War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0185 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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By Ordinance No. 22, of June, 1861, which is now a part of the constitution of the State, it is provided that land and slaves shall be taxed according to their valued, and the values of both taxed alike; and that the tax on slaves may be laid on their general average value in the State or in their value in classes in respect to age, sex, and other distinctive properties in the discretion of the General Assembly, and the value be assessed in such modes as may be prescribed by law. Now, while lands even of the same qualities, but situate in different places, from their local and immovable character are properly assessed at different rates because of their relative proximity to markets, and for other substantial causes, and for such reasons the General Assembly itself can neither accurately value real estate nor can do so by any general State commissioners, yet some steps may be taken toward equalizing the tax on slaves, which under the present mode of assessments may be, and I understand is, various in many counties of the State, because of the different standard of valuation adopted by the owners and assessors. It is very desirable that the tax should be uniform, and I suggest as the most likely means to accomplish that object the propriety of classifying slaves by their ages, or by sex and age, and affixing [every] two years the taxable value of each class. In consequence of the movable quality of this species of property it is not subject to the irregularity of assessment which attends land. The value of slave property at one place in the State is for all practical purposes the same as in any other, and it is not difficult, therefore, to make the tax both equal and uniform by the classification of slaves in the manner already mentioned.

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In order to meet the interest on the public debt and to make up the sum due from the counties where the tax cannot be collected on account of the presence of the enemy, I recommend at least 25 per cent. on the present amount of taxation. The great abundance of money and consequent high prices of property would, I think, enable the people to pay it cheerfully. I also recommend that a tax of 25 per cent. by laid upon the net profits of all persons who have during the present year speculated in the necessaries of life, such as corn, flour, bacon, pork, shoes, leather, cotton cloth and yarn, and woolen goods, and to be continued during the next year and longer if necessary; the proceeds to be applied to the support of the wives and children or widows of soldiers whose property as listed on the tax books shall fall below a certain sum. This law, if properly enforced and guarded against false swearing, would be made to answer a valuable purpose and would be eminently just in its effects. I am clearly of opinion that no more treasury notes should be issued if it be possible to avoid it, and think it would be better to pay interest on our bonds than to further swell the volume of paper in circulation. The following is a statement of the debt of the State on the 30th day of September, 1862:

Bonded debt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $14,812,005. 00

Temporary loans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,550,449. 00

Interest unpaid on coupon bond debt. . . . . . . . . . . . . 432,005. 45

Interest unpaid on temporary loans and bonds

without coupons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52,351. 06

Amount Treasury notes in circulation. . . . . . . . . . . . 3,136,550. 50

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Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,983,361. 01

Taxes received from permanent sources for 1861. . 734,650. 10

Taxes received from permanent sources for 1862. . 715,763. 39