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partly without the state. Such mortgages are taxed upon the proportion which the value of the mortgaged property within the state bears to the entire value of the mortgaged property situated within and without the state. It is also the duty of the tax commission to apportion among the several tax districts interested the tax collected on mortgages covering property in more than one tax district situated wholly within the state. During the year ending December 31, 1915, the commission disposed of 660 cases of determination and apportionment and released for distribution to the state and the various tax districts the sum of $239,820.88. During the year ending December 31, 1916, the commission disposed of 960 cases of determination and apportionment, releasing for distribution the sum of $296,769.04. All mortgages pending at the time of the last annual report have been disposed of and all such cases are now promptly disposed of as presented.
COUNTY EXAMINATIONS Under the general supervisory power conferred by section 263 of the mortgage tax law the State Tax Commission is authorized to examine the records of the several recording officers of the state for the purpose of ascertaining if all taxes collected have been accounted for, if the tax has been collected on all the instruments subject to taxation, if the computations of taxes are correctly made and in general to ascertain if all the provisions of the mortgage tax law have been complied with. Under this authority and for this purpose up to December 31, 1916, fifty-two counties have been examined as follows: Albany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Kings, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Suffolk, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westchester, Wyoming and Yates. Of these counties the following 15 were examined during the year ending December 31, 1916: Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Lewis, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Tompkins, Warren and Wayne. Four counties are at present under examination: New York, Onondaga, Oswego and St. Lawrence. There remain but six counties in the state to be examined: Allegany, Bronx, Chenango, Jefferson, Nassau and Sullivan.
Where the examination of county mortgage tax records disclosed delinquencies on the part of recording officers, detailed reports were submitted to the governor for executive action. In April, 1916, the county clerk of Schoharie county, who was charged with a shortage in mortgage tax receipts in that county in the sum of $1,758.08, was removed by the governor. No loss was sustained as the money was paid over to the county treasurer of Schoharie county even before the matter was called to the attention of the governor.
EXPENSES OF RECORDING OFFICERS The provisions of section 262 of the tax law authorize recording officers to deduct their necessary expenses from mortgage tax moneys after such expenses have been approved by the commission. In April of 1916, a revision was made of the allowances to recording officers for hire of clerks and assistants. The result of this revision which went into effect on July 1, 1916, is 'as follows: Prior to July 1, 1916, there was allowed the sum of $76,745.82 annually for hire of clerks and assistants. The amount allowable after July 1, 1916, for hire of clerks and assistants is the sum of $64,379 showing a reduction of $12,366.82 in the annual allowance for clerks and assistants, or a saving of 16.12%.
ADMINISTRATION During the year ending December 31, 1916, the mortgage tax bureau reviewed 748 statements received from recording officers under the ruling promulgated on August 4, 1915, in respect to exemption of supplemental mortgages under section 255 and indeterminate mortgages under section 256 of the tax law.
MORTGAGE Tax OPERATIONS On the first of the month each recording officer is required to file with the tax department a report of the number of mortgage statements filed, the number of mortgages recorded and the amount
of mortgage taxes collected during the preceding month. These reports show that for the year ending June 30, 1916, which is the end of the mortgage tax year, a total tax of $2,847,823.04 was collected. For the year ending June 30, 1915, mortgage taxes in the sum of $3,206,496.80 were collected, which shows a decrease of $358,673.76 in the year ending June 30, 1916.
For the year ending June 30, 1915, there were 3,083 mortgage statements filed and 106,182 mortgages recorded in the counties of the state.
During the year ending June 30, 1916, there were 4,167 mortgage statements filed and 106,761 mortgages recorded in the counties of the state.
The expenses incurred by the recording officers duly approved by this commission for the year ending June 30, 1916, amount to $74,970.23, and for the year ending June 30, 1915, $77,387.19. One-half of the net amount of tax collected is distributed among the tax districts by the respective boards of supervisors and the other half is paid into the state treasury.
