A-6142, APRIL 18, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 867

A-6142: Apr 18, 1925

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NO GROUND RENT IS THEREFORE PAYABLE FROM THE REVENUES ACCRUING ON AND AFTER JULY 1. WHICH APPROPRIATION WAS MADE 40 PERCENT FROM FUNDS IN THE TREASURY NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED AND 60 PERCENT FROM THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 1925: THERE ARE FOR CONSIDERATION OF THIS OFFICE THE QUESTIONS (1) AS TO THE APPLICATION AFTER JUNE 30. WERE MADE ONE-HALF OUT OF ANY MONEY IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED AND ONE-HALF OUT OF THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. WERE MADE ON THE BASIS OF 40 PERCENT FROM MONEY OF THE UNITED STATES AND 60 PERCENT FROM THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. WERE ON THE FOLLOWING BASIS: THAT IN ORDER TO DEFRAY THE EXPENSES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30.

A-6142, APRIL 18, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 867

GROUND RENTS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-DISBURSEMENTS OF FUNDS OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES THE DIRECTION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 539, THAT ANY REVENUE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL BE CREDITED WHOLLY TO THE DISTRICT SUPERSEDES THE REQUIREMENT IN THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1922, 42 STAT. 668, FOR THE PAYMENT OF GROUND RENT TO THE UNITED STATES IN CERTAIN CASES, AND NO GROUND RENT IS THEREFORE PAYABLE FROM THE REVENUES ACCRUING ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1924. EXPENDITURES BY THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR FROM THE APPROPRIATION ,FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL, PATHOLOGICAL BUILDING, SHELVING AND EQUIPMENT, 1925," ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 430, WHICH APPROPRIATION WAS MADE 40 PERCENT FROM FUNDS IN THE TREASURY NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED AND 60 PERCENT FROM THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MUST BE SHOWN IN A SEPARATE ACCOUNT IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 18 OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, APRIL 18, 1925:

THERE ARE FOR CONSIDERATION OF THIS OFFICE THE QUESTIONS (1) AS TO THE APPLICATION AFTER JUNE 30, 1924, OF THE GROUND RENT PROVISION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1922, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1923, 42 STAT. 668, AND (2) AS TO THE APPLICATION OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REGULATIONS, NO. 18, OF FEBRUARY 5, 1923, TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR "FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL, PATHOLOGICAL BUILDING, SHELVING AND EQUIPMENT, 1925," ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 430.

(1) THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1920, ACT OF JULY 11, 1919, 41 STAT. 68, AND PRIOR FISCAL YEARS, WERE MADE ONE-HALF OUT OF ANY MONEY IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED AND ONE-HALF OUT OF THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR SAID DISTRICT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1924, ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1923, 42 STAT. 1327, AND FOR THE INTERVENING FISCAL YEARS, WERE MADE ON THE BASIS OF 40 PERCENT FROM MONEY OF THE UNITED STATES AND 60 PERCENT FROM THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; AND THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR SAID DISTRICT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1925, ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 539, WERE ON THE FOLLOWING BASIS:

THAT IN ORDER TO DEFRAY THE EXPENSES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1925, ANY REVENUE (NOT INCLUDING THE PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE UNITED STATES IN ANY REVENUE ARISING AS THE RESULT OF THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1924 AND PRIOR FISCAL YEARS) NOW REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE CREDITED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE UNITED STATES IN THE SAME PROPORTION THAT EACH CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACTIVITY OR SOURCE FROM WHENCE SUCH REVENUE WAS DERIVED SHALL BE CREDITED WHOLLY TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND IN ADDITION, $9,000,000 IS APPROPRIATED, OUT OF ANY MONEY IN THE TREASURY NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED, AND ALL THE REMAINDER OUT OF THE COMBINED REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND SUCH ADVANCES FROM THE FEDERAL TREASURY AS ARE AUTHORIZED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1923 * * *

THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1922, AS TO THE DIVISION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OF ITS REVENUES, AND AS TO THE CHARGE FOR GROUND RENT, FOR CONVENIENCE HERE LETTERED (A) AND (B), RESPECTIVELY, 42 STAT. 669, WERE AS FOLLOWS:

