Real Estate Reassessment Legislation

Charleston Daily Mail
August 11, 1904

Tax Commissioner

Passes the House as It Came From the Senate and Will Become a Law.

In the house of delegates Thursday morning Senate Bill No. 1, creating the office of tax commissioner and prescribing his duties as well as providing for the reassessment of the real and personal property of the State, was read a third time and passed. On the passage of the bill four Republicans recorded their votes against the measure. These were Messrs. Cross, Cunningham, Kyle, of Harrison and Hughs, of Jackson. Mr. Cross explained that he voted against the bill because of the qualification in the bill which required assessors to be "free-holders," while he considered the bill did not exempt farm products from taxation, while Messrs. Kyle, of Harrison, and Hughes, of Jackson, voted against it because they believed that sufficient time had not been given by the management of the bill for amendment. Mr. Hughes supplemented his vote with a vigorous statement of the effect that the managers of the bill had not acted in good faith, but failed to injure the success of the bill by his remarks. Mr. Bowman one of the Democratic floor leaders thought so much of the measure that he could not resist the temptation to vote for it, and did so, after obtaining permission to place an explanation of the vote to the journal. The bill as passed has but few amendment.

The other important bill passed by the house at the morning session was that providing for the re- appraisement of all the real estate of the State and prescribing the method by which it shall be done.

The house met promptly at ten and was opened with prayer by Rev. Weaver, of the M. E. Church.

The reading of the journal was dispensed with.

Mr. Reynolds from the conference committee, on the senate amendments to House Bill No. 1, relating to license taxes, reported that the committee recommended the adoption of some of the amendments by the house and the recession from others on the part of the senate. The retention of the chief amendment, that to fix a graduated tax on breweries, was recommended.

The recommendations of the committee were considered separately, and all were agreed to.

The bill as amended was passed.

House Joint Resolution No. 3, to appropriate money to pay the janitor $3 a day extra during the session of the legislature was adopted.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 4 giving the members of the janitor's force one dollar a day each during the session, was rejected, the vote standing ayes none, noes fifty-six.

Senate Bill No. 1, creating the office of State tax commissioner and providing plans for reassessing property for taxation, coming up on third reading, Mr. Cunningham asked unanimous consent to amend the bill by striking out the clause calling for the taxation of farm products.

Mr. Goff objected and the amendment could not be considered.

Other amendments were defeated by objections severally made.

The bill was then passed, ayes 46, noes 12. Republicans voting against the bill were Messrs. Cross, Davis, of Preston, Blizzard and Hughes. Mr. Bowman, Dem., voted for the bill.

House Bill No. 28, "a bill to provide for the reassessment of the value of all real estate in the State," was read a third time and passed, all Republicans present save Mr. Cross, voting in its favor. The Democrats voted no, except Messrs, Barnhart, Cavendish and Wetzel. Mr. Cross voted no because of the requirement and assessors be freeholders.

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