Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/100

This page needs to be proofread.


92 F. G. YOUNG have been withheld and the payment of them delayed on the ground of the inequity claimed in the systems of state appor- tionment. Probably the most distinctive general impression received in viewing these converging streams of state tax receipts as they flow into the state treasury from year to year is the grudging spirit exhibited by the counties in meeting their obligations for the support of commonwealth activities. There was first the de- termined effort to palm off greenbacks upon the state treas- urer when the "greenbacking" of a private creditor was count- ed an outrage for which the offender was deserving of and frequently received a sound drubbing. One county was per- sistent enough with its delinquency as to secure the advantage of the statute of limitations on a snug amount of the state taxes it had failed to pay. 1 From the beginning to the end almost of this half-century a race in under-valuation had been imposed upon the different county assessors as the apportion- ment of the shares of state taxes due from the different coun- ties was based upon their respective valuations returned. In 1908 one county fought and secured the annullment of the county expenditures rule of apportionment on the ground of unconstitutionality. The inspiring motive, however, was the desire to lower its share of the burden of state taxes. More recently still another county is holding back its quota on a similar complaint. The second main class of treasury-funds inflow in Oregon's past has been the receipts from the sales of state lands. Strange things are revealed as these streams of money are brought into focus. It is to be remembered that we are not here con- cerned with the nature of the state's policy in the disposition of its domain. We are intent only on what happens in the handling of the proceeds of the sales, however adequate or inadequate they may have been. The condition we are first struck with is the fact that while school and university lands were being sold virtually no funds reach the state treasury. i State Treasurer's Report, 1895, pp. 243-4.