ANNUAL STATEMENTS OF TRUST AND PRIOR MORTGAGES In the case of trust mortgages and mortgages executed prior to July 1, 1906, where the maximum amount of principal indebtedness has not been advanced, there is required to be filed in July of each year with this commission and in the office of the recording officer where the mortgage is first recorded a statement in which shall appear the amount advanced on such mortgage during the year preceding. The obvious purpose of requiring the filing of this statement is to enable this commission and the recording officer to determine whether the proper tax has been collected. There were 547 such statements filed for the year ending June 30, 1916. A number of these statements revealed the fact that advancements had been made, and, on communication with the proper recording officer, it was discovered that in many instances no tax had been collected. On receipt of this information the commission immediately took steps to compel compliance with the law, and where a liability for tax was shown the commission demanded payment of the tax and penalty as provided by statute. Not infrequently this demand was met with the response that as the advances in question had been made over six years ago the statute of limitations operated against an enforced payment. The result is that a large number of delinquent taxes are now outstanding which should be collected. The records of the bureau show that through its efforts and in some instances by the aid of the attorney-general's office there was collected during the year from January 1, 1916, to December 31, 1916, delinquent taxes and penalties in the sum of $22,766.74. This amount would have been increased very materially were it not for the plea set up by certain delinquents of the statute of limitations, and the tax commission is of the opinion that the statute of limitations should not operate against the collection of delinquent mortgage taxes and the penalties thereon. 'An amendment to the law to this effect is in course of preparation, As the total amount appropriated for the expense of this bureau for the year 1916 was $27,500, and the amount of delinquent taxes and penalties collected during that time was $22,766.64, leaving a balance of only $4,733.26, it will clearly appear that if the statute of limitations were not applicable to this class of delinquent taxes, the receipts from this source alone would have more than equalled the appropriation for the maintenance of the bureau for the entire year.
F. THE CORPORATION Tax BUREAU The corporation tax bureau is charged with the duty of assessing general franchise taxes against corporations.
The work of this bureau has steadily grown throughout the year. The mailing list of the year 1916 shows ten thousand names in excess of the list of the preceding year, increasing the work of the bureau nearly twenty per cent.
The quality of the work is shown by the fact that the gross collection made for the annual period ending September 30, 1916, was $12,280,042.67. This amount exceeded that of the fiscal year tending September 30, 1915, by the sum of $1,044,078.56, and was in excess of any amount collected in any like preceding period under the provisions of article IX of the tax law. It is anticipated that during the present fiscal year, revenues from this source will be larger than those of last year.
THE FOLLOWING IS A STATEMENT IN DETAIL OF 1916 CORPORATION
From Sept. 30, 1915
to Sept. 30, 1916 Insurance-Premiums
$1, 919, 343 81 G. E.*
1, 661, 374 92 Transportation C. S.1
900, 813 52 S G. E.*
295, 458 35 Tel. & Tel. C. S..
384, 810 26 Miscellaneous, C. S...
2, 266, 586 61 Gas, Water, etc., G. E.*.
1, 225, 786 63 Foreign Banks
73, 686 89 License Fees
51, 428 68 Trust Companies
2, 223, 466 41 Savings Banks
1, 277, 286 59
$12, 280,042 67
The quantity of the work is shown by the following brief summary:
More than sixty thousand (60,000) blanks have been addressed, registered and numbered in duplicate and forwarded for reports; thousands of circular letters have been transmitted; more than thirty-three thousand (33,000) notices of assessment have been submitted; and over nine thousand (9,000) letters requiring special or individual reply have been written.
The work of the force in the field, consisting of the clerks in the New York city office and the four examiners has resulted in decided financial gain to the state, but its highest value has been its salutary effect on delinquent corporations, and in this way it has enabled the department to dispose of hundreds of dormant matters. There is still much work to be done in this field.
Thirty-seven appeals from assessments made by the bureau are still pending. This is about the normal number. These appeals represent matters held pending litigation in progress, a half dozen cases of which could not be reached, and petitions based upon current assessments.
* G. E.-- Gross earnings taxes. * C. S.- Capital stock taxes.