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runs through different counties? What would you call uniform valuation ?
Attorney-General Baker— The policy has been to establish through. out the State a uniform valuation upon property of a similar kind; it has not, as I understand, been made a hard-and-fast rule, however, for the reason that in some counties peculiar conditions exist which would make it unfair to place a valuation upon a railroad which, under ordinary conditions, might be fair. Take, for illustration, a small railroad that has been washed out by excessive rainstorms, and was at this time in the course of rehabilitation. It would not appeal to me, nor do I believe it would appeal to you, as being fair to impose upon such a road a valuation similar to that imposed upon a road then in active operation and unimpaired earning capacity. Conditions should be uniform. But that is a discretion allowed this board, to say whether or not the conditions are equal, though it is not obligatory.
Mr. Hayes--- Then any assessment that is levied by this board, of specified form, would be upheld by the courts?
Attorney-General Baker-Yes, sir. And any assessment made hy this board is not subject to change or modification by the Board of Equalization. The only redress is the court. There is also a provision
a here that says that assessment must be made by the board when it is possible and when it can be done more equitably than by the individual Assessors throughout the State. And in certain cases it is allowed to be placed in the hands of the individual Assessors when it is thought best.
Mr. Ilayes—You think a railroad being more valuable in one county than in another, then it would be proper to use the same value all the way through, regardless of whether it is more valuable in one county than in another.
Attorney-General Baker-No, that would not enter into the question of whether or not it is assessed by this board, and the value in one county or the other is another question. I take it that the board is to assess the railroad companies, the electric light companies, the power companies, and it is the policy to make a uniform assessment in Lincoln County, for instance, and not in Washoe County at the same time; or to assess a power company in southern Nevada and not make the same assessment apply in northern Nevada. The Legislature thought that a more uniform assessment could be made by the Board of Assessors than by reposing it in the hands of individual Assessors in their respective counties. One man might make it too little, and one make it too much. There might be a condition arise where it would be just to establish a lower valuation on one railroad than on another. If you were to charge a uniform or equal valuation, you would lug those small roads in by the ears and work a hardship on them—that is, if your uniform rate was on a basis of a large road. And if you were to make the rate uniform and on the basis of the small roads, then the big ones would get the best of it.
Mr. Hayes--Can a railroad running through different counties in the State have more than one class! Shall it all be one class, or different in the different counties?
Attorney-General Baker—It should be based on the cash value of the road. We recognize no political subdivision in this regard (referring to the statutes). I think we have covered sufficiently the duties and
powers conferred upon this board so that they can act intelligently at this time. Another thing. An Act was passed in 1911:
The Legislature shall provide by law for a uniform and equal rate of assessment and taxation, and shall prescribe such regulations as shall secure a just valuation for taxation of all property, real, personal and possessory, except mines and mining claims, when not patented, the proceeds alone of which shall be assessed and taxed, and, when patented, each patented mine shall be assessed at not less than five hundred dollars ($500), except when one hundred dollars ($100) in labor has been actually performed on such patented mine during the year, in addition to the tax upon the net proceeds, and, also, excepting such property as may be exempted by law for municipal, educational, literary, scientific or other charitable purposes.
The Legislature of 1911 passed an Act approved March 20, 1911, found in the Statutes of Nevada, page 100:
Section 1. Hereafter no patented lands of any description in the State of Nevada owned by any individual, partnership, association, estate, corporation or otherwise, and no land held under any state land contract, shall be assessed for less than one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, either by the County Assessors of the various counties or by the State Board of Assessors or similar body.
Sec. 2. ' If the County Board of Equalization shall ascertain that any land within its county has been assessed upon a valuation of less than one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, or has not been assessed at all, said board shall immediately notify the County Assessor to pay into the county treasury the taxes due on such land upon a valuation of at least one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre in such a sum as will yield the full amount of taxes due upon such land upon its true value and which valuation shall not be less than one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. If such County Assessor fail to pay such taxes within ten days after such notification by the County Board of Equalization, it is hereby made the duty of the District Attorney to file and prosecute diligently a suit against such Assessor and his surety or sureties on his official bond for the amount of such taxes.
