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the proportions of the original vote, and so
accounted for.

(a) Act May 8, 1854, sec. 38. P. L. page 624.



94 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

203. A building debt akeady incurred for
the purchase of a lot, or the erection or repair
of a school house, may and should be paid by
the proceeds of a building tax, or sum subse-
quently^ levied for that purpose.

204. An intended building may be provided
for by the levy of a building tax or sum, one
or more years before the building is actually
commenced. This mode is often advisable, as
it prevents the imposition of an onerous tax in
one year.

205. When thirteen mills are levied for
school purposes in a district, the same amount
may be levied for building purjjoses ; making
in all twent3-six mills on the dollar, which is
the highest tax that can be legall}' levied in
one year.

206. If less than thirteen mills is levied in
any district for school purposes, then the sum
for building cannot exceed in amount that for
school purposes, that year.

LXXIY. That for the purpose of enabling
the board of directors or controllers to assess
and apportion the tax for the ensuing school
year, the county commissioners shall, when
required, furnish the president or secretary of
the board with a QO^y of the last adjusted
valuation of proper subjects and things made



OF PENNSYLVANIA. 95

taxable in the same, for State and county
purposes, which said property, subjects and
things are hereby made taxable for school pur-
poses, according to the provisions of this act.
(a)

201. It is an official duty of the commission-
ers to furnish the "last adjusted valuation;"
and in case of refusal, the proper court would
grant a writ of mandamus, compelling them to
do so.

208. But a request in writing, for it, should
be made in due time by the secretary, if any
delay in furnishing the adjusted valuation is
apprehended.

209. Directors are not to call on assessors
for a copy of the valuation. It is the exclusive
duty of the county commissioners to furnish
it, and the directors cannot receive it from
any other source, or pay assessors for a copy
thereof.

LXXY. That it shall be the duty of the
several assessors to assess such persons as
may remove into the respective districts be-
tween the last assessment, and the first of
May in each 3'ear, or who may have been
omitted from the last assessment, and to re-
turn their names, with the amount of State
and county tax payable by each, to the board

(«) Act May 8, 1854, sec. 29. P. L. page 624.



96 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

of school directors, who shall thereupon assess
the amount of tax pa5^able b}^ such persons,
which taxes shall be collected as in other cases.
(a)

210. The special assessments authorized by
No. LXXY do not refer to omissions of pro-
perty of taxable persons already assessed ;
but to such persons, with their property, as
have either removed into the district between
the last assessment and the first of Ma}^, or
ma}^ have been accidentally or otherwise omit-
ted altogether from the last assessment.

211. It is the duty of the assessor to make
the additional assessments required by No.
LXXY ; and he is to be paid therefor by the
county commissioners, and not by the direc-
tors.

LXXYL That at the next annual assess-
ment after the erection of any such new com-
mon school district, it shall be the duty of
the county commissioners of the proper coun-
ty to cause a separate assessment of the sub-
jects and things liable to school tax in each
portion of the new district lying within his
proper township, to be made out by the pro-
per assessor thereof, and to be returned to
them, wherefrom, after adjustment, they shall
cause to be made a correct copy of the assess-
ment thus obtained, in every portion of the

(a) Act May 8, 1854, sec. 35. P. L. page 625.



OF PENNSYLVANIA. 9t

the new district, and shall furnish the same to
the secretarj^ thereof, in accordance with the
twentj^-ninth section of the act to which this
is a supplement ; and they shall, in like man-
ner and at the same time, cause to be made
out and furnished to the State Superintendent
of Common Schools, a full list of all the taxa-
ble inhabitants of said new district, according
to the provisions of the forty -ninth section of
the act to which this is a supplement ; and
the}^ shall pay out of the county funds to said
assessors, the usual compensation for the ser-
vices enjoined by this section, (a)

LXXVII. That the assessors in each and
every township, where any portion of said
township may be included within the limits of
an independent school district, shall write on
their duplicates, opposite the names of the
persons residing within said independent dis-
trict, the letters I. D., for the information of
the collector of said tax, and the county cow-
missioners. (6)

LXX VIII. If any assessor, or assistant as-
sessor, shall knowingly and intentionally omit,
neglect, or refuse to assess and return any
property, person or thing, made taxable by
law, or shall knowingly and intentionally as-
sess, rate, or value the same, at more or less
than he shall know and believe the just cash
value or rate thereof, or neglect or refuse to

(a) Act May 8, 1855, see. 7. P. L. page 510.
(6) Act May 8, 1855, sec. 3. P. L. page 509.



