North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
The news in this publi
cation is released for the
press on receipt.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Published VVeekly by the j
University of North Caro- I
lina for the University Ex- j
tension Division. i
SEPTEMBER 23, 1925
CHAPEL HILL, N C.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
VOL. XI, NO. 45
Editorial Boards E. C. Branson. S. H. Hobbs, Jr.. L. R. Wilson, E. W. Knight, D. D. Carroll, J. B. Bullitt. H. W. Odum.
Entered as second-class matter November 14, 1914, at the Postofiice at Chapel Hill, N. C., under the act of August 24, 1912
XIII. TAXATION, THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS
Government and Taxation:
Citizenship means membership in
Government is the machinery by
means of which the members of
society act collectively.
Taxes represent raw material for
the governmental machine.
Amount of taxes depends on:
Extent of governmental services.
Degree of efficiency in the per
formance of these duties.
If taxes are too high:
Assist the government.
Increase efficiency within the
If taxes are reasonable:
The citizen should know:
The tax laws.
The tax practices.
Amount of taxes raised and for
If there is inequality in the im
position of the taxes.
If there is waste in the expendi
ture of public money.
Begin at home.
Analyze your own tax.
Study local tax books.
Question local tax officials.
Get acquainted with county gov-'
Study the theory of taxation:
What is a tax?
What is a fair basis of taxation?
Should everybody pay taxes?
Are direct or indirect taxes pref
Should local and state revenues
Should ^xes be used for any
purpose other than to raise
Be a good citizen.
Pay taxes cheerfully.
Set an example of public-spirited-
Think of a tax as a payment
rather t^an an exaction.
good is a sound principle and needs no
Should Study Taxation
On the other hand, if there is par
tiality, or inefficiency, or waste in the col
lection and expenditure of tax moneys,
or if the burden is not equitably distrib
uted, the principle of taxation is de
feated. If they exist, it is because the
light of publicity and intelligent criti
cism has not exposed them. The pres
ent tax system is not perfect. The
manner in which it is administered is
even less to be commended. In a rap
idly changing civilization tax systems
and tax machinery have to be constantly
adjusted. This only emphasizes the
need for intelligent and widespread in
formation. Taxation is not a dull sub
ject. It does not deal with abstractions
but with humanity itself in its com
Taxes should not be looked upon as a
necessary evil but as a positive good,
r^homas Jefferson once said, ‘ ‘The purse
of the people is the real seat of sensi
bility. It is to be drawn upon largely,
and then they will listen to truths which
could not excite them through any other
It is hoped that this series of local
tax studies has awakened in the minds
of those who have followed them a
livelier sense of civic responsibility, a
truer conception of a tax, and a de
termination to insist that every dollar
paid in taxes shall yield the fullest pos
sible return in service.
If taxation is not the business of the
individual citizen whose business is it?
Can government ever be self-operat-
Should government be run by experts
and the individual citizen relieved of
Granting that there should be ex
perts, how should they be selected?
Is the use of governmental experts
consistent with democracy?
Should every county have one quali
fied, full-time tax ofiicial?
Is the budget an instrument of de
Is it practicable for the voters to pass
Be as much concerned that you involved in a budget re-
pay for all that you get as that
you get all that you pay for. ^ criticisms we hear of taxa-
The author has borrowed the title of
Secretary Mellon’s recent book for the
title to this last outline. He has done
30 because it expresses a great truth.
If it were not the truth there would
have been no object in presenting this
Series of tax studies,
America gave Ihe world the first ex
ample of representative democracy, a
government which derives its powers
from the consent of the governed, and
whose taxes are self-imposed and ex
pended for the public good These are
the principles of American government;
if they are not the practices it is be
cause public opinion is not registering.
Public opinion is the motive power of
democratic government, and if it is not
strong, steady, and dependable, the
machinery can not run smoothly, nor
produce a product of uniform excel
Taxes are never popular. The idea per
sists that a tax is an exaction, which
if avoided, will leave that much more
money in the pocket of the individual.
That is not true. Taxes represent a
collective expenditure for necessary or
beneficent purposes. If these causes
were not supported through public taxa
tion they would have to be supported
through private contributions, and prob
ably at greater cost 'and with less equity
and less efficiency. Suppose, for ex
ample, that poor relief and the care of
the dependent classes were left to private
agencies. It would mean that the whole
burden would have to be borne by the
conscientious, altruistic people, and that
the selfish people would be excused
from giving any assistance. Suppose
before a school building could be erected
or a highway constructed the money
had to be raised by voluntary subscrip
tion, Nobody favors that method. In
stead, when a majority of the taxpayers
declare through their ballots that a new
institution or an added service will be
of general benefit, all must help pay
tor it. Public taxation for the support
of those things that serve the public
tion i/ften baaed on accurate informa
What can the individual citizen do to
bring about efficient government in his
county or city, and to insure fair and
What are you doing in that direction?
