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3. The completion of all the returns and ab- the importance and complexity of the subject, stracts relative to the distillation from domestic more time and leisure would have been desiramaterials, in places other than cities, towns, and ble, yet, in obedience to the said resolution, he villages, and to stills, as far as the same can, by most respectfully submits the following report: every exertion in your power, be completed. From The duty enjoined is to “report a plan for laythe first day of July, 1791, to the last day of De-ing and collecting direct taxes by apportionment cember, 1794, they should be made up by the close among the several States, agreeably to the rule of the current quarter, the 30th of June next. prescribed by the Constitution; adapting the same, These, also, should be immediately sent forward, as nearly as may be, to such objects of direct tas. as each shall be completed. I recommend, too, ation, and such modes of collection, as may apsuch exertion as will possess the Treasury of the pear by the laws and practice of the States, reabstract, relative to the half year, now current, spectively, to be most eligible in each." by the close of the year 1795.
The amount of the proposed tax not being spe4. The completion of the quarterly accounts cified in the resolution, the Secretary presumes current, with the proper accompaniments, from it to have been the intention of the House that July 1, 1791, to the 30th day of September, 1795, the sum to be apportioned should be sufficient to and the transmission of each of them, which is, at consummate the system which was established this time, incomplete, as soon as it shall be made in March, 1795, for the reduction of the present up.
debt of the United States, and commensurate to 5. A complete list of all the inspectors of sur- the probable exigencies of the Government. veys, inspectors of the revenue for the ports, col- This construction has appeared the more realectors of the revenue, auxiliary officers, and sonable, because necessary to prevent the meadeputies of the inspectors of the revenue for the sures then adopted, from producing effects in some ports, as the same shall stand in the month of degree opposite to what were intended. The pubJune, 1795, exhibiting the salary allowed to each, lic faith having been pledged to reimburse a great and an estimate of the commissions, fees for mark- portion of the debt, which lately rested in perma. ing stills, &c.; also, the surveys, divisions, and coun- nent loans, sufficient revenues for this object, and ties. To these you will prefix a similar exhibi- all necessary expenses of Government, must be tion of all the emoluments of the supervisors. provided, or recourse had to a continued system
Should anything further occur likely, in your of borrowing. If this last expedient should be reopinion, to give to the Legislature a perfect view of sorted to, the public burdens, though the debts the revenue service, and of its results, you will be may change their
form, will remain substantially pleased to add such information.
The Government will, moreover, be I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your most liable to certain risks and expenses, which inevit
ably attend extensive contracts; and unless it TENCH COXE, shall be found practicable to obtain new loans on
Commissioner of the Revenue. térms at least as favorable as those to be extinThe Supervisors of the Revenue.
guished, the public debts will be somewhat in[The tables accompanying the Report are omitted.] creased by the inefficacy of the measures which
were intended to reduce them.
It will not escape the attention of the House, DIRECT TAXES.
that the causes which at present most favor the prosperity of the United States, and, consequent
ly, increase the ability of the people to pay taxes, (Communicated to the House of Representatives, De are such as oppose obstacles to the negotiation of cember 14, 1796.)
new loans, or, at least, render their terms pecuTREASURY DEPARTMENT, Dec. 14, 1796. liarly burdensome and expensive. But, while it Sir
would be improper to encourage an expectation of Representatives, of the 4th of April, 1796, I that the affairs of this extensive and enterprising have the honor to transmit a report, containing occasional application to this resource, it ought to
country can be successfully conducted without an a plan for laying and collecting direct taxes, by be a fixed principle to establish a permanent se apportionment among the several States, agreeably to the rule prescribed by the Constitution.
venue, adequate to every permanent expense, and I have the honor to be, with perfect respect, sir, loans arising from extraordinary and unforeseen
sufficient to discharge, in a reasonable time, all your obedient servant, OLIVER WOLCOTT, JR.
contingencies. This principle has already bees The Hon. the SPEAKER
recognised by the act of March 30, 1795, which of the House of Representatives.