Sec. 3. If at any time hereafter the State Board of Assessors should place a valuation upon any lands within the State of Nevada, the provisions of this Act shall apply to such valuation so placed, and in the event of the violation of the provisions of this Act by said State Board of Assessors, it is hereby made the duty of the Attorney General to instruet the various District Attorneys to file and prosecute diligently suits against the several Assessors comprising said board as herein before provided.
That is all, I think, of the statutes that it is necessary to inform you of at this time. Referring to your question, Mr. Hayes, I believe the actual cash value contemplated by law is the value which the property could be sold for at public sale and cash realized upon the sale. That is as it has been decided by the Supreme Court.
Mr. Miles—That does not mean under forced sale.
Mr. Ingalls—That would be what the property would bring if sold to satisfy a judgment.
Attorney-General Baker_Yes, that's it. To satisfy a judgment.
Governor Oddie-Gentlemen, the order of business has not yet been approved. We are open for a motion to approve the order of business.
Attorney-General Baker—One minute, please, Governor. There is another section here on the mode prescribed as to the assessment of express companies in this State. As long as we are on this question of statutory enactments I might as well read that. This is in the Statutes of 1911, and was approved March 27, 1911. It is entitled :
An Act supplemental to an Act entitled “An Act to provide revenue for the support of the government of the State of Nevada, and to repeal certain acts relating thereto," approved March 23, 1891:
Section 1. For the purpose of assessment and collection of taxes on the property and franchises of any express company the cash value thereof shall not
be less than the largest amount on which the net profit of the company for the calendar year previous to the assessment or levy of the taxes will pay interest or dividends at the rate of eight per cent per annum. This net profit shall be the difference between the average gross annual earnings per mile on the mileage operated in this State on local and through business, including receipts for transportation of parcels and property carried into, out of or through this State, and the necessary annual average expense per nile of such mileage operated in this State in such transportation, carrying and operation of the business of the express company under reasonable, economical and prudent management, estimated for the last calendar year previous to the levy. The actual annual deterioration of property used in the business shall be considered a part of the annual expense.
Sec. 2. Every express company shall include in the list or statement of taxable property now required by law to be made a statement of the gross receipts and expenses and the net income of the company, the amount paid in dividends and the amount held or carried over as surplus, for the last calendar year, and a statement of the total number of miles operated by such express company on any through lines which run through this State, and of the gross receipts and expenses thereon, and of the total number of miles operated by such express company exclusively in this state, and of the gross receipts and expenses thereon. Such list or statement shall be in no way conclusive or binding upon any officer, board or authority empowered by law to fix assessments or to collect taxes.
Mr. Randall-I move that the order of business as read be adopted.
Attorney-General Baker-If there are any questions as to the statutes and laws that you desire to discuss at this time I would be glad to have them suggested by any member of the board. We might as well proceed with the regular order of business, and any questions that arise can be discussed and answered as they arise.
Governor Oddie-On the order of business the first item is work horses.
Mr. Randall-I move that we adjourn until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. I arrived late, and have not got settled as yet. I believe that it would be better.
Nr. Ingalls—I second the motion.
Governor Oddie-I wish to say, gentlemen, that I will have a copy of this statement for each one of you in the morning, and I want you to study it over. I want to be all the aid and assistance to you that I can.
Mr. Randall-I would like to make the hour of adjournment until 11 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Nr. Ingalls—I accept the amendment.
Accordingly, at 3:15 p. m., the board took a recess until 11 a. m., Tuesday, January 9, 1912.
The board resumed its session at 11 a, m.. January 9, 1912.
Upon roll-call all the State Board of Revenue and State Board of Assessors answered present, with the exception of Mr. Arrild of Douglas County, and Mr. Leo Springmeyer, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County, appeared and answered present in his stead.
Governor Oddie-I will now ask the Clerk to read a communication received from the County Clerk of Douglas County. The Clerk thereupon read the following:
Genoa, Nevada, January 8, 1912. Hon. T. L. Oddie, Governor, Carson City, Nevada.
Dear Governor: I am instructed to notify you that Assessor A. Arrild of Douglas County is unable to attend the meeting of the State Board of Assessors on account of sickness in his family. His wife is lying at the point of death. Leo Springmeyer, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County, will attend the meeting instead of the Assessor. Yours truly,
H. C. JEPSEN,
County Clerk of Douglas County, Nevada. Governor Oddie-Gentlemen, I think we are about ready to take up the regular order of business.
