FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON 91 Three periods are particularly to be noted when the de- linquent balances due from the counties represent abnormally large percentages of the total state levies for their respective bienniums. In the sixties, in the nineties and again in the last decade the aggregates of unpaid taxes due from counties were conspicuously large. The unusual delinquency of the sixties arose out of the fact that several of the counties had collected state taxes in greenbacks and had tendered their quotas in this form of money to the state treasurer who had refused to re- ceive the greenbacks. Five or six counties did this, notwith- standing the requirement of the state law that "the several county treasurers shall pay to the State Treasurer the state tax, in gold and silver coin." The matter was tried out in the courts, the decisions of the circuit and supreme courts of the state being affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. The national law making United States notes a legal tender for debts was held !> have no reference to taxes imposed by state authority. The Oregon people adhered to the gold stand- ard in their business transactions during the national green- back epoch and there was naturally not a little public discus- sion as to the propriety of changing the state's laws with re- gard to money receivable for taxes so as to give the greenbacks wider circulation and thus exhibit sympathy and support for the National Government and bring Oregon more into line of loyalty to and harmony with it. 1 The large volume of delinquency in the nineties was clearly due to the hard times prevalent until near the close of this decade. Pretty clear evidences of like results from similar cause are also manifest in the middle of the eighties. In the last decade the large measure of the sums still due when the treasurers compiled their reports was owing to the fact that time had not been given for making remittances of the state taxes of the current years. The end of the period reported had been changed from December 31 to September 30. In the last few years the shares of state taxes due from two counties lOregon Statesman, May 9 and June 13, 1864.
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/99
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