has solemnly pledged the public faith for the reimbursement of the debt now existing ; it, there
sore, only remains to embrace the present period. The Secretary or the Treasury has, during the as the most auspicious which has yet occurred,
recess of Congress, directed his attention to col- and as favorable as any which may be expected, lect such information as appeared necessary to for establishing and maturing such systems as enable him to comply with the resolution of will efficaciously fulfil the intentions of the Lethe House of Representatives, passed on the gislature. fourth day of April, 1796 ; and though, from As necessarily connected with the question,
how far additional revenues are requisite, the Se-2d. Six per cent. stock, on which cretary has deemed it proper, though not enjoin- interest will accrue after the ed by the resolution of the House, to present a
930,753 91 concise statement of the finances. The period 3d. Three per cent. stock, also purselected for this purpose is the first day of July, chased or redeemed
610.757 94 of the present year, at which time the debts of | 4th. Stock of the Bank of the Unithe United States were of the following descrip- ted States, sold by the United tions and amounts :
States, estimated at par
2,000,000 00 1st. The foreign debt, consisting of loans obtained 5th. The sum reimbursed at the
by the late and present Government in Amster- close of the year 1795, on the dam and Antwerp, amounting to twenty-nine
six per cent. stock
544,066 54 millions five hundred thousand guilders; equal, at forty cents
Amounting, in the whole, to 5,255,810 52 per guilder, to
$11.800,000 00 2d. The six per cent. domestic
The particulars and amount of expenditure restock, now in course of reim
quired by the public contracts, in relation to the bursement
29,344,752 98 capitals first enumerated, calculated on an ave3d. The six per cent. domestic
rage of the respective years for which each destock, upon which reimburse
scription of debt is to continue, are as follows: ments are to commence in the
1st. The debts due in Amsterdam and Antwerp,
14,578,882 39 as before stated, amount to eleven millions eight 4th. The three per cent. domestic
hundred thousand dollars. The contracts restock
19,597,545 93 specting them require annual reimbursements in 5th. The five and a half per cent.
unequal portions, until the year 1809, when the domestic stock
1,848,900 00 last payment is to be made. The whole sum re6th. The four and a half per cent.
quired for principal and interest, on an accurate domestic stock
176,000 00 calculation, and supposing the utmost punctuality 7th. The unfunded registered
to be maintained on the part of the United States, debt, exclusive of arrearages of
is sixteen millions seven hundred and seventy interest prior to the year 1791 - 179,953 16 thousand four hundred and forty-four dollars. 8th. The debts due to the Bank
The average sum which will be of the United States and the
required, during the fourteen years Bank of New York
6,200,000 00 which this debt is to continue, is,
This calculation, however, supThe sums before enumerated
poses the practicability of such a are precisely ascertained by the records of the Treasury, and
punctual provision for the pay
ment of interest and principal, as
83,726,034 46 There are, however, in circula
will entirely supersede the use of tion, various descriptions of certifi
temporary credits in Europe; and
it moreover supposes that remitcates, the amount and value of
tances can be uniformly made at which are not exactly ascertained, which, with the balances of certain
the par of exchange. As neither
of these suppositions will be, in unliquidated accounts and arrearages of interest, may possibly
fact, realized, there is to be added rise to
to the foregoing sum the estimated
and for interest on temporary ad-
vances to the United States, to in
sure punctuality; this expense will ture is incurred, and for which provision is necessary, may, there
not, probably, be less than five per
centum on the annual payments, fore, Be estimated at
and being calculated on the aveTo reconcile this representation with reports will, at this rate, amount to
rage annual demand above stated, heretofore made from the Treasury, and to pre
59,537 30 vent erroneous opinions from being entertained
1,257,426 14 respecting the real amount of the public debt, it appears proper to represent that the following Upon the principles herein assumed, the avesums are indisputable off-sets against the capitals rage sum to be provided, until the year 1809, inbefore enumerated :
clusive, for the extinguishment of the Dutch 1st. Sıx per ceat. stock, bearing
debt, will be one million two hundred and fiftya present interest, already pur
seven thousand four hundred and twenty-six dolchased or redeemed, and vested
lars and fourteen cents. in the Commissioners of the
It is proper, however, to state that the foregoing Sinking Fund
$1,170,232 131 estimate is founded on a presumption that some 4th Con.-85
systematical plan will be adopted for satisfying the The duration of this annuity may be considerexisting contracts, by direct payments from the ed as indefinite; for, though funds for the redempTreasury. In every degree in which recourse tion of the capital stock are eventually approprimay be had to new loans, the expense of reim- ated by the act, entitled “ An act making further bursement will be finaHy increased by at least provision for the support of public credit and for the charges of negotiation; these, upon such loans the redemption of the public debt," yet, by a proas may be hereafter obtained in Holland, cannot viso to the twelfth section of the said act, the be estimated at less than six or seven per centum power of diverting the appropriation to other obupon the capitals which may be borrowed. jects, is reserved to the Government.
