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272
F. G. Young

administrative devices and in the decisions of her supreme court as they do or do not yield in their constructions to the changing demands of social welfare. The financial methods and activities of Oregon have for half a century thus had their development within a restraining mold constituted by an unchanged set of constitutional provisions, except as through legislative enactment elaboration may have resulted and as judicial interpretation may have here and there permitted modification.

Just how then has this constitution affected the development of Oregon's financial code and practice in some of the more vital matters?

Taxation — The constitution required "a uniform and equal rate of assessment and taxation" and a just valuation for taxation of all property," excepting such only for municipal, educational, literary, scientific, religious or charitable pur- poses as may be specifically exempted by law. These pro- visions tied the hands of the legislature so that, aside from such systems of licensing as might be elaborated, only the gen- eral property tax was available for any and all revenues for state and local needs.[1]

All the property of each taxing jurisdiction must under these provisions bear the levies for all the dififerent public needs in that jurisdiction. State, county, municipal, school and road taxes are imposed in a cumulative levy upon each and all of the different forms of property of each jurisdiction. The state has had distinct sources of revenue (but mainly of recent development) in the inheritance tax, insurance licenses and tax on net premiums, general corporation fees and licenses and minor miscellaneous sources. But these have sufficed to supply only a small, though increasing, fraction of its needs. The valuations made by the county assessors have thus, except during the brief period recently while an expenditure basis of apportionment of state taxes was used, determined the quotas of the respective counties in their contributions to the state treasury. The county assessor and his deputies felt


  1. Governor's message, 1907, p. 6.