98 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

assess any tax required by law, he shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor in office, and on con-
viction thereof, be subject to imprisonment,
not less than three, nor more than twelve
months, and fined in a sum not less than one
hundred nor more than two hundred dollars.
(a)

LXXIX. That the twenty-ninth section of
the act to which this is a supplement shall
not be construed to authorize the taxation of
any objects or property for school purposes,
which shall not be contained in the copy of
the last adjusted valuation of proper subjects
and things made taxable for State or county
purposes, furnished to the board of directors
or controllers by the county commissioners.

212. The subjects of taxation, as a general
rule, may be said to be : every person, subject
and thing embraced in the "last adjusted val-
uation," received from the proper board of
county commissioners ; to which nothing can
be added, except as specified in No. LXXY.

213. There are three kinds of tax for school
purposes, according to their subjects, each
separate and independent of the other, and
all to be paid, when the subjects of them per-
tain or belong to the same person, viz :

(a) Act May 8, 1841, sec. 3. P. L. page 394.
(6) Act May 8, 1855, sec. 11. P. L. page 511.



OP PENNSYLVANIA. 99

1. The minimum tax of one dollar on occu-
pations, salaries and emoluments of office,
and also on every resident male taxable of
the age of twenty-one years, not included in
these classes.

2. The rate tax on such trades, occupations,
professions and salaries, and emoluments of
office, as will yield over one dollar by the rate
on its valuation.

3. The rate tax on real estate and personal
property.

LXXX. That hereafter the tax imposed by
section thirty, of the act approved May
eighth, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-
four, for the regu]ation and continuance of a
system of education by common schools, on
trades, professions and occupations, or on sin-
gle freemen, shall in no case be less than one
dollar, (a)

LXXXI. That upon every resident male
taxable of the age of twenty-one years, whose
name is found entered upon the last adjusted
valuation, furnished according to law to any
board of directors or controllers, by the com-
missioners of the proper county, as a basis
for the assessment of school tax, or which may
be contained in the additional assessment au-
thorized by the thirty-fifth section of the act
to which this is a further supplement, the pro-
Co) Act May 21, 1857, sec. 2. P. L. page 632.



100 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

per board of directors or controllers shall as-
sess the minimum occupation tax now allowed
by law, to be collected with the other school
tax of the district now payable by such per-
son, (a)

214. Farmers, whether owners of lands or
only tenants, are now liable to the minimum
occupation tax of one dollar. But if a far-
mer's occupation is valued in the list at a sum
that would yield more than one dollar, he is
not to pay more than one dollar. In other
words, he is liable to the "minimum," but
not to the "rate" occupation tax.

LXXXII. That the school tax on all
watches and pleasure carriages, shall be at the
same rate on the adjusted valuation thereof,
as upon other property taxable by rate in the
proper district, and no more ; and all offices
and posts of profit, salaries and emoluments
of office shall only be taxed at the regular
rate of school tax of the district upon the
whole amount of the valuation thereof, and
no more, (b)

215. Watches and pleasure carriages, kept
for use, are now taxable, by the rate of the
district, on the returned valuation thereof. If
named but not valued in the list, silver

(a) Act April 11, 1862, sec, 5. P. L. page 472.
(6) Act April 11, 1862, sec. 6. P. L. page 472.



OP PENNSYLVANIA. 101

watches are to be taken at $20, gold at $40,
and carriages, say at $40, and taxed by the
rate accordino;ly.

LXXXIII. That all money now or hereaf-
ter to become taxable for common school pur-
poses, and held, used or invested by any per-
son, company or corporation, in trust for the
use, benefit or advantage of any other person,
company or corporation, shall only be assess-
ed in, and subject to school tax, for the bene-
fit of the school district within which the trus-
tee thereof resides, or has his usual place of
business. And all real estate, so taxable for
school purposes, and in the charge or posses-
sion of any trustee as aforesaid, shall be as-
sessed in, and subject to school tax, for the
benefit of the school district within which the
same is situated ; and this section, so far as
the same is inconsistent with any former sta-
tute or decision, shall only take effect in the
assessment and collection of school taxes le-
vied for the school year, which will commence
on the first Monday in June, one thousand
eight hundred and sixty-two, and the succeed-
ing 3^ears. (a)

LXXXIY. That all mortgages, judgments,
recognizances and moneys owing upon arti-
cles of agreement for the sale of real estate
made and executed after the passage of this
act, shall be exempt from all taxation except
for State purposes ; and that from and after

(a) Act April 11, 1862, sec. 7. P. L. page 472.