2d. The six per cent. stock now in course of re- 5th. The interest on the stock bearing interest imbursement, exclusive of the sum passed to the at five and a half per centum per annum, (being creditof the Sinking Fund, is twenty-eight millions one million eight hundred and forty-eight thouone hundred and seventy-four thousand five hun- sand nine hundred dollars) will require one hundred and twenty dollars and eighty-five cents, dred and one thousand six hundred and eighty. upon which the annuity of eight per centum nine dollars and fifty cents.
$2,253,961 66 6th. The interest on the stock bearing interest The capital passed to the cre
at four and a half per centum, being one hundred dit of the Sinking Fund is one mil
and seventy-six thousand dollárs, will be annually lion one hundred and seventy
seven thousand nine hundred and twenty dollars. thousand two hundred and thirty
7th the unfunded debt is of two descriptions, viz: two dollars and thirteen cents;
That which is registered, being $179,953 16 upon which the accruing interest
And that not registered, estiof six per centum per annum, is - 70,213 92 mated at
1,124,404 24 Amounting to 2,324,175 58 Amounting to
1,304,357 40 This sum, last mentioned, will be annually re- For this debt no provision has been made by quired until the close of the year 1817. During law, except a partial grant from year to year, on the year 1818, the demand for the object will de-account of interest. So far as the debt has been cline to about one million eight hundred and six- liquidated, the public are bound by contract to ty-five thousand dollars, and will then cease by pay an interest of six per centum per annum. the extinguishment of the debt.
Similar engagements will be expressed in the cer3d. The six per cent. stock, on which reim- tificates hereafter to be issued; to discharge which bursements will commence in the year 1801, interest there will be annually required the sum of amounted, on the first day of July, 1796,"to thir- seventy-eight thousand two hundred and sixty-one teen millions six hundred and forty-eight thousand dollars and forty-one cents. one hundred and twenty-eight dollars and forty- 8th. The debts due to the Bank of the United eight cents, exclusive of nine hundred and thirty States and Bank of New York amount to six milthousand seven hundred and fifty-three dollars lions two hundred thousand dollars; though a and ninety-one cents, passed to the credit of the part of this sum was borrowed at five per centum Sinking Fund. The annuity on the first sum, at per annum, yet, as the existing contracts are ereight per centum, amounts to $1,091,850' 28 pected to be satisfied from the proceeds of new And on the latter sum, at six
loans at six per centum, the annuity chargeable per centum, to
55,845 23 upon the revenue is calculated upon this last rate,
being three hundred and seventy-two thousand Being, together,
1,147,695 51 dollars.
The annuities before recited comprise all the Which last sum will be required, from the year demands which will be made upon the Treasury: 1801 to the year 1823, inclusive. During the year in consequence of the present debt of the United 1824, the charge will be reduced to about nine States; and being reduced to aggregate sums, and hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars; and, classed according to the epochas for which the after that period, will wholly cease, with the re- said annuities are to continue, they will require a imbursements of the debt.
provision of revenue as follows: 4th. The funded three per cent. stock, exclu- 1. From the year 1796 until the end of the year sive of the credit to the Sinking Fund, amounts to 1800, when the annuity on the deferred six per eighteen millions nine hundred and eighty-six thou- cent. stock will begin to accrue, four millions se sand seven hundred and eighty-seven dollars and ven hundred and twenty-nine thousand three ninety-nine cents; on which the
hundred and ninety-eight dollars and ninety-nine annual interest is
569,603 63 cents. Thestock of the Sinking Fund is
2. From the year 1801 to the year 1809, inclusix hundred and ten thousand se
sive, when the present foreign debt will be exven hundred and fifty-seven dol
tinguished, five milions eight hundred and serenlars and ninety-four cents; and
ty-seven thousand ninety-four dollars and ifty the interest thereon
18,322 73 cents.
3. From the year 1810 to the year 1818, incluAmounting to
587,926 36 | sive, when the annuity on the six per cent. stock,
bearing a present interest, will be extinguished, For the support of the civil list $486,000 00 four millions six hundred and nineteen thousand For expenses of intercourse with six hundred and sixty-eight dollars and thirty-six foreign nations
100,000 00 cents.