D. Sources of Information
Andrew W. Mellon, Taxation, the
People’s Business, Macmillan Co., 1924.
Current magazine articles on taxation.
Any good civics text-book.
Familiarity with tax conditions in
your own county.
Literature distributed by Alameda
County (Cal.) Tax Association,
Westchester County (N. Y.) Research
Alameda County (Cal.) Tax Associa
Cook County (111.) Bureau of Effici
ency.—Paul W. Wager.
In the modern world, the farmer
alone has been the last to realize
the value of organization for its own
sake. And, therefore, it happens
that when the farmer.s in any com
munity organize for any purpose
they soon find that there are other
benefits derived in addition to the
one that was Lheir special aim.
A finer community life, a widen
ing of sympathies with their neigh
bors and associates, a broadening of
their outlook upon the world, a new
sense of the dignity and worth of
their calling, an election of the
ablest and worthiest among them to
places of leadership, are among the
by-products of farmers’ organiza
tion.—Ex-Gov. Frank Lowden.
Of the governmental costs reported
above, $30,34(5,678 was for highways,
$4,122,126 being for maintenance and
$26,224,552 for construction.
Th^ total revenue receipts of North
Carolina for 1924 were $21,202,335, or
$7.30 per capita. This was $1,938,848
must have known what he was talking
about, meant that it was less than 2 per
day. Possibly the average was only a
little more than one per day. The
official North Carolina record for year
before last was one a day, omitting
those not officially disposed of. Statis
tics for the past year are not yet avail
able, but there is no reason to believe
that the number of killings has de
creased. Now take the Chicago excess
in population over North Carolina—
200,000 in round numbers—consider the
character of Chicago’s population, many
foreigners of the worst criminal type,
and especially consider the congestion
of the population, and the fact that
vice and crime flourish in congested
districts. Then compare these condi
tions with North Carolina, a rural state,
few foreigners and no congested areas,
and what have you?
The unbiased conclusion must be that
North Carolina is keeping pace with
Chicago in the number of homicides, if
in fact wG are not ahead, all things con
sidered. In any event, our homicide
record, under the conditions, makes a
worse showing for us than the Chicago
record does for Chicago. And w’e've
had the nerve to talk about crime-in
Chicago.—R. R. Clark, in Greensboro
The time is soon coming when Ameri
can farmers by means of their coopera-
, live market associations will to a large
more than the total pajuients o£ the l production to meet con-
year, exclusive of the payments for products, according
permanent improvements, but $30,731,
163 less than the total payments includ
ing those for permanent improvements.
These payments in excess of revenue
receipts were met from the proceeds of
debt obligations. Property and special
taxes represented 27.0 percent of the
total revenue for 1924, 23.3 percent for
1923, and 60.2 percent for 1917. The
increase in the amount of property and
special taxes collected was 73.6 percent
from 1917 to 1923, and 10.9 percent from
1923 to 1924. The per capita property
and special taxes were $2.10 in 1924,
$1.92 in 1923, and $1.20 in 1917. There
were no general property taxes in 1923
Earnings of general departments, or
compensation for services rendered by
state officials, represented 14.6 percent
of the total revenue for 1924, 11.6 per
cent for 1923, and 20.4 percent for 1917.
Business and non-business licenses
constituted 39.1 percent of the total
revenue for 1924, 34.6 percent for 1923,
and 19.4 percent for 1917.
Receipts from business licenses con
sist chiefly of taxes exacted from insur
ance and other incorporated companies,
privilege taxes, and from sales tax on
gasoline, while those from non-business
licenses comprise chiefly taxes on motor
The net indebtedness (funded and
floating debt less sinking fund assets)
of North Carolina on June 30, 1924, w^s ‘
$68,739,976, dr $26.28 per capita. Ini
to the prediction of Dr. Henry C. Taylor,
chief of the Bureau of Agricultural
Economics in the United States Depart
ment of Agriculture at Washington.
Dr. Taylor at the recent meeting of
several hundred cooperative leaders in
Philadelphia last month declared that
the cooperative marketing movement is
now here to stay, and made the follow
ing prediction: “This movement has
come to stay, it will grow and spread
its influence into the remotest corners
of the republic and wherever it takes
root and grows the life of the individual
farmer will be enriched and the nation
will have the benefit of a more self-
reliant, public-spirited citizenry.’’
“As the cooperative movement be
comes more widely spread and the vari
ous groups become better organized, we
expect cooperation to assist the
American farmers to stabilize produc
“The idea of crop adjustment reaches
back to the common welfare. The dis
astrous experience of the years imme
diately following the World War proved
that overproduction of any given crop
results in widespread distress which in.
volves not only the agricultural classes
but those industries which are depend
ent in great measure upon the farmers
as a market for their products.’’—Trl-
State Tobacco Grower.
