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Internal Revenue


1. From what sources internal revenue is collected.

2. The systems of 1790, 1813.

3. The system of 1861.

4. The present system.

5. Opposition to the system.

6. Number required to collect the revenue.

7. Cost of collection.

1. The Government collects a large revenue from dis tilled spirits, tobacco, fermented liquors, oleomargarine, banks, opium and playing cards. The amount thus col lected in 1898 was $170,866,819, and in 1899, $273, 2. The first law authorizing the collection of internal revenue was enacted in 1790, and continued twelve years. During the second war with Great Britain in 1813 the system was revived and continued until 1817.

3. The third time the system went into operation was in 1861, during the Civil War. The system was not fully developed until the struggle was nearly closed ; dur ing 1866 the amount collected from this source was $310, 906,984. After a few years the law was greatly modified, leaving it in operation only on the articles above men tioned.

4. In June, 1898, another act was passed, increasing the taxes on some of the articles above mentioned and imposing fresh taxes on documents, proprietary medi cines and other preparations, sales of stocks, legacies, theatres and on some other things.

5. There was a time when many friends of the pro tective system advocated the repeal of internal taxation and the collection of all revenue needed from imports.

Their opponents contended that every enlightened gov ernment imposed heavier taxes on spirituous liquors and tobacco than on any other products, as they were luxuries and could be imposed with greater advantage to the pub lic welfare than any other taxes. The system has sur vived, and the expenditures of the government have so enormously increased that it doubtless will remain a per manent source of revenue.

6. To collect this revenue 63 collectors are employed, who receive salaries ranging from $2,000 to $4,500, and 955 deputy collectors, who are paid in the same manner.' In the offices of the different collectors are employed 185 clerks, besides porters, messengers, janitors and a large number of gaugers and store-keepers.

7. The cost of collecting the revenue varies somewhat from year to year. Thus the cost for 1899 was $4,591, 754, or 1.68 per cent. of the amount collected. For the previous year the cost was 2.29 per cent. The cost varies far more for collecting in the different districts, as may be shown by a few examples : 'Besides his salary a collector receives a commission of one per cent. on tax-paid spirit stamps and in some cases an additional compensation. The gross amount in no case ex ceeding $4,500.

P. Ct. P. Ct.

system, taxes, amount and collectors