Chapter XVII - Taxes Page 02


The second great source of Government revenue is derived from the internal revenue tax, or excise duties.

Manufacturers of alcohol, whether as wine, whiskey, or beer, and the producers of tobacco, in its manufactured forms, have to pay an excise tax in proportion to the amount and character of their products.

As with the customs tax, the excise tax is added by the manufacturer to the cost of production, so that at last it is the consumer who pays it.


While the manufacturers of alcohol pay the excise tax in bulk, that is on the number of gallons produced, the manufacturers of cigars and tobacco have to attach to each separate package a distinct internal revenue stamp.

These stamps are purchased from the internal revenue collectors, appointed by the Government to certain districts. The stamps show at a glance that the proper tax has been paid, just as the postage stamp affixed to a letter proves that the price for carrying it and delivering it has been paid.

As it is a penal offence to use a postage stamp a second time, so it is a punishable offence to attempt the use of a cancelled or torn internal revenue stamp.

If demanded, the Government will give a receipt for the sum received from any one for considerable sales of postal or revenue stamps.


State taxes, as has been stated, are levied on real and personal property. Some states have in addition a poll tax. This is levied on the individual without any regard to his property, and a receipt for it may be a requirement before a citizen is permitted to vote.

Of course the real estate and personal property taxes are not the same in all the states, for each state must raise every year the sum necessary to meet its own special requirements.

The intention of all tax laws is to have every citizen's contribution bear the same proportion to the whole amount to be raised that his possessions bear to the aggregate property of all the owners in the commonwealth.


All our state laws exempt from taxation certain kinds of property.

The state cannot tax the property held by itself for the common use.

The buildings and related properties of religious bodies and societies are not taxable.

Such educational institutions as colleges, seminaries, and private charities are not taxed.

Cemeteries and other places where the dead are disposed of are not taxed.

County buildings, city parks, public schools, penal institutions, fair grounds for public use and similar property is never taxed.

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