STATE GOVERNMENT COSTS
The federal Department of Commerce
announces a summary of the financial
statistics of the State of North Carolina
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1924.
The payments for maintenance and
operation of the general departments
.of North Carolina for the fiscal year
ending June 30, 1924, amounted to $16,-
746,898, or $6.79 per capita. This in-
eludes $1,729,783 apportionments for
education to the minor civil divisions of
the state. The expenses of public ser
vice enterprises were $23,370; interest on
debt was $3,494,219; and outlays for
permanent improvements were $32,-
670,011. The total payments, therefore,
for expenses of general departments
and of public service enterprises, inter
est, and outlays were $61,933,498. In
1923 the comparative per capita for
maintenance and operation of general
departments, was $6.10, and in 1917,
$1.96. The totals include all payments
for the year, whether made from cur
rent revenues or from the proceeds of
bond issues. )
WATER POWER RESOURCES
The federal Department of Cem-
1923 the per capita debt wasj$2U.16. and i merce has recently issued a report on
in 1917, $3.85. I developed and undeveloped water power
There is no levy of the general prop-1 in the states of the Union. The table'
erty tax for state purposes in North |; - j:r=:=
appearing elsewhere shows hosv the
states of Che Union rank in developed
water power. In this particular North
Carolina takes a very high rank, there
being only three states in the Union with
more water power already developed.
Only New York in the east, and Cali
fornia and VVashington in the west,
rank ahead of North Carolina in. devel
oped water power.
In water power resources, that is in
power capable of development, North
Carolina does not rank so well. No one
can say with any authority what the
water power resources of North Caro
lina are. Statistics on potential power
are neither .comparable nor reliable.
Some states with power developments
licensed by the federal government
make fuller reports than other states
where the companies can report as they
please, or not report at ail.
According to this report the water
power resources of the stale capable of
development fifty percent of the time
are 816,000 horse power, with West
Virginia, Georgia, and Oklahoma rank
ing slightly ahead of us, In the re
ports for two of these states storage
data were considered, while no such
data were considered for North Caro
lina. The data for North Carolina were
simply flow and fall data. The leading
southern authority on water power re
sources says that undoubtedly North
Carolina has better storage facilities
than any other southern state, and that
from the two main points of view, (1)
on the basis of stream flow and fail,
(2) and with storage, North Carolina
ranks first in the South in water power
resources, and second only to New
York of all the eastern states.
The Hub of Power
But of even greater consequence than
our immediate local power is the fact
that North Carolina is in the very cen
ter of the vast water power resources
of the Southern Appalachian country.
The South possesses a large part of the
water power resources^of the nation,
and the states in which this power is
mainly located are West Virginia, Vir
ginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and
Alabama. A glance at the map will
show that North Carolina is centrally
located amid these states. In other
words, if we think of tiiese states as a
wheel. North Carolina becomes the hub.
With the coming of a super power sys
tem for the South, North Carolina will
be the logical state into which the
transmission lines will be directed and
The states listed above contain about
seven million potential horse power,
with no storage data considered in most
cases. Thus it is seen that, while our
local power is limited in a sense, our
strategic location makes us the center
of vast and almost unlimited water
North Carolina is already a great in
dustrial state, with a clear lead in the
South. Since cheap power is such a
big factor in industry it seems that she
is likely to widen her margin of leader
ship as time passes.
WE TOP CHICAGO |
Those of us who have been viewing i
with horror Chicago’s carnival of crime ;
might find additional cause for alarm
by a closer inspection of our own prem
ises, as intimated in some remarks in
this column on the 31st ult. Colonel
Chamberlain, director of the Chicago
crime commission, was quoted as say
ing that Chicago’s murder record is |
“more than one a day.’’ Latest esti-j
mate available of Chicago’s population :
is 2,942,606. Official criminal statistics \
published a year ago, giving the record |
for the previous year, showed that the
number of homicide cases in North Caro
lina, actually disposed of in the courts,
averaged one a day for the year. This
took no account of cases not heard in
the courts, of which there must have
been quite a number. In fact it is be-
2,769,014. Make your own figures.
Whether the Chicago homicide record
reported at “more than one a day’’
would figure out an average of 11-2 or
13 4, more or less, records are not avail
able to show. Bu-t it is assumed that in
saying “more than one a day” the head
of the Chicago crime commission, who
DEVELOPED WATER POWER IN THE U. S. IN 1925
The following table, based on a recent report issued by the federal Depart
ment of Commerce, ranks the states according to developed water power in
New York ranks first in developed water power with 1,713,561 horse power.
North Carolina ranks fourth with 634,600 horse pov;er, or more than five per
cent of all power developed in the United States. The states that rank ahead
: of us in developed power are New York, California, and Washington.
. .. 534,600
New Jersey ....
.. ., 7,230