102 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

the first day of December next no taxes of any
description shall be assessed or collected ex-
cept for State purposes, and from mortgages,
judgments, recognizances or moneys owing
upon articles of agreement for the sale of real
estate, whether made and executed before or
after the passage of this act : Provided^ That
nothing in this act shall be construed to apply
to mortgages, judgments or articles of agree-
ment given by corporations : Providing^ That
this act shall only apply to the counties of
Berks, Schuylkill, Luzerne, Clearfield, Alle-
gheny, York, Delaware, Montgomery, Ches-
ter, Lancaster, Huntingdon, Fulton, Bedford,
Blair, Lebanon, Clinton, Carbon, Monroe, Le-
high, Mifflin, Westmoreland, Northampton,
Juniata, Somerset, Lidiana, Greene, Elk, For-
est, Franklin, Perry, Cumberland, Dauphin,
Lawrence, Lycoming, Union, Snyder, Erie,
Crawford, Bucks, M'Kean, Philadelphia and
Mercer, {a)

216. The terms of this law are very plain,
and no school tax can now be legally collected
in the counties named in the act, on mort-
gages, judgments, recognizances and mone3^s
owing upon articles of agreement for the sale
of real estate.

21 Y. Money at interest when taxable at all
for school "purposes, is taxable for the benefit

(a) Act April 4, 18G8, sec. 1. P. L. page 61.



OF PENNSYLVANIA. 103

of the district in which the lender, if an adult
and sui juris, resides.

218. Money at interest in care of a trustee
residing in one district, but belonging to a
ward or other person in another district, or
out of the State, is to be taxed by and for the
benefit of the schools of the district in which
the trustee resides, under No. LXXXIX.

LXXXV. That hereafter the assessors of
the several counties, within this Common-
wealth, shall, on seated lauds, make the assess-
ment in the township in which the mansion
house is situate, when township lines divide
a tract of land, (a)

219. If the mansion house of a tract of land
is in one township, and a portion of the tract
attached to it in another, the whole tract is to
be taxed by and for the benefit of the district
in which the mansion house is situated.

LXXXYl. That the fifty-ninth section of
the act of July 11, 1842, entitled "An Act
regulating election districts, and for other
purposes," shall not be construed to extend
to lands lying in different townships, the man-
sion house of which is in an incorporated
borough or city, (b)

220» If the mansion house of a tract of land

(a) Act July 11, 1842, sec. 59. P. L. page 331.
(h) Act April 25, 1850, sec. 15. P. L. page 572.



104 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

is in a borough or city, and a portion of the
tract attached thereto is in a township, each
portion is to be taxed by and for the benefit oi
the district in which it is located.

221. A deceased person's property, while it
belongs to the estate of the deceased, is taxa-
ble for school purposes, either in the name of
the deceased, or of the executors or adminis-
trators, or of his heirs, in the same way and to
the same extent as during his lifetime ; but not
to an occupation tax.

222. Yotin.o- tax— By the act of April 22,
1863, it was ordered that the new board shall
be organized on the first Monday in June, or
within ten days thereafter. It is recommend-
ed that each board throughout the State fix
upon that day for the organization, and have
it a standing rule entered upon the minutes,
and the secretary of the old board should give
notice to that effect. This act also requires
that tax be levied between the first Monday in
June, and the first day of July, hence an early
organization is absolutely necessary.

223. One of the first duties after the organi-
zation, is an examination into the financial
affairs of the district, and a determination of
the policy to be pursued in regard to the num-



OP PENNSYLVANIA. 105

ber of schools, the length of terra, the salaries
of teachers and the building and repairing of
school houses. Having determined the amount
of debt or funds on hand, the ^vhole may be
embodied in the following form of resolution :

Resolved^ That in district there shall be

schools, for a term of months — that

the average salaries of experienced teachers,
with first class certificates, shall be dol-
lars per month ; that of inexperienced teach-
ers with certificates of a lower grade, shall be

dollars per month ; that house No. •

shall be repaired at a cost not exceeding •

dollars ; that a new house shall be built in the

place of No. ,at a cost not exceeding

dollars, and that dollars be allowed for

exonerations and contingent expenses.