(A) * * * THAT AFTER JUNE 30, 1922, ANY REVENUE DERIVED FROM ANY ACTIVITY OR SOURCE WHATEVER, INCLUDING MOTOR-VEHICLE LICENSES, NOT OTHERWISE HEREIN DISPOSED OF, WHICH ACTIVITY OR SOURCE OF REVENUE IS APPROPRIATED FOR BY BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SHALL BE DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO IN THE SAME PROPORTION THAT EACH HAS CONTRIBUTED THERETO *

(B) * * * THAT AFTER JUNE 30, 1922, WHERE THE UNITED STATES IS THE OWNER OF GROUND OR THE HOLDER THEREOF IN TRUST FOR THE PUBLIC, UPON WHICH IMPROVEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE AT THE JOINT EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE REVENUES THEREFROM SHALL FIRST BE USED TO PAY THE UNITED STATES 3 PERCENTUM OF THE FULL VALUE OF THE GROUND AS A GROUND RENT, AND THE REMAINDER SHALL BE DIVIDED BETWEEN THEM IN THE SAME PROPORTION THAT EACH CONTRIBUTED TO SAID IMPROVEMENTS, AND FOR SUCH PURPOSES THE ASSESSOR FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL FIX THE FULL VALUE OF THE GROUND AFTER HE HAS FIRST MADE OATH THAT HE WILL FAIRLY AND IMPARTIALLY APPRAISE THE SAME * * *.

IN DECISION OF APRIL 26, 1923, CONSTRUING PROVISION (A), IT WAS SAID:

TO DETERMINE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROVISION (A), IT IS NECESSARY TO CONSIDER IT IN THE LIGHT OF APPLICATIONS OF REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DURING PREVIOUS FISCAL YEARS AS, CONSIDERED ALONE, THE WORDS "ANY REVENUE DERIVED FROM ANY ACTIVITY OR SOURCE WHATEVER * * * WHICH ACTIVITY OR SOURCE IS APPROPRIATED FOR BY BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" WOULD COMPREHEND ALL REVENUES INCLUDING REVENUES FROM GENERAL TAXES, AND THE LIKE, SINCE, WITH MINOR EXCEPTIONS, THE ACTIVITIES OR SOURCES OF THE REVENUES IN QUESTION ARE APPROPRIATED FOR BY BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

IT APPEARS THAT DURING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 11, 1878, TO JULY 1, 1888, ALL REVENUES, FROM WHATEVER ACTIVITY OR SOURCE, WERE WHOLLY CREDITED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1878, 20 STAT. 103-4. IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1889, APPROVED JULY 18, 1888, 25 STAT. 316, AND IN OTHER ACTS THEREAFTER APPROVED, PROVISIONS WERE MADE FOR APPLICATION OF REVENUES FROM CERTAIN ENUMERATED ACTIVITIES OR SOURCES IN PROPORTION, RESPECTIVELY, TO THE CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNTIL THE CLASSES OF REVENUES NOT SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED FOR SUCH APPLICATION HAVE NARROWED DOWN TO A RELATIVELY FEW IN NUMBER AND IT IS AS TO THESE THAT THE REQUEST FOR DECISION RELATES.

PRIOR TO THE FISCAL YEAR 1925, THE CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE UNITED STATES TO DEFRAY THE EXPENSES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WERE DEFINITELY FIXED, AS TO THE PROPORTIONS TO BE CONTRIBUTED, BUT THE ACTUAL AMOUNT OF MONEY INVOLVED BY THAT METHOD OF CONTRIBUTING, AT THE TIME OF MAKING THE APPROPRIATIONS AND FOR AT LEAST THE PERIOD OF A YEAR THEREAFTER, COULD NOT BE ASCERTAINED OTHER THAN BY ESTIMATE BECAUSE OF THE DIVISIONAL APPLICATION OF CERTAIN OF THE REVENUES, THE PROPORTION OF SUCH REVENUES DETERMINED TO BE THAT TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES WAS ENTITLED, AND FOR WHICH IT RECEIVED CREDIT, OPERATING AS AN OFFSET AND IN REDUCTION OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE APPROPRIATIONS APPORTIONED TO THE UNITED STATES.

