Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 11, 1879State Taxation (Editorial)
On the first page there is given a detailed account of Governor Cullon's proclamation to the legislature. [Translator's note: This document was written in English and translated into German by the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, and as it is available in the English-language papers, it is omitted here.]
We derive some satisfaction in mentioning that the proposition first offered by the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, and later (somewhat hesitatingly) by one or another English paper, has now been adopted and announced as the Governor's policy: the abolition of all direct taxes, and the substitution of indirect levies (e.g. license taxes, trade, taxes, etc.). We have given our reasons [for advocating indirect taxes] on prior occasions in this column (editorial column), and we need not resort to repetition. It is sufficient to say that the procurement of state revenues through indirect means is the only orderly 2method whereby one may abolish universal cheating, which is a by-product of direct taxation.
This will also spell finis to the insolent plundering of cities by the Equalization Board. As long as the Board exists, and this tax system [direct] prevails, which makes it apparent that the Board's creation is essential to justice (whereas it is actually the tool of despicable injustice), just so long will taxation in Illinois be based on perjury, fraud and swindle. After all, the State needs only very little money, so that every tax assessor may consider himself a public benefactor when he assesses all taxable property at as ludicrously a low figure as possible, thereby undermining the credit of the State.
The State constitution provides, once and for all, that no community within the State shall go into debt beyond one twentieth (five per cent) of the value of all its taxable property. If such property then is assessed at one fourth or one fifth of its actual value, then it means that a community's credit is limited to one hundreth of its true taxable wealth. In this manner the present 3monstrous tax system of the State leads to artificial bankruptcy.
To realize the abolition of this tax system is one of Governor Cullon's aims. Whether the State legislature will comprehend the matter shall not be commented upon. Not much can be expected from that source.
I H, II B 2 d 1
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