For the mint establishment
40,000 00 4. From the year 1819 to the year 1824, inclu- For light-houses
25,000 00 sive, when the annuity on the deferred six per For expenses of the loan offices
12,000 00 cent. stock will be extinguished, two millions iwo For miscellaneous objects and hundred and ninety-five thousand four hundred contingent expenses of Governand ninety-two dollars and seventy-eight cents. ment
37,000 00 5. After the year 1824, supposing the debt above For the military and naval dementioned to be extinguished, and the other debts partments, including pensions 2,000,000 00 of the United States to remain in their present situation, one million one hundred and forty-seven Amounting, in the whole, annualthousand seven hundred and ninety-seven dollars ly, to
2,700,000 00 and twenty-seven cents. By the establishment of a revenue adequate to
If it shall be found that the expenses of the mithe current expenses of the Government, in addi- litary and naval departments cannot be reduced tion to the foregoing estimate, during the periods below the above estimate, which, though much above recited, the following reductions of debt to be desired, is far from certain, the foregoing might be effected :
calculation will fall short of the real expense; it 1. At the close of the year 1809,
being morally certain that the expenses of civil the entire amount of the present
government will, hereafter, considerably increase. foreign debt, being
$11,800,000 00 Assuming it, however, as a principle, that the 2. At the close of the year 1818,
expenses of the public establishments will amount the six per cent. stock, bearing a
to two millions seven hundred thousand dollars, present interest
29,344,752 98 and no more, it follows that, to preserve the Uni3. At the close of the year 1824,
ted States from the necessity of recurring to futhe deferred six per cent. stock 14,578,882 39 ture loans, it is requisite to establish a revenue to
continue until the close of the year 1800, of seven Amounting, together, to 55,723,635 37 millions four hundred and twenty-nine thousand
three hundred and ninety-eight dollars and ninetyAfter the reimbursement of the
nine cents. And from the year 1801 to the year foregoing sums, there would still
1809, inclusive, a revenue of eight millions five remain, of the present debt
hundred and seventy-seven thousand ninety-four 1. The three per cent. stock,
dollars and fifty cents. being
- $19,597,545 93 It is a further consequence of the foregoing 2. The five and a half per cent.
data that, though a revenue upon this last scale stock
1,848,900.00 would be more than sufficient to discharge the 3. The four and a half per cent.
whole public debt, on or before the year 1824, yet, stock
176,000 00 that the absolute engagements of the United 4. The unfunded and unliqui
States will not require, after the year 1809, more dated debts
1,304,356 97 than seven millions three hundred and nineteen 5. The debts due to banks, or
thousand six hundred and sixty-eight dollars and the stock which may be substitu
thirty-six cents; which last sum is less than the ted therefor
6,200,000 00 annual expenditure required by existing contracts
and arrangements. Amounting, in the whole, to 29,126,802 90 Having thus presented a view of the probable
expenditures of the United States, it remains to If, however, the United States can establish a show how far the revenues already established revenue equal to the scale of expenditure which afford an adequate resource; the particulars and will be necessary in the year 1801, the whole amount of these revenues are as follows: debt may be extinguished by payment or purchase, Duties arising on imports and tonon or before the end of the year 1824; as, also, a nage, calculated upon the actual considerable additional debt, if such should accrue receipts during the year 1795 $5,588,961 26 from future contingencies.
Duties on domestic distilled spirits The foregoing calculations being founded on ex- and on stills, on refined sugar, isting contracts, are liable to but little uncertain- sales at auction, licenses to rety; it is necessary, however, to form an estimate tail spirits and wines, and on of the probable expenses of those establishments carriages for the conveyance of which the United States must at all times main- persons, calculated upon the retain. On this subject there exists no data, ceipts of 1795
337,255 36 from past experience, which afford a satisfactory Revenue from the Post Office 35,000 00 ground for an opinion; it is believed, however, Dividends on bank stock, calculathat it will be unsafe and deceptive to calculate ed with reference to certain he current expenses of Government at less than sales, the proceeds of which will he following estimate :
be applied to the payment of
part of the debt due the Bank of
not greatly enhanced by the establishment of new the United States
150,000 00post roads. Interest on stock purchased and
In respect to the income from bank stock held redeemed, and vested in the
by the United States, it is proper to observe, that Sinking Fund
88,635 65 dividends have been for some time declared at Duties on patents and contingent
the rate of eight per centum per annum; on the receipts (uncertain)
746 73 supposition that the stock would not be alienated.
