United States Office of the Commissioner of Revenue
Lists of Taxes Payable - New York State Collection Districts, 1814-1815

SC10872

Quantity: 1 box (0.50 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Unknown; salvaged from Capitol Fire; accessioned March 1940
Processed By: Manuscripts and Special Collections and by Regina Berry, Student Assistant, State University of New York at Albany, September 2015

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Historical Note:

In 1812 the United States went to war with Great Britain again, but without a wide-ranging financial strategy. The federal government’s revenue largely came from customs duties and land sales, but war meant that revenue from these sources nose-dived. There was no federal taxation of incomes and the Bank of the United States’s charter had been allowed to run out in 1811, depriving the government of a major source of loans and credit. The government now had to use state banks and wealthy individuals as the basis for capital for its loans. In 1813 Congress consented to a series of direct taxes to generate new revenue.

First, on July 22, 1813, Congress passed an act to facilitate the collection of revenue, establishing a system of “collection districts” for the purpose of assessing and collecting direct taxes.  Each collection district was to be staffed with a collector and principal assessor and subdivided into assessment districts. Two days later it passed a revenue act for a direct tax on refined sugar, carriages, distillers and auction sales. In addition, it reinstated the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue in the Department of Treasury, which was then headed by Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin.

On August 2, 1813, Congress passed the act that provided for direct tax of $3 million to be collected on “the [assessed] value of all lands, lots of ground with their improvements, dwelling-houses, and slaves.”  It also included tax on liquor dealers, retailers of foreign merchandise and a stamp tax. 

By the act of July 22, Congress decreed that the State of New York should have twenty-eight collection districts:

  1. Suffolk, Queens and Kings counties
  2. City and County of New York
  3. Westchester County
  4. Dutchess County
  5. Orange and Rockland counties
  6. Ulster and Sullivan counties
  7. Schoharie County
  8. Columbia County
  9. Rensselaer County
  10. Washington County
  11. Saratoga County
  12. Essex, Clinton and Franklin counties
  13. Albany and Schenectady counties
  14. Montgomery County
  15. Herkimer County
  16. Oneida County
  17. Lewis, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties
  18. Otsego County
  19. Chenango County
  20. Madison County
  21. Tioga, Broome and Steuben counties
  22. Onondaga and Cortland counties
  23. Cayuga and Seneca counties
  24. Ontario County
  25. Genesee, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegheny Counties
  26. Richmond County
  27. Greene County
  28. Delaware County

Tax rates varied from district to district, but most seemed to be in the range of fifteen cents and five mills to eighteen cents and seven mills per hundred dollars of valuation.

See the following source for more information:

Scope and Content Note:

These documents were created by officials from nine of the twenty-eight collection districts in New York. Some are lists of property owned by the residents of a county and others are lists of properties owned by non-residents of the district. They typically include the names of occupants, names of owners, valuation of property and taxation amounts. Taxes were assessed to occupants or owners of the property as of February 1, 1814. Several documents are signed by the principal assessor of the district and were likely prepared by the assistant assessor, who also signed the document.

A number of these items are fragile and/or fire damaged.

Box and Folder List:


Box Folder Description
1 1 12th Collection District: For the Counties of Clinton, Essex and Franklin, for non-residents of the county.  Certified: May 19, 1815.  (Large folder)
1 2 13th Collection District: For the Town of Colonie and that part of the City of Albany north of State Street and Lyon Street and east of Dove Street. Certified: July 26, 1814. 
1 3 13th Collection District: For the Town of Berne in the County of Albany.  Certified: July 26, 1814. 
1 4 13th Collection District: For the Counties of Albany and Schenectady, for non-residents of the county.  Certified: July 26, 1814. 
1 5 14th Collection District: For the County of Montgomery, for non-residents of the county.  Certified: November 5, 1814. 
1 6 14th Collection District: For the County of Montgomery, for non-residents of the county, including the towns of Salisbury, Stratford, Manheim, and Oppenheim.
1 7 15th Collection District: For the County of Herkimer, for non-residents of the county.  Certified: February 13, 1815. 
1 8 18th Collection District: For the County of Otsego, for non-residents of the county.  Certified: December 17, 1814.  (Large folder)
1 9 19th Collection District: For the County of Chenango (non-residents), including the towns of Columbus (non-residents), Coventry, Jericho (non-residents), New Berlin (non-residents), and Oxford.
1 10 20th Collection District: For the County of Madison, for non-residents of the county.  Certified: November 4, 1814. 
1 11 21st Collection District: For the Counties of Broome and Tioga, for non-residents of the county. Certified: February 2, 1815. 
1 12 22nd Collection District: For the Counties of Onondaga and Cortland, for non-residents of the county. Certified: March 24, 1814. 
1 13 23rd Collection District: For the Counties of Cayuga and Seneca, for non-residents of the county. Certified: December 1, 1814. 
1 14 28th Collection District: For the County of Delaware, for non-residents of the county.
Last Updated: April 18, 2017