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Finances of Oregon.

companies, the organization fees and annual license charge from corporations in general, and the annual license upon gross earnings of the minor transportation agencies do in a rough way tend tO' even up the tax burden where the inadequacies of the general property tax are most patent.[1]

The General Property Tax in Oregon. — Having passed in review the different auxiliary features of Oregon's system of taxation, we are now ready to examine the experience of the state with its main reliance for revenue, state and local. It will be found that the methods used with the general property tax and the results obtained from it have varied little during the period of statehood. The closely restrictive constitutional provisions precluded any progressive development of it by the successive legislatures. The system set up and maintained with but minor variations exhibits the characteristic problems of the general property tax wherever used. The discussion of the salient features developed in Oregon is probably best arranged under the three following heads:

  1. Assessment and apportionment of state taxes among the counties.
  2. Exemptions for indebtedness and taxation of credits, including mortgage taxation.
  3. Specially designated levies and rates for general and special purposes.
  1. Assessment and apportionment of state taxes among the counties.

    Oregon has all along experienced the usual measure of trouble in the form of general under-valuation, but with the degrees of it varying from county to county. She has had to face regularly the failure to reach invisible forms of property and even a large proportion of all personalty. Under-assessment has its main motive in the desire on the part of counties to shift their respective quotas of state taxes. Where the township is the primal fiscal unit the race in under-valuation

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