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Franklin County: C. S. Eyster to Thaddeus Stevens, January [1865?]

Proposes a bill for the "relief of our people" with future tax exemption and past tax repayment.

Thaddeus Stevens



Hon Thadeus Stevens
D Sir

with this I send you the form of a bill for the relief of our people. It provides first to exempt from tax income of 1863. This is the tax of 5 per ct on income imposed by joint resolution of Congrefs "special tax." This tax has been asfesfed in our last but will not be due and collectable until in February or March. It is on the income of 1863.-- It will amount to five thousand dollars.- The next proposition is to repay to the people of Chambersburg the tax and duty already paid by them for the year AD 1863. This tax was collected in October AD 1864 and was three per cent on the income also of 1863, the regular tax, also the tax on licenses expiring May 1st 1865. This was also paid in October 1864 and the tax on manufactures for the year AD 1863 up to July 30th 1864-- you remarked to me when I was in Washington that it would be hard to have a tax refunded, much easier to exempt from it:--

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This is so as a general proposition: and at the time of the calamity I asked Judge Lewis to exempt them from the payment of the tax: he would have done so but had no power. He refered me to Congrefs with the asfurance that he would cheerfully carry out any power they would give him for that purpose. On the faith that the Congrefs would relieve them they all paid except seven who were utterly unable, many of them paid this tax with the small pittance of public relief money that was sent to them under the full belief that it would be refunded. The collector could not have enforced it for many of them had nothing, but they all paid it willingly-- This bill if pafsed will enable the commisfioner to repay to those who were burned out the amount of tax on manufactures of 1863, and up to July 1864- some of them had manufactured goods on hand to a considerable value on which they had paid duty. If this is thought to be too much it can be stricken out. If admitted it will help some of them more than you can imagine and not take much from the Government.

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When I was in Washington last I talked with Judge Lewis and he exprefsed himself as though if you would addrefs any inquiry to him on the subject he would give it a a favorable reply: with this view I have enclosed what I suppose [deleted: what] would be a proper letter to him from you. If it meets your view please sign it and send it to him. I did it with a view to save you labor not to dictate.-

By the next mail I will send you a certificate from the Collector of Chambg showing that the mass of the people paid their tax_

If you deem it at all advisable I will come to Washington at a moments notice and appear before the committee If you think it proper - please telegraph to me to be paid here, or write me and I will come at once - excuse me for giving you so much trouble and believe me

your friend

C. S. Eyster

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congrefs asfembled That the Commisfioner of Internal Revenue of the United States be and hereby authorized to exempt the people of Chambersburg from the payment of the special income tax of five per cent asfesfed for the year AD1863 or to repay it if paid and to repay out of any money in his hands not otherwise appropriated to the people of said Borough and those adjacent the amount of who have lost property by Rebel incursions the amount of duty, tax, income tax [deleted: and licence mon] due and paid for the year AD1863 and up to the 30th day of July AD 1864 and the amount of Licence tax paid on their Licences expiring May 1st AD1864.

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