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Annual Report of the Comptroller, 1876
Volume 240, Preface 16   View pdf image (33K)
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not generally increased, and in fact in many instances have dimin-
ished; the volume of new property added, it is believed, will largely
overbalance any diminution in value which has accrued. The as- ,
sessment will, no doubt, be completed in time to be the basis of
taxation for the current year. The Act enjoined upon the Comp-
troller the general direction and supervision of the assessment, and
in the execution of this supervision, the labors of this office have
been materially increased. The large number of legal questions in-
volved in the execution of the law, has entailed on the Attorney-
General, as well as the Comptroller, an amount of labor, of which
the public generally has probably a very inadequate conception. It
is hoped, that if an uniform and accurate valuation is attained, steps
may bo taken by the Legislature to perfect a system, by which the
Assessable basis may bo annually corrected and perfected, so as to
dispense with the labor and expense of general re-valuations in
future. Our system of decennial valuations, I cannot but believe,
would be vastly improved, by substituting a plan of annual correc-
tion by trained officers, skilled by education and practice, in arriving
at true and impartial values. Systems of this sort, have been
Adopted in other States, with admirable success, and I hope to be
able to suggest to the next General Assembly, a plan by which the
clesired result may be attained in this State.

Some new features, looking to the accomplishment of this end, were
introduced into the revenue measures enacted in 1874, and where
acted upon by the authorities, have contributed to maintain the in-
tegrity of the basis of taxation in those localities. In several of the
counties it will be seen, that the assessable basis is larger in 1876
.than it was in 186,7, immediately after the completion of the last gen-
eral valuation. In other counties, howovcr, and notably in the City
of Baltimore, the falling off in the basis his been very marked since
that time.

Many additional guaranties of the maintenance of a correct basis
may be adopted, the expense of which will be insignificant in com-
parison with that of periodical general re-valuations, without incurring
the same liability to loss, from omissions on the part of untrained as-
sessors, or involving the whole mass of property-owners in simultane-
ous confusion over the state of their accounts.


The erection of the State House of Correction has been progress-
ing, and the building is considerably advanced towards completion.
Although the work will not be accomplished within the. time specified
in the contract, I have every reason to believe that it is being done


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Annual Report of the Comptroller, 1876
Volume 240, Preface 16   View pdf image (33K)
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