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STATEMENTS ON APPLICATION - SHOULD BE MORE
(SECTION 17.) Experience has plainly demonstrated the propriety, if not neces. sity, of requiring the applicant, in addition to the statements required by this section, to also plainly show the ownership of the premises ; the number of dwellings within the prohibited distance therein specified, with number and names of owners of each, and whether located in a public park or building or on premises prohibited, or within 200 feet of a building occupied exclusively as a church or a schoolhouse as specified in section 24. By this means, the certificate may be more intelligently isued and the courts may have the benefit of such statements on reviewing the action of Department officials. As the section now stands applicants frequently answer the question, as to whether they are within any of the prohibitions of the act, negatively, perhaps in good faith, when, if required to state the above facts in detail, the answer would show that they were not entitled to a certificate.
REPORTS AND RETURNS OF COUNTY TREASURERS — COLLEC
TION OF THE TAX.
(SECTIONS 13-16.) The tax has been collected and returned without loss to the State. Localities have not fared as well, the law not definitely providing for prompt payment of local funds by county treasurers. The majority of county treasurers have conducted this new branch of their business satisfactorily. They have promptly furnished the reports and returns required and disposed of the funds as provided by law. Others have taken an entirely different course, neglecting and practically refusing to make the reports required to enable the Department to properly keep or know what amount the treasurer owed the public, and retaining funds for months after the same were due and payable to the State and localities. This has caused the Department great annoyance and much needless expense, and has resulted in more or less loss to localities. There is no reasonable excuse for such negligence or failure to make reports, as all necessary forms for the same are furnished, and treasurers are paid in advance a liberal compensation for this particu
I, therefore, respectfully suggest the necessity of so amending the law that county treasurers' books and accounts of excise funds be always open to inspection; that their deposits of excise funds be kept in separate and distinct accounts; that they be obliged to pay localities the money belonging to them within ten days after its receipt, as now provided for the State's share; also that it be obligatory upon such officials to furnish this Department, as often as required, such verified statements of all transactions under the law as the Commissioner may deem necessary.
REFUND ON SURRENDER OF CERTIFICATE.
(SECTION 25.) By the terms of this section a pro rata refund of the unearned tax is directed to be made on surrender of certificates.
I desire to call attention to the fact that this direction for a refund has, in many cases, been rendered nugatory by reason of the provisions of section 13, which direct the payment of the State's share of the tax within ten days from the receipt thereof, and seems to imply the immediate ownership and possession of the remaining two-thirds of said tax by the locality from which it was received.
This conflict of the two sections has occasioned much annoyance and trouble to the Department, and has caused very frequent and perhaps just complaints from those who have been unable to secure their refund on surrender of certificate. In localities where there is a large summer-resort business done, the refunds called for in the Autumn are naturally heavy, with no current receipts to meet the draft, and, in case of towns where there are very few licenses, there is seldom any money in the treasurer's hands to pay a refund; also, as is well known, funds in the State treasury can only be with. drawn on specific appropriation by the Legislature.
An amendment to meet this dilemma is not only in the line of
justice, but also of public policy.
FINES, PENALTIES AND FORFEITURES — REPORTS BY COUNTY
AND COURT CLERKS.
(SECTION 36.) Section 36 provides that, in case of judgment for fines, penalties and forfeitures under this act, the clerk of the court in which the same is rendered shall file in the office of the clerk of the county a certified statement thereof, whereupon the clerk of said county shall enter in a docket kept by him the amount of the penalty, fine or forfeiture as a judgment in favor of the Commissioner of Excise, and deliver a transcript thereof to the county treasurer, issue execution for the collection thereof, etc.
In addition to the present provisions of this section, county clerks and clerks of courts of record should be required to immediately transmit to the State Commissioner of Excise a duly certified transcript of every judgment, conviction or verdict rendered and execution issued and returned in any proceeding for violation of the provisions of the act. A monthly statement of all such transactions, or that none have occurred, should also be made. This is essential to a full understanding by the Department of the
execution of the law throughout the State, and particularly necessary in order that the Commissioner in whose favor the judgments for fines, penalties and forfeitures are rendered may know whether the same have been paid to the county treasurer by the court officer receiving the same, or whether execution has been issued as provided by law, and what, if any, return is made thereon by the sheriff. The experience of the Department, so far, indicates that fines and penalties are very slow in reaching the treasury, and, in many cases, no official information of fines and penalties is obtainable by this Department.
The following tables show all the important transactions of the Department, the results produced, and their effect upon the interests of every city and town in the State; they also show the benefits or the disadvantages of the new system, as compared with the old, so far as statistics are available for such comparison.
REPORT OF ENUMERATOR.
ALBANY, N. Y., November 25, 1896. H. H. LYMAN, State Commissioner of Excise.
Sir:-In classifying the cities and villages of the State for the purpose of fixing the amount of tax to be charged under subdivi. sions 1, 2 and 3 of section 11 of the Liquor Tax Law, subdivision 4 of said section 11, requires that such classification be based upon the population of said cities and villages, as shown by the State census of 1892, and, when not so shown, then upon the United States census of 1890; and if not shown by either, by reason of in. corporation of a new city or village subsequent to said United States census, then the Commissioner is authorized to cause an enumeration of such cities and villages.
The following is a summary of the cities and villages enumerated under your direction during the fiscal year ending September 30, 1896, showing their respective population, dates of incorporation, dates of enumeration, number of enumerators employed and ex. pense incurred:
JOHNSTOWN, FULTON COUNTY.
Incorporated as a city by chapter 568, Laws 1896.
SOLVAY, ONONDAGA COUNTY.
Incorporated as a village April 21, 1894.
Enumeration showed population to be 2,727. .
Incorporated as a village September 21, 1894.
HEMPSTEAD, QUEENS COUNTY.
Incorporated as a village July 26, 1853.
Enumeration showed population to be 3,415,
Enumerated May 19th and 20th, 1896.
our enumerators employed at an expense of $13.75.
imeration showed population to be 1,377.