DURING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 11, 1878, TO JULY 1, 1888, ALL REVENUES, FROM WHATEVER ACTIVITY OR SOURCE, WERE WHOLLY CREDITED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1878, 20 STAT. 103, 104. FROM TIME TO TIME THEREAFTER, STARTING WITH THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1889, APPROVED JULY 18, 1888, 25 STAT. 316, CERTAIN OF THE REVENUES WHICH THERETOFORE HAD BEEN CREDITED WHOLLY TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WERE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED FOR DIVISIONAL APPLICATION AND BY THE PROVISION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1922, 42 STAT. 669, QUOTED, SUPRA, ALL MISCELLANEOUS REVENUES WERE PROVIDED TO BE DISTRIBUTED IN PROPORTION TO CONTRIBUTIONS. PRIOR TO THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1922, 42 STAT. 669, SEVERAL SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS HAD BEEN DIRECTED BY CONGRESS TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES WAS ENTITLED TO SHARE IN CERTAIN REVENUES WHICH HAD BEEN CREDITED WHOLLY TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; FOR INSTANCE, SUCH AS RESULTED IN THE PROVISION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF APRIL 17, 1917, 40 STAT. 8, TRANSFERRING $211,450.12 FROM THE CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO THE CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES. BY THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1922, 42 STAT. 670, A JOINT COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS WAS CREATED WITH DIRECTION TO INQUIRE INTO ALL MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE FISCAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE UNITED STATES SINCE JULY 1, 1874, AND TO REPORT ITS FINDINGS ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST MONDAY IN FEBRUARY, 1923.

THE CHANGE FROM THE PROPORTIONATE TO THE LUMP-SUM METHOD OF CONTRIBUTIONS APPEARS WITHOUT QUESTION TO HAVE BEEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF FIXING IN ADVANCE THE ACTUAL AMOUNT TO BE CONTRIBUTED BY THE UNITED STATES, UNAFFECTED BY ANY SUBSEQUENT DISPOSITION OF REVENUES, AND THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PREVIOUS METHOD OF APPROPRIATING FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND THE DISPOSITION OF ITS REVENUES, IS GIVEN BECAUSE OF ITS BEARING IN ARRIVING AT THE INTENTION OF CONGRESS WITH RESPECT TO THE EXACTION OF GROUND RENTS AFTER JUNE 30, 1924.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THERE ARE SOME DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ACTIVITIES OR SOURCES OF REVENUE SITUATED ON GROUND OF WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS THE OWNER OR HOLDER THEREOF IN TRUST FOR THE PUBLIC FROM WHICH THERE PRACTICALLY WOULD BE NO RETURN TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OF REVENUE IF THE GROUND RENT PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1922, WERE REQUIRED TO BE EXACTED. THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, QUOTED SUPRA, SPECIALLY DIRECTS THAT ANY REVENUE, EXCEPT FOR PRIOR FISCAL YEARS, SHALL BE WHOLLY CREDITED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND A DEDUCTION FROM SUCH REVENUES OF A GROUND RENT WOULD APPEAR TO BE CONTRARY TO THE INTENT AND PURPOSE OF THE PROVISION IN QUESTION. THE INTENT AND PURPOSE OF THE PROVISION IN QUESTION CLEARLY APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN THAT THE UNITED STATES WOULD CONTRIBUTE A FIXED AND DEFINITE SUM TOWARD THE EXPENSES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1925, TO WIT, $9,000,000, AND THAT SAID DISTRICT WOULD CONTRIBUTE THE NECESSARY BALANCE BY THE APPLICATION OF ITS REVENUES FROM MISCELLANEOUS SOURCES AND GENERAL TAXATION, THUS DISPENSING WITH MANY OF THE COMPLICATIONS ATTENDANT UPON ACCOUNTING FOR THE REVENUES COLLECTED AND THE DIFFICULTIES IN SOME INSTANCES IN DETERMINING WHETHER A PARTICULAR REVENUE WAS SUCH AS WAS REQUIRED TO BE CREDITED WHOLLY TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR PROPORTIONATELY DIVIDED, A REVENUE PURSUANT TO GENERAL TAXES AND THE LIKE BEING WHOLLY FOR CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND A MISCELLANEOUS REVENUE BEING FOR DIVISIONAL APPLICATION. DECISION OF APRIL 26, 1923. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HELD THAT THE GROUND-RENT PROVISION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1922, QUOTED SUPRA, HAS NO APPLICATION TO REVENUE ACCRUING ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1924, ANY REVENUE THUS ACCRUING BEING WHOLLY FOR CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

