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California Legislative Counsel Bureau California. Secretary of State.

Amendments to the Constitution and proposed statutes : with arguments ... online

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some other equally objectionable method of tax-
ation. The deficiency can easily be made up
from the tax on corporation incon^es,
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An unjust and oppressive tax can not be justi
fled on the ground that the proceeds are devote!
to a useful purpose. It is not necessary to t«
the poor in order to maintain the schools and t
pay the teachers a decent salary. California j
a rich state — ^the richest state per capita in tl
union — ^therefore it is erroneous to assume tha
a head tax is necessary to maintain the school

The poll tax is objectionable because it ti
never been uniformly collected. The state coi
troller's reports prove that in some counties ool
21 per cent of the population pay this tax ai
as high as 68 per cent in othera Wealthy ctj
zens sometimes pay the poll tax ; laborers alwa]
pay it through deductions from their wages, i

The poll tax is a double tax. The class i
persons from whom It is chiefly collected pi
(indirectly but none the less certainly) tj
greater part of the taxes levied directly ujx
the owners of property. The latter class shif
the burden on the former class. The propert]
less class pays both the direct and the Indira
tax.

The poll tax has not even the poor excuse i
being Justified because it taxes aliens, as tli
class contributes less than one eighth of the tot
amount collected. Hence we penalize our clt{
zens to the extent of seven dollars for every oil
dollar we manage to extract from aliens.

The poll tax is despotic because it clasw
human life as a species of property. It is ui
just because it places an additional tax on thoi
who in other ways pay a share of the so-calla
direct taxation out of all proportion to thel
meana It can not be considered necessary i
long as private property — ^the true creation I
the state — suffices for the purpose of taxatid
Paul Scharrenbebg, '
Sec'y California State Federation of Labor. '

ARGUMENT AQAINST ABOLITION OF POU
TAX.

The state poll tax yields for the state schoc
fund about $850,000 per annum, which is abM
one seventh of the total amount which the stal
provides for the support of common school
In addition the poll tax is used by thirty-five oi
of the fifty-eight counties for road and hospiti
purposes and to provide additional school fund
amounting in all, in 1913, to $260,000. The toti
amount collected in poll taxes, state and count
Is, therefore, in round numbers $1,110,000.

The proceeds of this tax are devoted to pui
poses — ^namely, the support of the schools, road
and hospitals — ^which there is no doubt the peopi
will insist shall be maintained as liberally a
ever. If this vast sum of $1,110,000 were raisi
by the general ad valorem tax, it would meal
all told, a tax of four cents on each one hun
dred dollars of the assessed valuation of th
state. It has been suggested by some that th
loss might be made good by increasing the taxe
upon corporations. This suggestion, of eoura
applies to the state's share only, or $850,000, fo
there is no other way of raising the $260,00
which the counties would lose, except by the &
valorem tax. But when it is remembered thai
at the last session of the legislature, the taxe
on the corporations were raised as high as the]
Justly could be, in the opinion of that body. 1
certainly can not be assumed that it would 1*
right to immediately raise them still higher.

The arguments against the poll tax are, first
that it is an old tax. There are lots of thing
among our institutions that are old, but are no



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tecessarlly, on that account, bad. Indeed, it has
ometlmes even been argued that no tax is a
ood tax except an old tax.

It is argued that the tax is unequal, because
tie poor man pays as much as the rich man.
•his might be a valid argument if the poll tax
tood all by itself. But the poll tax is one of
lany taxes and among the others are those
rfaich fall only upon the rich man and make his
liare commensurate with his ability.

It is argued again that the poll tax is not uni-
irmly enforced and that some escape. That,
owever, is not an argument against the poll
IX as such, but merely an argument for the
9tter enforcement of the law. In 1900 the poll
IX yielded $404,000. Since then the administra-
on has so improved that it is yielding, as above
ated, about $850,000 per annum, or consider-
3ly more than double. The mere fact that a
iven institution is not well administered is no
fgument for its abolition ; some of our schools
re not as successful as they might be, and some



of our streets have chuck-holes In them, but that
is no reason why the government should abandon
the support of the schools or of the streets.

