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Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax image
Parent Issue
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The time is near at' hand when it will be necessary forMichigan to find other sonrces of revenue to meet her constantly increasing expenses than those upon which she has depended iii the past. This can readily be done, too, in the interest of equitable taxation. There are sources of reven ne open to the state which have never been touched. Ainoug these is the inberitance tax. This is not a property tax and it would lay no added burden on iudustry. It is a tax on the passing ef property or the acquisition of pioperty through inberitence. The right to hold property by devise is not a natural right but purely statutory. As snch transference of property is made posgible by legislativo enactment and the beneficiary is given the right and proteoted in securing his inheritence by the state, it is just and right that the state shaïl place snch restrctions on the matter as may be deemed best. The state has the same right to demand something Of the citizen for this protection thát it has for any other service. A government, especially a government like ours, is snpposed to return to its subjects value received for all of its exactions. On no other basis are its demauds justifiable. As the right to hold property liy devise comes wholly from legislative enactment, the legislature has the right to lay a tax on its transference, to compénsate it for service rendered. A few years ago Ilhnois passed such a law. It was fonght in the courts, of course, bnt was süEtained by the state supreme conrt and lastly by the United States suprema conrt. Pennsylyania has ha i such a Jaw for more than 60 years. New York, Ohio, Maine, Connecticut, Delaware aud California all have inheritance taxes. Michigan passed snch a statute in 1883 but it was declared unconstitutioal by the supreme court, on the ground that it was a specific tax, aud all specifio taxes must go iuto the primary school fnad. while the law passed it to the general fund. The Graham bill now pending in the senate seeks to avoid the constituional objections raised relative to the previous euactment. It should be enacted and the Argus calis upen the representative and senator from this district to rnake every effort to secure its passage. Recent developinents in the "embalmed beef " inqniry seem to presage that General Miles has several good cards np bis sleeve which like a good strategest he is saving until the last. That ranch of the meai sent to the soldiers vvüs Lad seeras to have been pretty thoroughly established, the canned roast beef especially. Froin now on the issue is likely to be on the use of chemicals as preservatives of the refrigerated meat. The testimony of Sergeant Mastín before the board of inqniry seeins to support the position of Dr. Daily. The truth or falsity of the evidence given by Masón can readily be established, as there were other regiments statioued at the same place and drew -refrigerated beef. The identity of the agent of Armonr & Co., who is alleged to have told Mason that ireservaline was nsed on the meat ought not to be diffieult to determine. It is most important that the facts in ;he case be determinad. If there are American citizens who for profit wil] deliberately sell to the government meats, the nse of wfaich will endanger he lives of the soldiers in the field, hey shonld be discovered and pnnisbd. The officials who permitted sooh a crime to be consumated shonld also e discovered aad dealt with. That ihe comnianding general who made hese charges will be pnnished, if he oes not prove his case, goes withont aying. In the peace treaty is to be found a provisión by whicb the United States undertakes to settle all claims of onr citizens for indemnity on Spain 's account growiug out of the war in Ouba. These claims nqw aruonnt to $30,000,000 These claims are of every conceivable charaeter, involving destruc tion of property, false imprisonment, loss of life, etc. Most of the large claims are by others than ArnericansThose liled by Americans appear to be more reasonable in amonnts. Oongress will have to take some actiou relative to the matter before anythicg is done. A commission inay be appointed by congress to adjnst the claims. It is said tl at such cliams are generally settied on an average of abont 50 per cent. Shotild that be the avearge basis of settlement of these claims. Únele Saín will have to go in his strong box for $10,000,000. Was there ever a politiciau luckier in the enemies ho bas made than hizzexcellecy? Whenever his political stock begins to f all, he can aiways depend npon them to do some fooi thiug to pnt it tip above par again. These antis monkeyed with the Atkinsou bill nntil they saw politioal death staring them in the face when they hastened to hizzexcellency's side after baving shied a clause into itby which they still hoped to secnre a board of assessors most favorable to the tax dodging corporations. But now comes Attorney General Oren and says, and his opinión is entertained by other prominent lawyers, that as the governor appointed asessors inside of the live days limit and two of them were rejected by the senate, he now may appoint two assessors with or withont the consent of the senate. In spite of the string they attached to the Atkinson bill, Pingree will have a board of assessors ciosely attached to his own interests and thus have the senate "immortelles" looled themselves again and placed the governor's stock on a rising market. It is refreshing to see some of the thick and thin newspaper followers of President McKinley's extreme protectionism admitting at last that there is something in the oft repeated charge that high protective tariffs foster trusts. The exoerpt below contains the tacit admissiou aiso that the repnblican party has resting npou it the stigma of fostering trnsts. The Chicago Times-Herald speaks as follows on the subject: "The purpose of the protective tariff was to foster industries, not to protect monopolies. Most certainly it should be the daty of congress, in both branches of which the repnblicans have a majority, to abolish or snspend the protective duty on the products of any industry which has been organized iuto a trust and which has arbitrarily raised the prices of such products. No mercy or consideration should be shown to any combinatiou of capital that takes advantage of a protective tariff to mnlct American consumers. It should be the first office of the republican majority in congress to free its skirts trom all responsibilty for trusts which, Tinder shelter of the tariff, exact high prices from the people. Wherevor the protective tarilï enhances the price of the product of a trust to the American consuruer, it should bo rednced or removed entirely. That is a pretty safe proposition. lts adoption will remove the stigma of fostering trnsts from the republican party."