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Report of the Hearing Before the Committee on Expenditures of the General Court of Massachusetts, on the Subject of Increasing the Tax on Savings Banks

Report of the Hearing Before the Committee on Expenditures of the General Court of Massachusetts, on the Subject of Increasing the Tax on Savings Banks

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Excerpt from Report of the Hearing Before the Committee on Expenditures of the General Court of Massachusetts, on the Subject of Increasing the Tax on Savings Banks: Containing the Argument of Hon. Francis E. Parker, With Additions, the Evidence of Officers of the Savings Banks, and the Report of the Legislative Committee

Mr Chairman, and Gentlemen:

The subject referred to your committee is that part of the address of his. Excellency, the Governor, which relates to Savings Banks. It is in these words: -

"The rate of taxation on deposits in these institutions is only about one half the average rate of the State. Owing to the great changes in our financial affairs, the drift of these institutions is to become ordinary money corporations, and it is questionable whether such a great relief from the public burdens is longer justifiable."

The Governor has correctly stated the purpose of the inquiry, to wit: whether the one hundred and thirty-six millions of dollars, now on deposit in the Savings Banks, bear their just share of the public burdens. To put the same question in other words, do the one hundred and thirty-six millions of dollars, which are placed in these banks by nearly four hundred and eighty-nine thousand persons, pay as large a tax, as the same money, invested in the same way, would pay, if it were in the hands of the several depositors?

I have said that the form in which this question has been put by his Excellency is correct; and I may add that the form of the question is also material. It admits that the tax which the State lays upon the Savings Banks is a property tax. The policy of the State is to tax these numerous small sums of money, which for purposes of convenience are collected in banks, no more, and no less, than they would tax the same small sums of money, if the depositors invested them in the same way, separately, instead of investing them collectively by their agents, the banks.

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