Every citizen, whether rich or poor, should
pay some tax, and should thus be made conscious
in a direct way of his responsibility for the sup-
port of the institutions under which he lives.
There are many persons in California who pay
no other direct tax than the poll tax. Among
these are many aliens, and a large number of
unorganized, migratory and seasonal laborers,
whose presence Is a menace, especially to organ-
ized labor, for they do not maintain the standards
of living nor the standards of work which are
essential to the support of the living or union
wage.

The poll tax is a Just tax. It bears heavily
on no one. It is the only tax paid by certain
aliens and by certain unorganized laborers. The
revenues are necessary. Its defects can be cured
by a more vigorous, uniform administration.

Carl C. Plehn.



QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS AT BOND ELECTIONS.

Initiative amendment adding section 7 to article II of constitution.
Provides that no elector may vote on question of incurring bonded indebtedness of state or
olitical subdivision thereof, unless he is owner of property taxable for payment of such in-
^tedness and assessed to him on last assessment rolL



The electors of the State of California present
) the secretary of state this initiative petition,
sking that the proposed constitutional amend-
lent hereafter set forth be submitted to the
lectors of the State of California for their ap-
roval or rejection:

Proposition to amend article II of the Constitu-
on of the State of California by the addition of

new section to said article, to be designated
nd numbered as section seven (7) of said art-
)l€, relating to the right of suffrage in respect
) the Incurring of any bonded Indebtedness of
lis state or of any county, city and county,
lunicipality or other political subdivision of
fls state.

he people of the State of California do enact
as follows :

A new section is hereby added to article II of
16 Constitution of the State of California, to
6 numbered section 7, and to read as follows:

PROPQSED LAW.

,^tion 7. No elector shall have the right to
rte on any question of Incurring any bonded
idebtedness of this state or of any county, city
nd county, municipality, or other political sub-
Ivision of this state, unless he shall be the
imer of property liable to be taxed for the pay-
ment of such indebtedness and assessed to him
ti the last assessment roll.

mGUMENT IN FAVOR OF QUALIFICATION
OF VOTERS AT BOND ELECTIONS.

Every man, woman and child in California Is
lortgaged for $40.00, for an average period of
tilrty years.

The annual burden of taxation for interest and
Inking fund is approximately $3.00 per capita.

The voting of public bonds has become a polit-
ial matter, and it is the purpose of the Califor-
la State Realty Federation in advocating the
oregoing constitutional amendment to remove
t from the sphere of politics and make it an
conomic matter.

There are in California 879,242 taxpayers,
"he property of every taxpayer would enhance
a value if the law confined the creating of public
ebts to the property owners affected. More
eople would buy homes in California instead of
tivesting their earnings in other ways. Voting
f bonds in reclamation and irrigation districts



in California is confined to the property owners
affected, and the limitation has operated with
great success. Investigation has confirmed the
fact that such bond issues are more economic to
the taxpayers than are those of the cities and
counties of the state.

This matter is essentially a practical one, and
the experience of other states Is the best prac-
tical guide to its solution.

The state of New York furnishes the best
illustration of the advantages of a property
qualification. See New York Consolidated Laws
of 1909, page 1402, which require upon public
bonds issued thereunder, substantially the fol-
lowing recital: "The issue of this bond is duly
authorized by a vote of the taxpayers." Public
bonds in New York are Issued with an interest
rate of 3i per cent, notwithstanding the fact
that that state has the heaviest per capita in-
debtedness of any state in the union, while in
California, with practically one half the per capita
indebtedness of New York, our public bonds can
not be sold at an Interest rate of less than 6 per
cent except in exceptional cases.

Arizona, the most recent acquisition to the
union, provides (see Constitution of 1912):

"Section 13. Questions upon bond issues shall
be submitted to the vote of property taxpayers,
who shall also in all respects be qualified electors
of the state affected by such question."

There are altogether forty-two states In the
union which require property qualifications in
bond elections.

The advantages of adopting this amendment
may be summarized as follows:

First — General merit of restricting vote to
electors affected.

Second — Definite electorate with which to deal
on all questions involving bond Issues.

Third — ^Elimination of Incentive to politicians,
demagogues, newspapers, etc., to appeal to class
prejudice in economic matters.

Fourth — Reduction In taxation by preventing
unnecessary and extravagant bond issues, and
the Introduction of business methods in public
bond issues.

Fifth — Promotion of stability of California
credit.

Sixth — Prevent the depreciation of California



property.



