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Two internal tax laws have been passed by Congress, and are known as the "Direct Tax " law and the "Excise Tax" law.

The "Direct Tax” law was passed August 5th, 1861. It increased the duties on certain articles imported from foreign countries, laid duties on many articles then exempt from duty, such as teas, &c., and also imposed a tax of twenty millions of dollars on all the States and Territories. This tax was apportioned among the several States and Territories, and the Legislature of each loyal State assumed and undertook to pay the portion assigned to it. At the time of the passage of the act, the Government of the United States was indebted to each of the States for sums of money advanced to pay the expenses of enlisting and equipping volunteers called out by the President during that year. This indebtedness was cancelled by offsetting against it the amount of tax called for from each State, with a discount of fifteen per centum from the tax. If the balance was in favor of the Government, the State paid it over; if it was in favor of the State, the Government paid it. Thus the only effect of this portion of the "Direct Tax" law upon tax-payers, was the assessment and collection of a small State tax for 1862, in those States where there had previously been none, and an increase in the State tax in others. So much of this "Direct Tax" law as imposed a tax of twenty millions of dollars was modified by Congress on July 1st, 1862, so as to authorize the levy and collection of one tax to that amount, and to provide that no other tax should be levied under the act until April 1st, 1865.

To supply the place of this suspended act, the "Excise Tax" law was passed. According to the provisions of a subsequent act, it takes effect July 21st, 1862. According to the notification of the Secretary of the Treasury, or Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the officers required will not be prepared to execute the act before September 1st, 1862. The peculiar features of this "Excise Tax " law are as follows:

It imposes a tax upon all spirits, ale, beer, porter, and other fermented liquors, distilled or brewed after August 1st, 1862.

It requires all persons engaged in certain trades or occupations to obtain a license, as distillers, brewers, wholesale dealers, retail dealers, bankers, tavernkeepers, eating-houses, brokers, confectioners, tobacconists, livery stable keepers, lawyers, physicians, apothecaries, manufacturers, agents, &c. &c.

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