xii REPORT OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY.
rious sums due by Corporations, Clerks of Courts, Registers of
Wills, Sheriffs and other Officers, are of long standing, and many
of them are utterly valueless. Their retention on the books is
misleading. Efforts have been made to collect them. A list of
these debts has been sent from this office to every State's Attor-
ney in Maryland, with instructions to report upon the probability
of their being made available, and later on during the session I
will transmit the information which I may receive respecting
these items. It is perfectly safe to say that many, if not most,
of these claims of long standing are valueless and can never be
realized. Continuing them on the books gives much trouble and
needless labor. I respectfully suggest that authority be given
the Comptroller to drop these worthless items, or that some
other mode for disposing of them be adopted. These observations
have no reference to such claims as the Comptroller has hereto-
fore been empowered to adjust, under the Acts of 1884, Ch. 116,
except such as are known to be of no value whatever.
Of course you cannot close your eyes to the great depression
of the agricultural interests, particularly as far the larger pro-
portion of the direct taxes is collected from the farmer and the
real estate owner; and you will not overlook the fact that great
caution ought to be observed in making expenditures, lest in-
creased taxation may add further burdens and distress. There
is, in fact, no need to levy a higher rate of taxes, and every
energy should be bent to lower, if possible, the public exactions.
I do not feel that I would be justified in trespassing further on
your attention. The information which the various tables
accompanying this report impart, needs no elaboration at my
hands. You will observe the prosperous condition of the State's
finances. Your wisdom and good judgment will doubtless
devise means by which that condition may be continued, and
by which the blessings of good government and an economical
administration will be further preserved to our people.
I shall at all times be ready to furnish the General Assembly
such other information in my possession as it may desire.
I take occasion in closing to say that I am much indebted to
the very able and accomplished gentlemen who hold positions
in this office, for their uniform and constant attention to their
duties and the intelligent assistance they have given me.
L. VICTOR BAUGHMAN,