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Legislative action that proposed this amendment: SJR8 1915 Regular Session

Disposition: Voters rejected this proposed amendment.

Amends article 13, section 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10


The power of taxation shall never be surrendered, suspended, or contracted away. All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only.


The legislature shall provide by for an annual tax sufficient, with other sources, of revenue, to defray the estimated ordinary expenses of the state for each fiscal year. For the purpose of paying the state debt, if any there be, the Legislature shall provide for levying a tax annually, sufficient to pay the annual interest and principal of such debt, within twenty years of the final passage of the law creating the debt.


There shall be exempt from taxation property of the United States, of the State, counties, cities, towns, school districts, municipal corporations and public libraries, lots with the buildings thereon used exclusively for either religious worship or charitable purposes, and places of burial not held or used for private or corporate benefit. Ditches, canals, reservoirs, pipes and flumes owned and used by individuals or corporations for irrigating lands owned by such individuals or corporations, or the individual members thereof, shall not be separately taxed so long as they shall be owned and used for such purpose; provided, that mortgages upon real and personal property shall be exempt from taxation; and that the taxes of the indigent poor may be remitted or abated at such time and in such manner as may be provided by law.


The Legislature shall not impose taxes for the purpose of any county, city, town or other municipal corporation, but may, by law, vest in the corporate authorities thereof, respectively, the power to assess and collect taxes for all purposes of such corporation.


The surface grounds of all mines and mining claims, both placer and right in place, containing or bearing gold, silver, copper, lead, iron or other valuable metals, after the purchase thereof from the United States, shall be taxed at a value not greater than the price paid the United States therefor, unless the surface ground, or some part thereof, of such mine or claim, is used for other than mining purposes, and has a separate and independent value for such other purposes, shall be taxed at its value for such other purposes as provided by law; and all machinery used in mining, and all property and surface improvements upon or appurtenant to mine and mining claims, which have a value separate and independent of such mines and mining claims, shall be taxes as provided by law. All lands providing coal, granite, stone, marble, onyx, gas, oil, hydro-carbons, gypsum, or other valuable mineral deposits, other than those enumerated above in this section, after purchase thereof from the United States and all property and surface improvements upon or appurtenant to such lands which have a value separate and independent from all such lands shall be taxed as provided by law. In addition to the assessment of the surface grounds, improvements and machinery of mines and mining claims, all mines and mining claims producing net proceeds shall be taxes at a value not to exceed three times such net proceeds.


An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public moneys shall be published annually in such manner as the Legislature may provide.


The rate of taxation on property for State purposes shall never exceed eight mills on each dollar of valuation to be appropriated as follows: Not to exceed four and one-half mills on each dollar of valuation for general State purposes; not to exceed three mills on each dollar of valuation for district school purposes; not to exceed one-half mill on each dollar of valuation for high school purposes; that part of the State tax apportioned to high school purposes shall constitute a fund to be called the "high school fund" and shall be apportioned to the cities maintaining high schools in the manner the Legislature may provide. And whenever the taxable property within the State shall amount to Four Hundred Million Dollars, the rate shall not exceed five mills on the dollar of valuation; unless a proposition to increase such rate, specifying the rate proposed and the time during which the same shall be levied, be first submitted to a vote of such of the qualified electors of the State as, in the year next preceding such election, shall have paid a propriety tax assessed to them within the State, and the majority of those voting thereon shall vote in favor thereof, in such manner as may be provided by law.


The making of profit of public moneys, using the same for any purpose not authorized by law, by any public officer, shall be deemed a felony, and shall be provided by law, but part of such punishment shall be disqualification to hold public office.


No appropriation shall be made, or any expenditure authorized by the Legislature, whereby the expenditures of the State, during any fiscal year, shall exceed the total tax then provided for by law, and applicable for such appropriation or expenditure, unless the Legislature making such appropriation, shall provide by levying a sufficient tax, not exceeding the rates allowed in Section 6 of this article, to pay such appropriations or expenditures within such fiscal year. This provision shall not apply to appropriations or expenditures to suppress insurrections, defend the State, or assist in defending the United States in time of war.


Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prevent the Legislature from providing a stamp tax, or a tax based income, occupation, licenses or franchises.