By far the most interesting features of the excises are the methods of assessment. These are practically of three kinds, which may be variously combined : (1) A tax on the producer or seller such that the failure to pay it deprives the person of the right to sell, and renders him liable to penalty. That is, a license is sold. (2) An impost on each unit of the article. This demands the registration of the dealers therein ; and sometimes they are required to give bonds as surety for the payment of the tax. Wherever it is possible, this impost is collected by means of the sale of stamps purchased of the government to be affixed to each package, hogshead, etc., or by means of brands, or other marks affixed by officials who thus receipt for the payment. (3) By the retention of the monopoly of manufacture and sale by the government.

England and America use a combination of (1) and (2). Thus in England every barrel of beer is taxed 6s. 9d. and every dealer and brewer pays a license besides.1

1 Beer, per barrel of specific gravity of 1055 degrees.......0   6   9

Beer dealers' and brewers' annual licenses :

Beer dealers, wholesale, not brewers, United Kingdom . 3 6 1 Beer dealers to sell any quantity, additional (not to be

consumed on the premises, England and Ireland)___1    5   0

Brewers brewing beer for sale, U. K..................1    0   0

Other brewers, U. K., annual value of house from £8

to£10...........................................0   4   0

Annual value from £10 to £15......................0   9   0

Retailers of beer, cider, and perry :

For consumption on the premises, U. K...............3  10   0

Not to be consumed on the premises, England.........1    5   0

Retailers of table beer, U. K............................0    5   0

Retailers of beer and wine, U. K. :

For consumption on the premises....................4   0   0

Not to be consumed on the premises..................3   0   0

In the United States, all internal revenue taxes are payable by stamps. These stamps are pasted upon the packages containing the taxed commodities in such a way as to be necessarily broken when the package is opened. Or else they are pasted up or exposed in the places of business. The table below shows the whole system.

Schedule of articles and occupations subject to tax under the internal revenue laws of the United States in force August 28, 1894 (with the exception of the income tax then in force but since found unconstitutional). From the compilation of 1894:

Special Taxes.

Rate of tax

Rectifiers of less than 500 bbls. a year....................$100.00

Rectifiers of 500 bbls. a year, or more..................... 200.00

Retail liquor dealers.................................... 25.00

Wholesale liquor dealers................................ 100.00

Retail dealers in malt liquors............................ 20.00

Wholesale dealers in malt liquors........................ 50.00

Manufacturers of stills.................................. 50.00

And for stills or worms, manufactured, each.............. 20.00

Brewers, annual manufacture less than 500 bbls........... 50.00

Brewers, annual manufacture 500 bbls., or more........... 100.00

Spirits are taxed in a similar way and so are the dealers therein. In the case of tobacco the import duty forms the tax on the commodity, and the manufacturer pays a license graded according to the size of his business.

Tobacco manufacturers :

Under 20,000 lbs.............. 5     5 0

20,000 to 40,000 ".............10    10 0

40,000 " 60,000 ".............15    15 0

60,000 " 80,000 ".............21     0 0

80,000 " 100,000 ".............26     5 0

100,000...........................31    10 0

Rate of tax

Manufacturers of oleomargarine.........................$600.00

Retail dealers in oleomargarine.......................... 48.00

Wholesale dealers in oleomargarine......................480.00

Distilled Spirits, etc.

Distilled spirits per gallon...............................$ 1.10

Wines, liquors, or compounds known or denominated as wines, and made in imitation of sparkling wine or champagne, but not made from grapes grown in the United States, and liquors, not made from grapes, currants, rhubarb, or berries grown in the United States, but produced by being rectified or mixed with distilled spirits, or by the infusion of any matter in spirits to be sold as wine, or as a substitute for wine, in bottles containing not more than one pint, per bottle or package..........................10

Same, in bottles containing more than one pint, and not more than one quart, per bottle or package....................20

And at the same rate for any larger quantity of such merchandise, however put up, or whatever may be the package.

Stamps for distilled spirits intended for export, for expense.. .10

Tobacco and Snuff.

Tobacco, chewing and smoking, fine cut, cavendish, plug or

twist, cut or granulated, of every description, per pound..$ .06 Snuff of all descriptions, per pound........................06

Cigars and Cigarettes.

Cigars and cheroots of all descriptions, domestic or imported, per thousand.........................................$3.00

Cigarettes, domestic or imported, weighing not over 3 lbs.

per thousand, per thousand............................ .50

Cigarettes, domestic or imported, weighing over 3 lbs. per thousand, per thousand................................ 3.00

Fermented Liquors.

Fermented liquors, per bbl., containing not more than 31

gal..................................................$1.00

Per hogshead, 63 gal..................................... 2.00

Oleomargarine.                         Rate of tax

Domestic, per pound...................................$ .02

Imported, per pound......................................15

Opium. Prepared smoking opium, per pound......................$10.00

Playing Cards. Playing cards, per pack, containing not more than 52 cards..$ .02