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Abstract of Report of Patrick W. Cullinan, State Commissioner of Excise, Transmitted to the Legislature, January 20, 1902.
The report first mentions the loss to the State in the death of the former Commissioner, Henry H. Lyman, saying, "Whatever of strength, efficiency and benefit results from the past conduct of excise control within the State since 1896, the credit therefor should be given to the former Commissioner. He organized, put into motion, controlled and directed the new and intricate branch of government known as the Excise Department, and to his untiring energy, far-sighted good judgment and clear executive mind is due the successful administration of the first five years of the Department."
Financial transactions for the year ending September 30, 1901, are shown as follows:
collected, 2.7 per cent.
Collected from penalties and forfeitures..
Expenses of department.
Total number of certificates of all kinds issued
Total amount collected under Liquor Tax Law from May 1, 1896, to September 30, 1901....
Attention is called to the results of the Liquor Tax Law in New York county. During the excise year ending April 30, 1901, the net revenue collected in said county, after paying all rebates, was $5,293,750, of which New York city received $3,529,167, and the State $1,764,583.
New York county's benefit, by reason of reduced State taxes through operation of the law, calculated from the equalization table for 1901, prepared by the State Board of Assessors, was $1,992,015, being $227,431 more than was paid into the State Treasury as excise taxes from that county, and making a total financial benefit for the year of $5,521,182. This is an increase of $4,465,169, over the last year under the old law ending April 30, 1896, for which the entire excise revenue in New York county was but $1,056,013. The total collections in such county since May 1, 1896, amount to $33,214,829, of which $22,143,219, has been paid into the treasury of New York city and the balance into the treasury of the State.
Under the old law, there were 7,841 places in New York county licensed for liquors to be drunk on the premises where sold. April 30, 1901, there were 6,169 such drinking places, a decrease of 1,672, or over twenty per cent, notwithstanding the large increase in the county's population.
The report compares State supervision and control of excise matters with local supervision, pointing out the distinctive features of the Liquor Tax Law, and showing in favor of State supervision from a moral and social as well as financial standpoint.
The erroneous idea prevalent more or less throughout the State and encouraged by enemies of the law and some local officials, charged with the duty of enforcing its penal provisions, that the Excise Department is responsible for the criminal prosecution for the law's violation, has not entirely disappeared.
Enforcement of the law and the prosecution of offenders rests upon local criminal authorities. All peace officers are charged with the duty of reporting violations to the district attorney, who is in turn required to present all complaints to the grand jury and to prosecute all indictments. It is the duty of local police officials and public prosecutors, of whom there are about 15,000 in the State, to see that the Liquor Tax Law is enforced in their respective communities the same as any other statute containing penal provisions. The Department, however, is not unmindful of its duty to aid local officials as much as it is able in the prosecution of violators, consistent with its other duties, and during the past year, the special agents have conducted upwards of 6,500 investigations covering premises where traffic