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The Treasury Surplus

The Treasury Surplus image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

If State Treasurer Collier had deliberately set himself to work to punish the administration party in Michigan í'or its failure to renominate him he oould not have done it more effectively than he has by the innocent-looking figures whioh have just been made public and which íorm a part of his forthcoining annual statöinent. The facts which these figures show as to the administration's utter want of management in financial affairs are unanswerable ; and we can only wonder that the same power which stood behind the Treasurer and sustained him in his insolent refusal to give an account of his stewardship when requested did not compel him to withhold his statement until aftor election. As it is, the publican has destroyed a great number of fine spun theories with which Governor and his party organs have been trying to delude the people ; and it has destroyed them at the very time when the party leaders had begun to think the poople would remain hoodwinked until November. The worst blow it strikes is at the " speoific tax" tbcory upon which the Governor relied so strongly, and which his organs have so assiduously labored to impress on the people. The weakness of this theory, in the light of the State's past finaneial history, we have already pointed out ; but the statement referred to throws suoh a flood of light on the subject that we cannot forbear again calling attention to it. The theory, it will be remembered, of the Governor and his organs is, that the surplus in the Treasury is inainly made up of sums accruing f rom specific taxes, and that as these are expressly appropriated by the Constitution, the Legislatura is powerless to decrease the surplus, and cannot take it into account in fixing tüe annual tax. Two faóts from the statement demolish this theory completely. The first - the small proportion which the receipts from specific taxes bear to ] the total receipts - -we have already 1 noticed. The second is more significant ' still. From an examination of the ' ment it will be seen that the receipts of interest on " specific taxes" and "surplus funds" are reported separately. The imount received during the fiscal year For interest on " specifio taxes" was $16,167.14. The amount received during the same period ior "interest on surplus funda" was $41,639.70, or more than two and a half times as uiuch as íroni the specifio taxes. And besides demolishing the " specifio tax" theory these figures do the taxpayer another service. They show, inoro clearly than could be shown in any other way, what this surplus, about which so much complaint is made, really amounts to. The interest which the State receives from the pet banks in which money iadepoaited is tour per cent. Interest to the amount of $41,639.70 representa at four per cent, a principal of $1,040,992.50, and this, therefore, ia the average surplus which the State has had on depostt during the past year. Over a million of dollars surplus! Without any reference at all to specitic taxes, the Eepublican party has wrung froni the hard workiug taxpayera of the State, during a period when money waa worth ten per cent. to them, more than a million of dollars to be loaned out at the beggarly ra te of four per cent. to bauks in which State offioials are prominent stockholders. How tin fVio ml i;v„


Old News
Michigan Argus