Excerpt from The Forum, Vol. 17: March August, 1894
No State in the Union has a more illiberal, all-pervading system of taxation than Massachusetts, and in no State is the administration of tax-laws more stringent and arbitrary. What Massachusetts fails to accomplish in the assessment and collection of taxes, would there fore seem to be of little use for any of the other States, or the Federal government, to attempt with any anticipation of success. This Massachusetts system finds its fullest exemplification in the city of Boston; and the officials who constitute its department of municipal taxation never indulge, as the taxpayers well know, in much senti ment in the discharge of their duties. The acknowledged representa tive of this Board for many years never hesitated to say that he recognized but one principle, and that was, that in matters of taxa tion the taxpayer had no rights which the State was bound to respect; and, as chairman of a State Commission which some years ago made a report to the Legislature, and with the Declaration of Independence confronting him with its assertion that it is a self-evident truth that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, he also gravely asserted that the individual person [in Massachusetts] has no inalienable rights except that to his own righteousness.
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