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Part of Hamilton’s Draft of 1787 Act "for Raising Certain Yearly Taxes," from His One Term in New York’s Legislature
1787 - Autograph Manuscript. c. March 1787. New York. 2 pp. Two pages of Hamilton's third draft of a bill for "An Act for Raising Certain Yearly Taxes within This State." These two pages were retained by the family until acquired by us earlier this year. The balance of Hamilton's third draft is in the Library of Congress. Hamilton served a single term in the New York State Assembly, from January 12 to April 21, 1787. The 70-member Assembly met in the Old Royal Exchange in New York City. On February 9, a committee introduced a proposal for a new and more fair system of taxation. "It was agreed on all hands," the Daily Advertiser summarized Hamilton's remarks, "that the system heretofore in use was full of defects; both in the view of equality among individuals and of revenue to the state. From the legislature to the assessors, all was conjecture and uncertainty." He explained that the present system left too much discretion to assessors and supervisors with their individual biases and inclinations. "Equality and certainty are the two great objects to be aimed at in taxation," Hamilton concluded, and although his system "does not pretend to reach absolute equality," it would "approach much nearer to equality than the former system" and "leaves nothing to discretion." He invited the committee, the Assembly, and the Legislature to improve it, but warned, "we could not fall upon a worse system than the present. Any change would be for the better."[1]Members of both the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate offered amendments to Hamilton's bill, and the "Act for raising monies by tax," that passed on April 11, 1787, was substantially shorter and did not include this text. Rather than imposing duties on specific possessions and implementing detailed reforms, the final act levied a quota on each county in the state to raise a total of £50,000, and made the assessors in each county responsible for determining taxable property and the rates of taxation.[2]Transcript21)Assessor shall leave with each possessor of land his or her bailiff Agent or servant or fix up upon some public place of the dwelling house of such possessor of land his or her bailiff agent or servant, if any there be on the premisses a memorandum in writing of the amount of this tax to the end that each person may be prepared in time to pay the same And the said tax shall be payable in the several counties at the respective periods hereinbefore limited for the payment of the tax on inhabited dwelling houses, and in the same proportions, and shall be collected to all intents and purposes within the times and in the manner prescribed for the collection of the said tax on inhabited dwelling houses. And the collectors shall have the same powers and shall be chargeable and answerable in the same manner for any default or neglect in respect to the collection of the said tax on lands as in respect to the collection of the said tax on inhabited dwelling houses and shall account for the proceeds thereof to the respective county treasuries within the same times and in the same manner. Provided always that with respect to such wood lands as are not in the actual occupation of any person the Assessors of the town ward manor precinct or district wherein such lands lie shall enter and estimate the same according to the best information they can obtain touching the Owner of such lands and the quantities thereof; and the Collectors respectively, if the Owners reside within the town manor precinct or district, after demand of such owners of the amount of the said tax and nonpayment thereof accordingly shall and may have and bring an action of debt in their own names respectively for the recovery thereof with Costs of Just: but inasmuch as mistakes might happen as well in respect to the true Owners of such ?? lands as to the quantity thereof it shall be lawful for the persons upon whom the land tax shall. (See website for full description)
      [Bookseller: Seth Kaller Inc.]
Last Found On: 2018-01-09           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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