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JOHN J. MERRILL,
MARSHALL M. FRANCE,
CHARLES R. McSPARREN
ALBANY, N. Y., SEPTEMBER, 1916
An examination of this Bulletin will reveal in a striking way, the present confusion in tax law and procedure in New York. It will be seen that thirty general laws, other than the Tax Law proper, contain provisions relating to taxation. In addition to this, there is a large amount of special law containing tax provisions. Some of these special laws provide complete schemes for the assessment, levy and collection of taxes in special tax districts, and in some cases these special provisions are in distinct opposition to the provisions of the Tax Law governing similar procedure. The Commission hopes that one result of this revelation will be a serious movement for a proper revision and codification of the tax laws. The necessity of such a revision has more than once been recognized by the Legislature in recent years, but no satisfactory result has been attained. Yet in no department of the State government is there more imperative need for a lucid, exact, simple statement of the law than in the important field of the assessment, levy and collection of taxes. In this work the law itself should lend every aid to efficiency.
Next to the revision and codification of the tax laws, the Commission recognized the necessity of collecting in one volume all the present general statutes and a number of the special statutes relating to taxation and of making them available for use by means of a comprehensive index in which should be consolidated in alphabetical order, all the subjects included in the various statutes. This work was assigned to the Law Division of the department and the index of the present bulletin is the result. It is designed to make practically available all the provisions on any one subject, which are now so widely scattered in the various tax laws.
In addition to the amendments above noted, we caused to be introduced other amendments to the Tax Law which were not adopted by the Legislature. Among these was the McWhinney increase-of-pay bill. Assessors would do well to interest their legislative representatives in this measure, as we hope to have it introduced again next year. Assessors may well seek to interest their legislative representatives in all legislation proposed by the Tax Commission as such legislation is always suggested with the purpose of assisting in the improvement of local assessment work,