amount $220,000 was issued for a new courthouse in Waynesville. Contrast this shrinkage in the issuance of bonds with the period beginning March 18, 1930, and ending March 18, 1931. During this period, when we had little or no restrictions, counties, cities, and towns issued new bonds in the amount of $6,147,- 412.50. This shows an important trend in the decreased debt of the State, but the most important thing which has taken place since the new law has been in effect is that the debts of the counties, cities, and towns have been reduced by payment of principal and interest in the sum of $24,025,522.85. In the past three years there has been paid around $15,000,000 in retirement of state bonds. It is well known that the debt of the counties, cities, and towns is considerably larger than the debt of the State, and it is very significant that these units have reduced their debt in a greater amount than the State.
It will be remembered that under the act of 1931 creating the Local Government Commission no county, city, or town can issue tax anticipation notes or bonds without the approval of the Local Government Commission, but if the Local Government Commission disapproves, the people in the community may, by direct vote, issue the bonds. Therefore, the Local Government Commission does not deny the counties, cities, and towns the right to contract a debt, provided the majority of the qualified voters in an election called for that purpose express a desire to levy the debt and issue the bonds. Instead of the act creating centralization, in its effect it decentralized.
Another item of real interest is the large savings which have been effected in the system of auditing established by Mr. Johnson since 1929. The General Assembly of 1929 passed an act requiring contracts for all auditing done in the counties, these contracts to be approved by Mr. Johnson, as well as the payment for