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1865 Federal Taxes of Benton County, Iowa
Transcribed by Sue Soden, Copyright © 2008

Abbreviations used:
   ABS# = No. in Abstract
   QTY = QUANTITY
   VAL = VALUATION

 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual 

Transcription source:  Series M766, Internal Revenue Assessment Lists of Iowa, 1864-66.
Roll 12, Annual Lists of District 4 Counties.
Roll 13, Monthly and Special Lists of District 4 Counties.
~ About these Taxes ~
Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act on July 1, 1862, "to provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay Interest on the Public Debt," but the taxes, including the income tax, were not actually levied until September 1, 1862. Like tax legislation today, the 1862 law was extremely complicated. Monthly specific (or fixed) and ad valorem (a percentage of the market value) duties were placed on articles and products ranging from ale to zinc. Monthly taxes were levied on gross receipts of transportation companies; interest paid on bonds; surplus funds accumulated by financial institutions and insurance companies; gross receipts from auction sales; and sales of slaughtered cattle, hogs, and sheep. Annual licenses were required for bankers, auctioneers, wholesale and retail dealers, pawnbrokers, distillers, brewers, brokers, tobacconists, jugglers ("Every person who performs by sleight of hand shall be regarded as a juggler under this act."), confectioners, horse dealers, livery stable keepers, cattle brokers, tallow-chandlers and soapmakers, coal- oil distillers, peddlers, apothecaries, photographers, lawyers, and physicians. Hotels, inns, and taverns were classified according to the annual rent or estimated rent, from a first-class establishment with a yearly rental of $10,000 to an eighth-class hotel with a yearly rental of less than $100, and charged license fees of from $200 to $5 accordingly. Eating houses paid $10 per year for a license, theaters $100, and circuses $50. Bowling alleys and billiard rooms paid according to the number of alleys or tables belonging to or used in the building to be licensed. Stamp duties were imposed on legal and business documents and on medicines, playing cards, and cosmetics.

The new Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in the Treasury Department supervised the collection of taxes and duties and prepared regulations, instructions, directions, and forms used in assessing and collecting taxes. President Abraham Lincoln issued a series of executive orders dividing all of the states and territories under Union control into collection districts. The number of collection districts in a state or territory could be as few as one, as in the case of the Territory of New Mexico, but it could not exceed the number of its congressional representatives. Subsequent executive orders altered collection districts in some of the states and territories either in number or in geographical coverage. Lincoln also appointed a collector and an assessor for each district. Local officials, or assistant assessors, compiled lists of taxpayers used by collectors to collect the taxes.

All persons, partnerships, firms, associations, and corporations submitted to the assistant assessor of their division a list showing the amount of their annual incomes, articles subject to special tax or duty, and the quantity of taxable goods made or sold. The assistant assessors then compiled two alphabetical lists: (1) the names of persons or entities residing in the division who were liable for taxation and (2) the names of persons or entities residing outside the division who owned property in the division. Under each name were recorded the value, assessment (or enumeration of taxable income or items), and the amount of duty or tax due.

Excerpt Source: " Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years " by Cynthia G. Fox, Winter 1986, Vol. 18, No. 4.


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