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Seventh — ^Inducement to Investment in real
estate, which high taxes now prevent

Eighth — Prevention of immigrants, following
the opening of the Panama canal, mortgaging
California for their debts.

Ninth — Allowing the man who pays the debt
to contract the debt. Francis CurriNa.

ARGUMENT AGAINST QUALIFICATION OF
VOTERS AT BOND ELECTIONS.

First — ^This amendment proposes a step back-
ward. The world is not moving toward dis-
franchisement, but toward enfranchisement of
those now disfranchised. Even the citizen who
has no property has a right to a direct voice in
all matters of government

Second — If voters who have no taxable prop-
erty should not be allowed to vote on bond issues,
which involve taxation, for the same reason they
should be prohibited from voting for members
of congress, legislators, city councilmen, school
trustees and other taxing bodies.

Third — If the proposed amendment is based
on correct principles, then it falls short of the
logical conclusion that the ballot belongs to prop-
erty rather than to men and women ; and, there-
fore, the amendment should not only give all
resident property owners the ballot, regardless
of citizenship, when bond issues are proposed,
but should also give non-resident property own-
ers the right to vote on bond issues.

Fourth — The amendment is based on the false
idea that no one pays taxes unless he is actually
assessed for taxable property. But, as is well
known, the owner of property liable to be taxed
for bond indebtedness, or for any other purpose,
is often able to shift the whole tax to persons



who are not on the assessment roIL The cos
sumer pays the tax, whether it be a tariff tai
a tax for bonded indebtedness, or taxes for onS
nary expenses of government

Many of the so-called "large taxpayers" an
merely tax collectora The merchant gets th
tax receipt for taxes paid on his goods, but tb
tax is added to the price of the goods, and tl
consumer pays it The owner of an ofl9ce XmSi
ing gets the tax receipt but the tax is added I
the rents, and the tenants pay it The tenant
in turn, shift the tax when they are able to i
so. The man who lives in a rented room, eats i
a restaurant and has no other property thai
change of clothing, pays taxes when he paysQ
his room and food and clothing.

Fifth — ^This amendment would give a vote (
bond issues to a property owner who has alrea^
sold all of his taxable property, but to whom fl
property Is assessed at the time of the Iwi
election, and would withhold the vote on thi
bond issue from the purchaser of the propert
in case that purchaser is not on the tax rd
Yet in this case, the seller votes on the bot
issue and is not taxed for the bonds ; while t]
purchaser will be taxed for the bonds under tl
amendment though he has no vote on the boi
issue.

Sixth — ^The real purpose of this amendmei
seems to be to put a stop to public ownership i
public utilitiea The amendment would endangi
the issuing of bonds for public ownership. Prf
lie ownership is already handicapped by the co
stitutional provision requiring a two-thirds vol
in favor of bond issues for that purpose; andi
would be made practically impossible if non
but property owners were allowed to vote (
bond issues. Jambs H. Barbt.



PROHIBITION.

Initiative amendment adding sections 26 and 27 to article I of constitution.

Prohibits the manufacture, sale, gift, or transportation wholly within the state, of intoxici
ing liquors; permits any citizen to enjoin violations; makes the showing that the manufactiss
use, sale, gift or transportation was for medicinal, scientific, mechanical or sacramental pii
poses, a defense to civil and criminal actions, and requires regulation by law of such acts for sij
purposes ; prohibits transportation into this state of intoxicating liquors, unless shown to be fl
such purposes, subject, however, to United States laws; prescribes and authorizes penalties.

The electors of the State of California present that the liquor in question was being manufai



to the secretary of state this petition, and request
that a proposed amendment of the Constitution
of the State of California, by adding to article I
thereof, sections 26 and 27, prohibiting the manu-
facture, the sale, the giving away, and the trans-
portation of intoxicating liquors, as hereinafter
set forth, be submitted to the people of the State
of California for their approval or rejection, at
the next ensuing general election, or as provided
by law.

The proposed amendment is as follows:
The people of the State of California do enact
as follows:

Article I of the Constitution of the State of
California is hereby amended by adding thereto,
two new sections, to be numbered respectively
section 26 and section 27, in the following words:

PROPOSED LAW.

