collector. Under the act all the official dealings of the Department are confined to the chief collector. The collector's functions will also expire before the time of redemption, and in that event there will be no officer at all to receive redemption money.
It is therefore obvious that Congress should make provision for these emergencies, and designate some officer to whom owners may apply for the redemption of their property at any time within the period allowed by law, and also direct what disposition such officer shall make of such funds. If the present system of taxation be continued, then the new officers would stand in place of the old and continue their duties. It would seem right and proper to authorize the trustee to settle with the owner near his home, without compelling him to go through all the forms and delay of drawing his money from the Treasury.
Judge Handy, chief collector of Mississippi, represents that the collectors of that State have almost uniformly presented for his approval accounts for postage on letters and tax books sent to him, and for express charges upon assessment and receipt books; also accounts for traveling expenses to and from his office to make their payments as required by instructions. Ho properly decided that the present law did not provide for the allowance of such incidental expenses to the collectors. He further states that the expense of travel to make deposits by those collectors living at a remote distance has been onerous, and, if not refunded to them, will render the real compensation very unequal to those residing near him. It would seem to me jusprovide for the payment of all necessary postage and express charges for the transmission of tax and receipt books, and that those living at a distance who have expended large sums traveling to make their deposits should have the amount refunded to them, or each should be allowed a certain amount as mileage to defray these expenses. The same reasons will apply to Texas, but with greater force, by reason of the greater extent of her territory.
Owing to the difficulty and sometimes impossibility of getting suitable persons to act as assessors in certain localities, it has been necessary in a few instances to intrust the duties of assessment to the collector himself; and in such cases, as the law will allow only the compensation of one office, it seems to me that provision should be made authorizing the payment of both the compensation of collector as well as that of assessor, as he performs the duties of both.
In some districts in States that have assumed the war tax no collector has been appointed, and in others he has died or left the office vacant by going into the military service; and in such cases it has been found necessary to appoint what are termed supervising assessors. The authority for this is derived under section 7 or the supplemental act of 19th of December, 1861. These have performed all the duties of collector, and as some doubt exists as to the authority to pay them the compensation of collector it would be well to provide compensation for them by act of Congress.
In view of the probable legislation of Congress in reference to the war tax during the coming session, it would not be inappropriate to advert briefly to the 10 per cent. allowed by the act of 19th of August, 1861, to such States as have assumed the war tax assessed upon their citizens. The presumption is at least reasonable that this per cent. was merely intended as indemnity to cover the expense the States would necessarily incur in collecting the tax from the people, and that no portion of it was granted cuniary inducement to the States beyond the actual expense of collection. Nor is it