The Department of Revenue was created in 1927 to serve as general tax and revenue collecting agency of the Commonwealth. The department administers laws and regulations relating to the collection of taxes, though it does not collect taxes for return to local governments except in certain specific cases. The Department of Revenue began to function after the passage of the Fiscal Code of 1929, at which time it assumed tax-collection duties previously carried out by the auditor general, the Treasury Department and other state agencies. The Highway Department’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles and state Highway Patrol were transferred to Revenue that same year. In 1937, the Highway Patrol was removed from the department and merged with the State Police to form the Pennsylvania Motor Police. The shift of responsibility in this area was completed when legislation passed in 1970 assigned the powers and duties involving traffic safety programs and the registration and licensing of motor vehicles and operators to the Department of Transportation.


Record of Direct Inheritance Tax Appraisements and Receipts, 1917-1950. (19 volumes) Arranged alphabetically by county, and thereunder chronologically by date of appraiser’s return. A record of appraisements of estates subject to direct inheritance tax. Information provided includes name and county of decedent; appraised values of real and other property; tax rate; amount of tax due per appraisment; dates of appraisers’ return and register’s receipt; date charged, sealed and countersigned at the auditor general’s office; total value of appraisements filed; debts and expenses of administration; whether a 5 percent discount for prompt payment was granted; penalty of interest due; amount of tax paid to register of wills; date and amount of payment into the state treasury; a stamp and statement verifying the closure of the account; the name of the register of wills handling the account; and miscellaneous notes and remarks. The names of individuals known to the author are following examples of African Americans who were subject to the direct inheritance tax: John T. Stanton, Margaret C. Mackey, Mary Rice, Catherine Brady, J. Phillip McCard, Robert Thompson, George Rice, Jacob Gantz, Mary K. Thompson, Eugene Rice, Elizabeth Ruth Snowden, George Peck, Daniel Hodge, Laura Settlers, and Elizabeth and William Byers, all of Cumberland County.


General Correspondence, 1955-1968. (7 cartons) Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by topic, while the legislative file is arranged chronologically by year. A record of incoming and outgoing correspondence of the chief counsel of the Department of Revenue. One case involving an African American pertains to a discrimination case between Department of Revenue employee Edward C. Kennedy and the State Civil Service Commission. On November 18, 1965, the chief counsel rendered a final decision in the discrimination case.

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