Section 26. The manufacture, the sale, the
giving away, or the transportation from one
point within the state to another point within
the state, of intoxicating liquor is prohibited.
Any citizen of the state may, in his or her own
name, maintain an action of injunction In the
county where the violation occurs, to restrain
such violation, provided, however, that to any
criminal or civil prosecution for violation of this
prohibition, it shall be a defense if it be shown

Fifty-six



tured, used, sold, given away, or transported t
medicinal, scientific, mechanical or sacrament
purposes. The manufacture, sale, giving,
transportation of such liquors for medicim
scientific, mechanical, or sacramental purpo*
shall be regulated by law. Any person violatil
any provision of this section shall be fined for
first offense not less than one hundred dolls
nor more than one thousand dollars, and for
second offense shall be fined not less than tl
hundred dollars nor more than twenty-five ha!
dred dollars and imprisoned In the county ja
not less than thirty days nor more than one yea
provided, however, that additional penalties ma
be imposed by law.

Section 27. The transportation into the stai
of intoxicating liquor, unless it be shown to \
for medicinal, scientific, mechanical, or sacn
mental purposes, is prohibited, subject howeva
to the laws of the United States relating then
to. Any person violating any provision of tlri
section shall be fined for a first offense not la
than one hundred dollars not more than
thousand dollars, and for a second offense shal
be fined not less than two hundred dollars
more than twenty-five hundred dollars and i»t
prisoned in the coimty jail not less than thirt:
days nor more than one year, provided, howeva
that additional penalties may be imposed by law



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ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROHIBITION.

This amendment is proposed by initiative pe-
tition procured by the California "Dry" Federa-
tion, a non-partisan organization.

Voters should enact it for ev«ry reason. Li-
cense or other laws regulating the liquor traffic
do not lessen drunkenness or the quantity of
liquor consumed, but do make those who vote
for them responsible for evil results.

The enormous consumption of liquors, result-
ing in sickness. Idiocy, insanity, crime, profligacy
and death, puts the issue squarely before our
race to go "dry" or die. Science proves that
habitual, moderate drinking is as bad as period-
ical drunkenness. Of ninety-seven children ob-
served who were conceived while parents were
partially intoxicated only fourteen were normal.
Life insurance tables show the life expectancy
of a person of twenty years, if a total abstainer,
is 44 years, if a moderate drinker, 31 years, if a
hard drinker, 15 years. Three drinks of liquor
daily decrease efficiency five to eight per cent.
Accidents due to alcohol and employer's liability
laws compel employers to hire total abstainers.
Healers, physical, spiritual and mental, are hin-
dered by alcoholic conditions

Seven hundred and seventy lunatics in our
state hospitals in 1912 were registered as alco-
holic insane. Half the remainder were so indi-
rectly. (See Eighth Report State Lunacy Com-
mission.) It cost California taxpayers $1,469,-
667 to maintain these hospitals in 1912, and
$29,000,000 to deal with alcoholic crime. Liquor
costs the taxpayer seven dollars for every dollar
received in taxes or license fees. The Fifteenth
Report, Bureau of Labor, shows our courts in
two years dealt with 113,526 misdemeanors, of
which 66,930 were "drunks" and 20,000 more
were kindred crimes caused Indirectly by alco-
hol In "wet'* towns huge police forces and
many courts grind daily grists of crime; In
"dry" towns few are needed. Other states show
like conditions. Kansjis under prohibitory laws
has many counties without a criminal in jail or
an insane person in hospital.

Brothels and red-light districts are part of
the liquor traffic.

This amendment will help business and re-
lieve poverty. Let breweries and distilleries be
turned into flour mills. Let barley and corn be
turned into beef, poultry or bread instead of
liquor. The increased supply will lessen the cost
of living. Let wine grapes worth six dollars per
ton be substituted by table grapes worth thirty,
or dried or turned into grape juice or syrup.
Professor Bioletti says there Is a market In the
United States for ten times the whole product;

Our grapegrowers admit that wine grapes have
been unprofltable, that their hope for future
profit lies in the immigration of cheap laborers
from Europe through the Panama canal. With
pauper labor they hope to profit. (See Vol. II,
Bulletin State Commission of Horticulture for
1913.) The liquor traffic is the confessed enemy
of American labor. Laboring men do not desire
to earn bread from evil business.

Immigrants from Europe are generally liquor
drinkers. "Dry" the state and turn them else-
where.

