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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Income not from Land

Income not from Land.

Only a Census, specially taken by authority of Government for the purpose, could afford an accurate knowledge of the income derived from other sources than property in land. There are, of course, cases where the landowner derives one income, and the occupier another. Of course either or both, and the income of the mortgagee or other party, if any, holding a beneficial interest, must all pay taxes in each case, where the income exceeds the limit of exemption, whatever that may be. For instance, a landowner may reside out of the Colony, and yet receive an income from it, exceeding the limit. He must pay the tax on the amount of income above the limit. If the estate be large enough, his agent or manager may receive an income exceeding the limit; he also must pay taxes on the amount so in excess. And there may be one or more tenants, who pay rent to the manager or agent, and derive an income over and above that rent in excess of the limit; and they, too, each in his own case, must pay taxes on the amount in excess.

"With this explanation, I proceed to a brief summary of the principal pursuits, besides those of folks beneficially interested in landed property, from whose income, in excess of the reasonable limit of exemption, public income should fairly be derived.

1. Bankers, commission agents, members of "loan and investment companies," mortgagees, biil discounters, pawnbrokers, and money lenders under whatever designation, whether as individuals or firms, whether on a large or small scale, and whether at low, moderate, or high rates of interest; the only exception being where the income can be proved not to exceed the limit of exemption.

2. Merchants, auctioneers, valuers, land agents, cattle dealers, and other traders in buying and selling, not included under No. 1.

3. Lawyers, doctors, ministers of religion, schoolmasters (private and public), managers of estates, directors, secretaries, and shareholders of companies, proprietors and managers of all manufactories, including those of newspaper and other printing establishments, editors, reporters, and journalists, architects, civil engineers, surveyors, and public officials of all kinds, including secretaries and curators of public institutions.

4. Tradesmen of all kinds, whether manufacturers or not of their own wares. I need not detail them. It has been related that the great American benefactor of the English poor, Peabody, laid the foundation of his vast fortunes as a lion tamer exhibiting in public,—keeping an eye to business so thoroughly as to ensure his life all the time. There should be devised some means of collecting contributions to the cost of "good order," even from the surplus receipts of successful exhibitors, actors, page 27 lecturers, musicians, acrobats, and showmen of all kinds. It would not then be left to the optional benevolence of those taking considerable earnings out of the Colony, whether or not to give benefits for particular charities, and no one would grudge what any might take away, knowing the receipts had been made to contribute a just share of the cost of protecting their industry and its reward from outrage or disorder. Even a professional bettor or "bookmaker" should be called upon to declare his income, and, if possible, "settle up" on the result, if in excess of the limit of exemption.

5. Workmen at yearly, weekly, or daily wages, in whatever trade or description of labour, who receive an income in excess of the limit of exemption.

Under these classes, together with the receivers of income directly arising from their ownership or occupation of land, the proceeds of all property and industry would be taxed in proportion to the benefit derived, excepting always that which does not exceed the