Editor’s note: The following editorial originally appeared in the July 10, 1903, issue of The Bend Bulletin.
The district road supervisor, John Sisemore, has begun an active campaign for road work. He finds that many people are slow to respond to his invitation to work or pay, and some have even bluntly refused to discharge their obligations to the public roads. Therefore he declares he will give legal notice and then proceed according to law to enforce the collection of the road tax or the penalty for refusing to pay it.
An impression prevails to some extent that the law provides no means whereby a penalty for refusal to work or pay the personal road tax can be enforced. This is an error. The law makes it the duty of the road supervisor, in case a person subject to the tax shall fail to respond to official notice, to proceed to collect the tax by levy upon and sale of any property that can be found belonging to the delinquent; and no property is exempt from such process. If no property can be found the supervisor is directed to bring an action in his own name against the delinquent, and any judgment for a fine “shall be enforced in the same manner as a judgment for a fine in a criminal action.” This means that the delinquent may be sent to jail to serve time for the amount of the judgment against him for personal road tax. The action can be brought in justice court.
This personal road tax is fixed in the law at two days labor or $3 in cash. “Each male between 21 and 50 years of age, except those who are a public charge or are ‘too infirm to perform labor’” and subject to the tax in this county.
Supervisor Sisemore declares his purpose to collect this tax impartially from all. He has been instructed by the county judge to enforce collection against any who shall refuse to pay. Our roads need the work and all get the benefit of good roads. There ought to be no objection to working or paying the money for this purpose.