224. If provision is to be made for the li-
quidation of debt, the sum must be added to
the amount of tax to be raised for other pur-
poses. If a balance is in the treasury or on
hand, the sum must be subtracted from the
amount determined on, for the expenses of the
year. The amount required, can thus be as-
certained :



106 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

Wages of six teachers for eiglit months, say

$30 per month $1,440 00

Wages of four teachers, for eight months, say

$25 per month 800' 00

Repairs in house No. 4, say 100 00

New house, No. 8, say 900 00

Exonerations and contingencies, say 200 00

Total current expenses for the year 3,400 00

Deduct State appropriation, say 300 00

Balance to be raised by tax 3,14000



225. This mode of connecting in one tax
and one duplicate, the "school" and "build-
ing" tax is the correct one. But when col-
lected the amount is to be divided between
the two funds, according to the original vote,
and each portion is to be applied to its proper
object, and cannot be applied to any other in
the expenditures of the district. The result
may then be embodied in the following form
of resolution :

Resolved^ That the sum of three thousand
one hundred and forty dollars, (3,140,) be le-
vied in the district for the current year ; two
thousand one hundred and forty dollars ($2,-
140) for school purposes, and one thousand
for building purposes ; that the secretary be
directed to apportion the same on the taxable
persons and property thereof, according to



OF PENNSYLVANIA. 107

law, and that he report the duplicate at the
next meeting.

226. Aiyportioning tax. — It is the duty of
the secretary to apportion the tax. Immedi-
ately after his appointment he should apply
to the county commissioners for the duplicate
of the "last adjusted valuation," if the former
secretary has not received it. Knowing the
amount of money to be raised by taxation, he
may proceed as follows to apportion it :

1. Count in the list furnished by the coun-
ty commissioners all the male resident taxa-
bles over twenty-one years of age, whose oc-
cupation is not valued, together with all
whose occupation, or office, as valued, will pro-
duce exactly, one dollar, or less, when multi-
plied by the required rate.

22t. The number thus found, in this case,
for example, is one hundred and forty, (140.)
There are, therefore, one hundred and forty
dollars (140) to be deducted from $3,140, the
whole amount to be raised. This leaves $3,-
000 to be apportioned upon the taxable ob-
jects, or property of the district.

2. To ascertain what sum, at any specified
rate, will produce one dollar, divide one dollar



108 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

by the given rate expressed, decimally, and
the quotient will be the amount.

3. To ascertain the rate, divide the amount
of tax to be raised, written decimally, by the
valuation of the district, which, in this case,
we will put at four hundred and eighty-two
thousand dollars, ($482,000,) and we have the
rate six and one-fourth mills nearly, but as
ihis is an inconvenient number to multiply
by, it should be made six and one-half- mills,
and if the rate is a fraction greater than one-
half, it should be made another mill, thus 3^
raised to 3 J, or 4f raised to 5.

228. Having ascertained the rate, the fol-
lowing general rule will assist in making out
the tax : If the product of the valuation upon
the occupation, or office, when multiplied by
the rate, will produce more than one dollar,
no additional dollar is to be paid, but in all
other cases the minimum tax of one dollar is
to be paid. There may be three cases under
this rule. First, Where no occupation is val-
ued. Second, Where the valuation, when mul-
tiplied by the rate, will not produce more than
one dollar ; and third. Where the valuation,
when thus multiplied, will produce more than
one dollar. The three following examples will



OF PENNSYLVANIA. 109

make these cases clear, taking the rate as as-
certained to be six and one-half mills to the
dollar :

Example l.

James Cash, farmer, occupation not valued ;

minimum occupation tax |1 00

2 horses, |300 1 95

100 acres of land, ^500 29 25

Total amount of tax 32 20

Example 2.

Abel Tripp, tailor, occupation valued at |100 ;

minimum occupation tax fl 00

1 horse, ^120 78

Village house and lot, ^1,500 9 75

Total amount of tax 11 53

Example 3.

Richard Stone, lawyer, occupation valued

at 11,000 |6 50

Town lot and house, $2,500 16 25

Money at interest, 3,000 19 50

Gold watch, |40 26

Total amount of tax 42 51



IV. DUTIES OF TREASURER IN COLLECTING TAXES.

LXXXYII. That from and after the passage
of this act it shall be lawful for the board of
school directors of any school district in this
commonwealth, by resolution of the board, to
authorize the collection of the school tax in
the manner hereinafter provided.



