SEPARATION IN CALIFORNIA
CALIFORNIA alone of those states achieving separation of revenues accomplished it at one move. In all of the other states the change was gradual. Special state taxes, particularly special corporation taxes, were experimented with first, when they were found to provide sufficient revenues for state use the general property tax was gradually reduced, and finally omitted altogether.
The constitution of California, after its revision in 1879, did not, as did many state constitutions, require that taxation be "equal and uniform," but it did provide that "all property in the State . . . shall be taxed in proportion to its value."1 This was interpreted to mean the same thing, and so prevented classification for taxation. Without classification separation was impossible. A clause preventing the release of the local divisions from their proportionate share of state taxes was a further barrier.2
Prior to 1910 almost no special taxes, aside from inheritance and poll taxes, were employed. Corporations paid fees and annual licenses, but their property was taxed under the general property tax locally administered--except that the franchise, roadway, roadbed, rails, and rolling stock of railroads operating in two or more counties, although taxed as other property, was assessed by state officials. The only____________________