Attorney-General Baker—Last night I was asked by the Assessor of White Pine County as to the full meaning of cash value, and I told him that in looking over the statutes I found in Section 3622 of the new code of Nevada, which has just been gotten out, a definition of what full cash value is. The statute reads:
The term "full cash value" means the amount at which the property would be appraised if taken in payment of a just debt due from a solvent debtor.
That is what the Legislature said that cash value should mean in reference to assessments.
Governor Oddie_Gentlemen, the first order of business is work horses, and I would like to state before we start on these various items that I think it would be to the interest of all the members of this board to get evidence of value brought out at this meeting. For instance, work horses and beef cattle. If we can discuss those pretty carefully among ourselves and look into the relative value of these different things in the various years, I think it would be something of a help to all the members of this board. The question of work horses is number one on the list. Last year the board left the question of work horses to the various Assessors. Now about the value of work horses as affected by the automobile. Is the value the same as it has been in the past years?
Mr. Leonard I don't think it has made any change up our way. Governor Oddie-ly impression is that in the large cities the price of good work horses has not been affected.
Mr. Sitton-I try to get about 50% of what I consider them worth at different prices up to as high as $150 each. It may not be the same in some of the other counties.
Mr. Lemaire-As a suggestion, how would it be to place a minimum valuation of $40 a head on work horses, and in that way leave it up to the Assessors to place the higher valuations ?
Governor Oddie—I think it would be a good plan to find out what the minimum has been in the various counties.
Mr. Lemaire-Twenty-five dollars has been about the minimum. Mr. Weathers—The minimum has been about $50 in our county. Mr. Ingalls-It has been about $50 in Esmeralda County.
Mr. Miles—In my county I assessed work horses as low as $20 and $25 a head. They vary from that value to $200. The average value of the small work horse has been placed at about $50.
Attorney-General Baker--Mr. Chairman, I would like to call particular attention to Section 3800 of the Compiled Laws, new code, an Act entitled :
An Act to provide for a more uniform valuation and assessment of property in this State.
The valuation fixed at such annual meeting shall be the actual cash value of all such property as may be designated
The question comes in there as to whether you may use your own judgment in placing an arbitrary value on property. The Legislature says you have got to use the actual value.
Mr. Hayes—In my county I assess the actual cash value. I examine the different property and very seldom assess horses at more than $100, even large horses.
Mr. Lemaire-Mr. Chairman, in that case it seems to me it is best to leave it to the various Assessors.
Attorney-General Baker- Mr. Chairman, it would seem so, because in placing the valuation it can't be done uniformly. One horse is worth more than another. I would suggest that if you do it that way, the Assessors of the various counties could take the actual cash value of the horses to be determined by an inspection of the animals.
Mr. Ingalls—We can't fix that here.
Governor Oddie-There is more of a variation between the value of work horses than between beef cattle. Don't you gentlemen think that that is the case ?
Mr. Miles-I understand, Mr. Chairman, that the value of beef cattle is regulated by the general market throughout the United States, and not the local market. Horses, of course, are more particularly local.
Governor Oddie-Yes, the two are not the same.
Mr. Lemaire—Mr. Chairman, I make a motion that the first five items, work horses, saddle horses, stock horses, work mules and stock mules, be left to the various Assessors.
Mr. Hayes--I second that motion.
Governor Oddie—The next item is No. 6, beef cattle. I think a little discussion on the price of beef might be instructive right now.
Mr. Leonard—We don't have any more beef cattle in our county. They get them all out before I get around to assess.
Mr. Sitton-Let's see if any of them have any.
Governor Oddie—IIow does the price of beef cattle now compare with the price of last year on the market ?
Mr. McTerney-It is very much higher than a year ago. I don't know how the market is right now.
Mr. Randall-I move that we place a valuation of $30 a head on beef cattle.
Governor Oddie_That is a raise from $25 last year to $30 this year. Is that seconded ?
Mr. Springmeyer—I wish to state that the price of beef is one cent lower than at this time last year. It appears to me that is a little too high.
Governor Oddie—IIow does the price of last year compare with the year before!
Mr. Springmeyer—It was more last year than it had been for some time.
Mr. Miles-I understand that the price of beef cattle has been $25 for a number of years, and also milch cows and stock cattle ranged in different counties—in some counties $15 and in some $13. I am not positive