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National Expenditure for the District of Columbia


1. Nature of the government until 1871.

2. How estimates are now prepared.

3. Expenditures for 1896.

1. When the Government of the United States took possession of the District of Columbia, in December, 1800, it was divided by Congress into two counties— Alexandria, on the west side of the Potomac, and Wash ington, on the east side—and the laws of Virginia were continued over Alexandria and those of Maryland over the other county. In 1871 the government of the Dis trict was radically changed, but after a short life of three years it came to an end, and the present form of govern ment was established. By this, the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, is authorized to ap point a commission, consisting of three persons, to exer cise the power and authority vested in the Governor and Board of Public Works by the constitution of 1871. The president of the commission is an officer of the corps of engineers above the rank of captain, and the other two members are civilians.' 2. This commission submits to the Secretary of the annually estimates for all the expenditures of the District, the cost and maintenance of streets and bridges, charitable institutions, prisons, water, lights, etc.

After their revision by the Secretary, the estimate is transmitted to Congress. When approved by that body one-half the amount is appropriated and the remainder is levied and assessed on "the taxable property and privi leges in said district other than the property of the United States and of the District of Columbia." 3. The expenditure by the National Government for the year 1899 was $2,674,812. By this arrangement there is a much more efficient and economical government than ever existed before.

brief history of the government of the District of Colum bia is given by Mr. Justice Bradley in Metropolitan R. Co. v. District of. Columbia, 132 U. S. Rep. 1. For Legal Relation of the District of Columbia and United States, see Poland's Rep., H. of Rep., 43 Cong. 1 Sess. No. June 1, 1874. See also Wil son's Rep., concerning the Affairs of the District, Mode of Busi ness, etc., H. of R. 43 Cong. 1 Sess. No. 647, and Senator Mor rill's Rep. 42 Cong. 2 Sess. No. 479, Dec. 7, 1874; Buckner's Rep. 44 Cong. 1 Sess. No. 702, June 26, 1876.

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