any other.
It is a source of much gratification to state that of the $125,000.00 borrowed by the State to defray the expenses of arming and equipping the Maryland troops in the SpanishAmerican war, 78,153.65 of this amount was received into the Treasury during the fiscal year from the General Government of the l'nited States, as a repayment for the costs and expenses so incurred, with a strong.probability that this sum will be further increased during the fiscal year 1900 by a second repayment of claims now held under adjudication. The revenues of the State during the fiscal year were sufficient to warrant the taking from the Treasury proper the sum of $46,846.35, which together with $78,153.65 received as above shown from the United States Government, wiped out the entire war debt, and that, too, without the levying of a fraction of a mill upon the taxpayers of the State.
DISBURSEMENTS. The disbursements during the fiscal year, as shown in detail in Statement "B," aggregate $3,649,724.07, being $213.622.57 in excess of the previous year, leaving a baiance on hand September 30, 1899, of $707,924.00, as against a balance of $566,351.30 for the fiscal year 1998. The largely increased disbursements during the year is plainly manifest by reason of the payments of $522.579.14 on account of the Consolidated Loan of 1899 and 4400,000.00 to the Sinking Funds.
This balance of $707,926.00 is a very gratifying one, but for fear this large amount may be misleading I would respectfully remind you that such is not the balance January 2, 1900, nor is this entire amount applicable to the ordinary necessities of the government. Indeed, only a small portion thereof is such. By reference to Statement “L” you will find that on October 1, 1899, 377,000.19 of this amount belonged to the Public Schools. $112,500.00 thereof being distributed on that day, hence the balance of $330,925.81 was alone available to meet the heavy October payments and the specific purposes for which such moneys were levied and collected.
In Statements "C" and "D" will be found the probable receipts and disbursements for the fiscal year 1900. In these two statements you will observe there is contained the sum of $:300,000.00 on account of the C'onsolidated Loan of 1899, being in anticipation of a further and final issue of this loan to this extent in building an armory for the Fifth Maryland Regiment.
FREE SCHOOL FUND. Statement “ E" will show you in detail the condition of the Free School Fund at the close of the fiscal year, the gross receipts and balance to the credit of said fund at the close of the last fiscal year amounting to $96,833.11, or a gain of $19,417.87. While the ordinary accretions to this fund are slightly in excess of last year, yet this gain is largely attributable to the proceeds of sale of 3500 shares of stock of the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad Company at $5.10 per share, aggregating $17,850.00, which stock had been ordered stricken off the books of the Treasury Departinent by Joint Resolution No. 15 of the Acts of 1892, but owing to the diligence of the present Treasurer was found to possess the value above shown. It was deemed ad visable by the Treasury officials that such moneys should be placed to the credit of the Common Free School Fund. Accordingly an order was passed by the Board of Public Works and this sum is now invested at par in the Consolidated Loan of 1899, as well as the $9,125.00 to the credit of Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties, making an investment of the very highest order.
The $118,100.00 of the B. & 0. 6 per cent. preferred stock held by the State since 1878 for the use of the Common Free School Fund, and upon · which dividends have been passed, was not sold during the year as contemplated, a satisfactory bid not being received therefor. Under the reorganization of the said company it was determined to accept an equal number of shares of the new certificates of said company in lieu of the cash value of $75.00, and by paying an assessment of $200 per share the company guaranteed the cash value thereof at $77.00. This stock the State now owns and deems advisable to hold for the present.
SINKING FUNDS-('ASH AND STOCK ACCOUNT. Statement “ E" also exhibits the condition of the several Sinking Funds at the close of the fiscal year, in which is shown many changes. By virtue of the maturity and redemption of the Defence Redemption Loan, January 1, 1899, and the issue on that date of the Consolidated Loan of 1899, Chapter 219, of 1898, several of the Sinking Funds have been wiped out, since their loans were either liquidated or consolidated, while the amounts standing to the credit of those funds were transferred to the Consolidated Loan of 1899 Sinking Fund, viz. : Exchange Loan of 1886, Exchange Loan of 1889 and the Detence Redemption Loan.
The total receipts during the year, including the balances from the year previous, aggregate the large sum of $974,813.18, viz. : General
$43,338 18 Exchange Loan of 1886.
12,092 50 Exchange Loan of 1889
17,640 65 Defence Redemption Loan.
443,562 31 Penitentiary Loan...
114,735 00 Insane Asylum Loan
24,165 00 Consolidated Loan of 1899.
319,279 54 Total...
$974,813 18 Deduct balances September 30, 18918
197,298 64 Actual receipts during year
$177,514 54 Of this sum only $77,514.5+ is increment from investments, liquidated, however, January 1, 1899, by the retirement of the securities then held, while the unprecedentedly large sum of $100,000.00, the largest by far in the history of the State, was cash transferrred from the Treasury, an amount far in excess of the requirements necessary to maintain the integrity of the Sinking Funds, but permissible by reason of large collections
Permit me again to refer to my former report :
"The above large uiuvested balance of $ 197,298.64 may at first blush occasion some surprise, but the wisdom of the Treasury officials in thus carrying this large balance is very appareut upon a closer exainination of the situation. This balance could not be used to liquidate so much of the Defence Redemptiou Loun maturing January 1, 1899, inasmuch as the holders of said loan had the option, under Chapter 219 of the Acts of 1898, to exchange such holdings for the new issue of the Consolidated Loan of 1899,' ix-led under said Act-a privilege accepted by $1,104,187.00 out of $1,151,787.00 outstanding-leaving only $47,600.00 of said loan to be retired at maturity:
Had the Treasury officials gone into the market to purchase safe and reliable securities to this extent, a very heavy premium, likewise a commuission, would necessarily have been paid, but inasmuch as the State on the first day of January, 1899, only a few days distant, will issue a new loan, as authorized by the Art above referred to, to be known as the Consolidated Loan of 1999, vot only to refund the outstanding debt of the State, but to issue for new improvements to the extent of $900,000.00, viz. : Maryland Penitentiary, completion of..
*:300,000 00 Army Fifth Regiment, Infantry
300,000 00 Second Hospital for Insane, additional buildings.. 220,000 00 House of Correction, new buildings
80,000 00 it was deemed the part of wisdom to retain this balance and invest every dollar that may be to the credit of its Siuking Funds on that date in this new loan, virtually retiring the State debcts that extent."
This policy has therefore been pursued, and by taking the balance of $497,298.64 brought down from the last fiscal year, together with the increment accruing to the various Sinking Funds, January 1, 1899, and cash transferred from the Treasury proper during the fiscal year, the Treasury officials were enabled to take for the following Sinking Funds the entire amount of the new loan issued for completion of the Penitentiary, Second Hospital for the Insane and the House of Correction, aggregating $600,000.00, besides placing to the credit of those funds the following cash, as will fully appear in Statement “F.":
$505,000 00 $287,575 00
35,000 00 8,338 18 General
49,000 00 65,785 00 Insane Asylum Loan.
11,000 00 13,165 00
$600,000 00 $374,813 18 This amount of cash was brought down in orcer to take up the $300,000.00 of that portion of the Consolidated