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GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF IOWA,
FOURTEENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
DES MOINES :
G. W. EDWARDS, STATE PRINTER.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
The period fixed by the constitution for the biennial meeting of the General Assembly having arrived, I congratulate you upon the favorable auspices under which you meet. Our State has been greatly blessed and prospered since last you assembled. We have had favorable seasons and bountiful crops, and our commonwealth has been strengthened by a continual influx of a thrifty and enterprising class of people. While other parts of our country have suffered from the most disastrous conflagrations in the world's history; and while other lands have been terribly devastated by pestilence and famine, by wind and flood, we have been providentially spared these afflictions.
FINANCES-The report of the Auditor of State, which is before you, and that of the Treasurer of State, which is submitted herewith, for the fiscal term ending November 4th, 1871, show a continued increase in the resources of the State. Upon comparison with the financial reports presented at the last General Assembly, it will be seen that there is a large increase in the amount yielded by the ordinary sources of revenge. Direct taxation, for instance, produced $184,244.11 more than in the previous term, although the levy in the later term was twenty per cent. less than in the earlier. The revenue from railroads shows an increase of $19,364.71, notwithstanding a reduction for the last year, in the proportionate amount of revenue from this source coming into the State treasury, of sixty per cent. ; and the taxes col lected from insurance companies indicate a gain of $28,627.87. The heavy payments by the general government during the two years
ended November 1st, 1869, amounting to much the greater part of our remaining claim on account of expenses incurred by the State because of the war, reduced very ma erially the revenue to be expected from that source; hence the receipts therefrom during the last two years were nearly $300,000 less than during 1868 and 1869. The gross receipts of the revenue during the term were $1,769,522.91, which, with the balance in the treasury November 1st, 1869, made the amount of available means during the term, $2,055,683.07. The expenditures were $1,973,942.23. Balance of general revenue in the treasury November 6th, 1871, $81,840.84. The warrants issued during the period amounted to $1,972,930.78, of which $666,615.74 were issued for the use and support of the various public institutions of the State; $626,031.29 were drawn for the erection, enlargement, and improvement of public buildings; and $58,264.24 went to objects of a special or extraordinary character, for which the legislature has at various times made appropriations such as the Geological Survey and report, the encouragement of immigration, the reunion of Iowa soldiers, republication of Supreme Court reports, etc. The balance of the warrants issued, amounting to $622,019.51, very nearly represents the regular and ordinary expenses of the State government. These, it will be seen, constitute only a little more than one-, third of the entire expenditures of the State.
I invite your attention to the recommendations of the financial officers of the State, whose long experience, whether in the legislative halls or in public office, gives additional value to their sugges
Among the valuable tables presented in the report of the Auditor of State is one setting forth the objects and amounts of taxation general and local, throughout the State, for the year 1870. From this we learn that the grand aggregate of the levies is $9,371,685.76. The total valuation upon which this taxation was based was in the neighborhood of $300,000,000, making the levy some 33 per cent. This is a heavy-not to say oppressive-rate of taxation. To be sure, it is based on a great undervaluation of property; upon actual value it would probably be about one and a quarter per cent. certainly not more than one and a half. But this rate, it will be remembered, is an average one throughout the State, and implies,