A-7405, FEBRUARY 24, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 710

A-7405: Feb 24, 1925

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" IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE HIRE OF PERSONS OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE TO APPRAISE REAL ESTATE IN CONNECTION WITH DISTRAINT PROCEEDINGS INSTITUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3186. AT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS TO ACQUIRE THE PROPERTY IN THE EVENT NO BIDS ARE RECEIVED AT OR ABOVE SUCH PRICE. 1925: THIS OFFICE IS IN RECEIPT OF A LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE. THE PURPOSE OF THE APPRAISAL WAS STATED TO BE TO ENABLE OF THE COLLECTOR TO FIX A MINIMUM PRICE AT WHICH TO OFFER THE PROPERTY FOR SALE. THE COMMISSIONER REQUESTED TO BE ADVISED WHETHER PAYMENT FOR THE SERVICE OF THESE MEN WAS AUTHORIZED FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE.'.

A-7405, FEBRUARY 24, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 710

PERSONAL SERVICES, REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS - SALE OF LAND FOR TAXES THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE," IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE HIRE OF PERSONS OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE TO APPRAISE REAL ESTATE IN CONNECTION WITH DISTRAINT PROCEEDINGS INSTITUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3186, 3196, AND 3197, REVISED STATUTES. THE "MINIMUM PRICE" AT WHICH PROPERTY SHOULD BE OFFERED FOR SALE UNDER DISTRAINT PROCEEDINGS INSTITUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3186, 3196, AND 3197, REVISED STATUTES, AND AT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS TO ACQUIRE THE PROPERTY IN THE EVENT NO BIDS ARE RECEIVED AT OR ABOVE SUCH PRICE, SHOULD BE FIXED, NOT WITH REFERENCE TO ANY APPRAISED VALUATION OF THE PROPERTY BUT AT THE AMOUNT OF TAXES, PENALTIES, COSTS, ETC., AS PROVIDED IN THE STATUTE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, FEBRUARY 24, 1925:

THIS OFFICE IS IN RECEIPT OF A LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, DATED JANUARY 10, 1925, STATING THAT THE COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE AT DETROIT, MICH., EMPLOYED THREE INDIVIDUALS TO APPRAISE CERTAIN REAL ESTATE IN CONNECTION WITH DISTRAINT PROCEEDINGS INSTITUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3186, 3196, AND 3197, REVISED STATUTES. THE PURPOSE OF THE APPRAISAL WAS STATED TO BE TO ENABLE OF THE COLLECTOR TO FIX A MINIMUM PRICE AT WHICH TO OFFER THE PROPERTY FOR SALE. AS NO PREVIOUS AUTHORITY FOR EMPLOYING SAID APPRAISERS HAD BEEN OBTAINED, THE COMMISSIONER REQUESTED TO BE ADVISED WHETHER PAYMENT FOR THE SERVICE OF THESE MEN WAS AUTHORIZED FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE.'

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR "SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF COLLECTORS OF INTERNAL REVENUE," OR ANY OTHER APPROPRIATION IN THIS CONNECTION THAT COULD BE CONSTRUED AS AUTHORITY FOR ENGAGING THE SERVICE OF PERSONS OUTSIDE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE AN APPRAISAL OF PROPERTY AS IN THE INSTANT CASE. SEE 4 COMP. GEN. 356. MOREOVER, THE "MINIMUM PRICE" AT WHICH THE STATUTE AUTHORIZES THE PROPERTY TO BE OFFERED FOR SALE UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, AND AT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS TO ACQUIRE THE PROPERTY IN THE EVENT NO BIDS ARE RECEIVED AT OR ABOVE SUCH PRICE, SHOULD BE FIXED, NOT WITH REFERENCE TO ANY APPRAISED VALUATION OF THE PROPERTY BUT AT THE AMOUNT OF THE TAXES, PENALTIES, COSTS, ETC., AS PROVIDED IN THE STATUTE. THEREFORE, THE EMPLOYMENT OF APPRAISERS IN SUCH CASES WOULD APPEAR TO BE UNNECESSARY AND THE INCURRING OF EXPENSES THEREFOR UNAUTHORIZED.

THE MATTER IS BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION FOR SUCH ACTION AS YOU MAY DEEM PROPER WITH A VIEW TO CORRECTION OF THE PRACTICE.

THE PROPOSED PAYMENT TO THE APPRAISERS EMPLOYED BY THE COLLECTOR, AS HEREINBEFORE INDICATED, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.