110 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

The board of school directors shall place in
the hands of the treasurer a certified dupli-
cate of the school tax, and it shall be his
duty to give at least one month's notice of
the time and place at which he will attend,
at least one day, for the purpose of receiving
school tax ; and it shall be his duty to receive
and receipt for all school tax given him for
three months after the date of said notice :
Provided, That if any person, on or before
the expiration of two months after the date of
said notice, shall pay to the collector the
amount of his or her tax, such person shall be
entitled to a deduction of five per cent, on the
amount thereof, and for the remaining month
he shall make no abatement on the taxes re-
ceived, {a)

LXXXVIII. In case the taxes are not all
paid on or before the expiration of three months
from the date of said notice, the board of direc-
tors shall elect a collector, have the duplicate
placed in his hands, and issue to him a warrant
for the collection of the unpaid tax on said
duplicate ; and he shall proceed to collect the
unpaid tax assessed therein, with an addition
of five per cent, on the amount thereof, in the
manner heretofore provided by law ; he shall
be allowed such compensation as may be agreed
upon, not exceeding five per cent, of the money
collected ; and in addition, in case of distress
and sale of goods, he shall receive the same

(a) Act April 21, 1869, sec. 2. P. L. page 87.



OP PENNSYLVANIA. Ill

fees as are now allowed by law to constables
for a levy and sale upon a writ of execution ;
which fees he shall retain out of the proceeds
of such sales after deducting the taxes and
the addition of five per cent, thereon.- (c)

LXXXIX. All acts or parts of acts for the
collection of school tax that are hereby altered
or supplied are hereby repealed, so far as they
relate to districts in which the board of direc-
tors authorize the collection of school tax by
the provisions of this act : Provided^ That
none of the provisions of this act shall apply
to the cities of Pittsburg or Allegheny, or to
the counties of Cumberland, York, Franklin,
Adams, Sullivan, Columbia, Montour, North-
umberland, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery,
Berks, Somerset, Bedford, Fulton, Allegheny,
Luzerne, Indiana, Cambria and Jefierson. (b)

229. In districts adopting this act, boards
of directors must employ the treasurer as col-
lector ; in all other districts he can only be
employed as such when the services of others
cannot be procurred.

V. DUTIES OP THE COLLECTOR.

XC. That the board of directors, or con-
trollers, shall appoint some suitable and com-
petent person as collector of the school tax
duplicate for each township, borough or ward,

(a) Act April 21, 1869, sec. 3. P. L. page 88.
(/)) Act April 21, 1869, sec. 4. P. L. page 88.



112 SCHOOL LAWS AND DECISIONS

who shall be allowed such compensation as
may be agreed upon, not exceeding five per
centum on the money collected, for his ser-
vices ; and to whom a warraut shall be issued
by the president and countersigned by the
secretary of the board of directors or control-
lers, authorizing and requiring him to demand
and receive from every person in such dupli-
cate named, the sum wherewith such person
stands charged, in the same manner, and with
like power and authority to enforce the col-
lection of the same as is now or may hereaf-
ter be conferred by law upon the collector of
county taxes ; and the board shall have the
right at all times to make such abatements or
exonerations for mistakes, indigent persons
or unseated lands, as to them shall appear
just and reasonable, and the secretary shall
enter on the minutes the names of all persons
in whose favor such abatements or exonera-
tions were made, together with the reasons
therefor : Provided^ That in the event of
their failure to procure a collector for any
reason, they may appoint to that dut3^ the con-
stable or the treasurer of the school district,
who shall forfeit for ever3^ refusal to execute
ths same, by proof thereof being made before
any alderman or justice of the peace, the sum
of fifty dollars, which shall be added to the
school fund of the proper district, {a)

230. Mistakes made b}^ the assessor, in

(a) Act May 8, 1854, sec, 31. P. L. page 624.



OF PENNSYLVANIA. 113

valuation, &c., are not within the power of
the board to correct ; but only mistakes made
by their own secretary in his calculations or
otherwise, in making out the duplicate. Mis-


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Online Librarystatutes Pennsylvania. LawsThe common school laws of Pennsylvania, and decisions of the superintendent, with explanations, forms, etc → online text (page 6 of 15)