(2) THE APPROPRIATION FOR "FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL, PATHOLOGICAL BUILDING, SHELVING AND EQUIPMENT, 1925," ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 430, PROVIDES:

FOR NECESSARY EQUIPMENT AND SHELVING FOR THE PATHOLOGICAL BUILDING, $18,700, PAYABLE 60 PERCENTUM FROM THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND 40 PERCENTUM FROM THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES.

BY LETTER OF JULY 10, 1923, THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY SUBMITTED FOR DECISION THE QUESTION AS TO HIS AUTHORITY TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUEST MADE UPON HIM BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR THAT THE $36,000, PAYABLE FROM THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PURSUANT TO THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1923, 42 STAT. 1216, APPROPRIATING $60,000 FOR ,FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL, PATHOLOGICAL BUILDING," BE TRANSFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR UNDER AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, AND BY LETTER OF JULY 26, 1923, SAID SECRETARY WAS ADVISED:

THERE IS NO NECESSITY FOR A TRANSFER OF FUNDS AS REQUESTED. THE APPROPRIATION FOR $60,000 HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED ON THE BOOKS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND THE TREASURY, AND IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, THE PROJECT BEING UNDER HIS CONTROL.

BY REASON OF THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDING THAT 60 PERCENTUM OF THE AMOUNT THEREOF SHALL BE FROM THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND ALTHOUGH THE ITEM IS NOT CONTAINED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT BUT IN THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, THE REQUISITIONING OF, AND ACCOUNTING FOR, THE MONEYS THEREIN PROVIDED SHOULD BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE "GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 18" OF FEBRUARY 5, 1923, ENTITLED "ACCOUNTING FOR FUNDS PERTAINING TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY OFFICERS NOT UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS.'

GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 18 OF FEBRUARY 5, 1923, PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT EVERY OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES, OTHER THAN THOSE SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WHO RECEIVES AND DISBURSES FUNDS FOR ACCOUNT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SHALL RENDER ACCOUNTS FOR SUCH FUNDS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM ACCOUNTS FOR ANY OTHER PUBLIC FUNDS WHICH MAY BE IN HIS POSSESSION; THAT THE ACCOUNTS CURRENT FOR SUCH ACCOUNTS SHALL BE MADE IN DUPLICATE, ONE COPY BEING FOR THIS OFFICE AND ONE COPY FOR THE AUDITOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; AND THAT APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS, SUCH AS THE ONE FOR "FREEDMAN'S HOSPITAL, PATHOLOGICAL BUILDING," HERE IN QUESTION, SHOULD BE CARRIED ON THE LEDGERS OF THE DIVISION OF BOOKKEEPING AND WARRANTS OF THE TREASURY, AND ON THE LEDGERS OF THIS OFFICE PERTAINING SOLELY TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DID NOT RENDER SEPARATE ACCOUNTS OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR "FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL, PATHOLOGICAL BUILDING," ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1923, 42 STAT. 1216, AND IS NOT NOW RENDERING SEPARATE ACCOUNTS FOR THE APPROPRIATION FOR "FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL, PATHOLOGICAL BUILDING, SHELVING AND EQUIPMENT, 1925," ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 430, NOTWITHSTANDING THE DIRECTIONS SO TO DO IN THE DECISION OF JULY 26, 1923.

A COPY OF THIS DECISION WILL BE FURNISHED FOR THE INFORMATION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IN ORDER THAT HE MAY DIRECT COMPLIANCE BY THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 18, OF FEBRUARY 5, 1923, AND DECISION OF JULY 26, 1923. A COPY OF THIS DECISION WILL ALSO BE FURNISHED FOR THE INFORMATION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.