This amendment does not Interfere with per-
sonal liberty. Like laws against opium, cocaine,
lotteries, and horseracing. It interferes only with
personal license. Remove temptation from people
of weak or abnormal appetites One who only
drinks occasionally should vote "dry" to save
them. The liquor traffic has never benefited any
one; it has ruined millions. Voter, It may ruin
your son or daughter as it has ruined others.

Carefully Investigate. Vote "Yes."

Samuel W. Odell.



ARGUMENT AGAINST PROHIBITION.

There are three objections to this amendment:

First — ^Prohibition is contrary to sound politi-
cal principles. The best government, as all au-
thorities agree, is that which most liberally lets
its citizens alone, constraining them in nowise
inconsistent with common sense ideas of perfect
freedom. Political science teaches that reform
to be effective must be temperate. Nothing ever
remains of any artificial reform except what was
ripe In the conscience of the masses. The un-
ripeness of total abstinence is evident from the
failure of prohibition in Maine, Kansas, Creorgia
and other states where it Is at once a scandal
and a farce.

Second — Prohibition is immoral and contrary
to the teachings of religion and physiological
science. A form of intolerance, it substitutes en-
mities and hatreds for peace and goodwill, the
foundations of the soundest morality. It breeds
general demoralization, since wherever it is en-
acted moonshine distilleries, little kitchen brew-
eries and hidden wine presses fiourish; the spy
system, the most mischievous of all governmental
agencies. Is established, and officials are cor-
rupted by lawbreakers, as always where laws are
not sanctioned by a heartfelt and vigilant public
sentiment Further, prohibition is Immoral in
that it breeds intellectual dishonesty among its
advocates. Consider their sweeping assertion
that even moderate drinking causes disease and
leads to vice. Scientists gathered from all coun-
tries at the physiological congress in Cambridge
affirmed officially that alcohol "supplies energy
like all common articles of food, and that it. is
physiologically incorrect to designate It as a
poison," also, that "there is nothing to show that
a moderate daily use of alcohol in any kind of
beverage may not be beneficial to health."

Third — Prohibition in California, especially on
the eve of the Panama-Pacific International Ex-
position, would be an economic blunder of colos-
sal proportions. Why should California destroy
her great wine industry? In the cultivation of
it she has spent enormous sums of public money,
and has made the fostering of it one of the duties
of the State University.

California has 320,000 acres devoted to viti-
culture. The wine industry represents an Invest-
ment of $150,000,000, yields annually $30,000,000,
supports 75,000 persons. California breweries .
represent an Investment of $50,000,000, distribute
annually $6,000,000 to 4,000 employees, consume
.annually $1,000,000 worth of California barley,
$175,000 worth of California hops, and $2,500,000
worth of other essentials. They pay the general
government an annual revenue of $1,350,000 and
about the same amount to towns and counties.

In the manufacture and distribution of liquors
282,000 persons are employed and dependent In
the distribution of liquors $10,000,000 is invested,
and the annual license tax paid is $3,000,000.

So prohibition would not only destroy great
properties and Industries, impoverish thousands
of families and increase the army of unemployed,
but it would substitute the vilest of poisonous
concoctions for our pure wines, beers and bran-
dies, and make every taxpayer pay the cost of
the industrial cataclysm. And to what end? Pro-
hibition has been a failure wherever the hobby
has been given the dignity of legal sanction.

Do prohibitionists believe, as they say, that
the race is dying? Mankind has been drinking
thousands of years, never so moderately as now ;
and Professor Muensterberg, greatest living psy-
chologist, holds that alcoholic stimulants are es-
sential to great achievement Drunkenness is
deplorable, but It has been steadily declining for
one hundred years without the aid of prohibition.

Vote "No." William Schuldt,

Sec'y California State Brewers* Ass'n.
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EIGHT HOTTB LAW.

Initiative act adding section 393!/^ to the Penal Code.
Declares it a misdemeanor, punisliable by fine or imprisonment in county jail or both, for an^
employer to require or permit, or to suffer or permit his overseer, superintendent, foreman or
other agent to require or permit, any person in his employ to worlt more than eight hours in one
day, or more than forty-eight hours in one meeK except in case of extraordinary emergency



Online LibraryCalifornia Legislative Counsel Bureau California. Secretary of StateAmendments to the Constitution and proposed statutes : with arguments ... → online text (page 18 of 36)