it has been customary to estimate this item of reEstimated annual current revenue
venue at $160,000. In corsequence of the author6,200,600.00
ity contained in an act of the last session, sales
have, however, been commenced for the purpose The revenue from imports and tonnage was, in of reimbursing a part of the debt due to the bank the beginning of the year 1795, calculated at To extinguish an annuity due to the bank, equi$5,679,418 58, being about $90,000 more than the valent to that received from the dividends, it present estimate. Fluctuations in the amount of would have been necessary to sell the bank stock This revenue are to be expected; what the product at an advance of thirty-three and one-third per of the present year will be cannot be yet known, centum upon the original capital. This, however, although it is certain that it will exceed, con- was not practicable; the best terms which could siderably, that of the year 1795.
be obtained were twenty-five per centum. With As the present design is to ascertain, as accu- reference to the effect which sales, at this rate, rately as possible, the extent in which confidence will have upon the statement of revenge and ex: may be reposed in the existing revenues, it be- penditure, now presented, the proceeds of the comes interesting to consider what effects a ter- bank dividends are calculated at $150,000. mination of the present war in Europe is likely to The fund arising from stock purchased or reproduce. A consideration of all the causes which deemed will be increased by the interest on such may contract or extend the future commerce of sums of stock as may hereafter accrue to the the United States would be evidently premature Sinking Fund, but will, in no event, be diminishand unprofitable; it may, however, be safely af- ed. Though this income is vested in the Comfirmed that the unexampled prices which the ex-missioners of the Sinking Fund, it has been ports of the United States have lately borne, must thought proper to present it as an object of public have stimulated the demand for, and consumption revenue, being, with other funds, appropriated for of, foreign manufactures and productions. A cer- the redemption of the Public Debt! tain proportion of this demand will cease when
It results, from what has been stated, that the the temporary causes by which it has been pro-following sums must be provided by the United duced are removed. Whatever cause diminishes States, in addition to the revenue already estabthe consumption of imported articles will produce lished: a corresponding decrease of the revenue from foreign commerce. There is ground, however, to
1st. From the present time until and during the hope that the unfavorable effects in regard to re
year 1800. $1,228,798 99. venue which are to be expected from a depres- $2,376,491 50.
2d. From the year 1801 to 1809, inclu-ive. sion of the present prices of some of our articles of export, will be counterbalanced by an increase time when the present debt may be extinguished,
30. From and after the year 1809, until the of their quantities; by the superior value which which will be before the year 1824, $1,119,068 36. others of them are daily acquiring, in consequence of improvements in their manufacture;
To provide the sums annually required untii by the extension of our commerce to new markets, the year 1801, without imposing an inconvenien: and by the increasing demand for imported arti- burden on the people, is evidently within the cles, which must result from progressive wealth power of the United States; to reimburse the and population.
whole of the Foreign Debt before the year 1914, The sum stated as the product of the internal by direct payments from the proceeds of revenue. revenues will also be considerably exceeded by may be practicable. It is, however, most probathe receipts of the present year, and is believed to ble that occasional loans, with a view of posiponbe much below what might be obtained under a ing the final reimbursement of the whole or some different modification of ihe act imposing duties part of the said debt until after the year 1818 on distilled spirits and stills
, aided by provisions be judged advisable. for insuring a more energetic and punctual col- From a general view of the operation of the lection in some districts. It may also be remark-systems of taxation established in the several ed, that some of the causes which may diminish States, it appears that, in apportioning a direct the revenue from importations wili iend to in- tax, to be collected under the authority of the crease that derived from internal objects. It ap- United States, an allowance ought to be made ior pears, therefore, to be safe to calculate perma- a defalcation of fifteen per centum, on accouci & nently upon the collective amount of the sums abatements to indigent and unfortunate persocs which have been stated as the probable future pro- for erroneous assessments or calculationsand for duct of both branches.
charges and expenses of collection. The revenue from the Post Office is likely to Assuming these data, it is proposed that there increase. if the expenses of that institution are' be laid upon the United States a direct tax of