The assembly of all householders in villages of less than 30 households, and of 30 elected men in villages having from 30 to 300 households (dne from each io households in the more populous ones), constitutes the village assembly, similar to the mir, but having wider attributes, which assesses the taxes, divides the land, takes measures for the opening and support of schools, village grain-stores, communal cultivation, and so on, and elects its ataman (elder) and its judges, who settle all disputes up to fio (or above that sum with the consent of both sides).
It supervises and audits the accounts of state departments, directs the taking of the census, transfers cities from one class to another in accordance with census returns, constitutes the board for canvassing election returns, classifies railways, assesses railway and other companies, constitutes the state board of equalization for adjusting property valuations between the several counties for taxing purposes, supervises the incorporation of building and loan associations, appoints the board of examiners of mine inspectors and has many other powers.
There is no provision for a general periodic assessment, but a state tax commissioner appointed by the governor, treasurer and comptroller assesses the corporations, and the county commissioners (in the counties) and the appeal tax court (in the city of Baltimore) revise valuations of real property every two years.
This board, which is composed of five members appointed by the supreme court for a term of two years, also assesses the taxes on the railways, and on telegraph and telephone lines; for railways the average rate of taxation is assessed on the estimated actual value of the road beds, rolling stock and equipment, and for the telegraph and telephone lines this rate is assessed on the estimated actual value of the poles, wires, instruments, apparatus, office furniture and fixtures.
The general property tax for state and local purposes is assessed by local assessors, but their work is reviewed for the purpose of equalization among the several towns and counties by a board of state assessors, which also assesses the corporations.
All taxes levied by the state are paid by the communal council, which assesses the property owned by each family under its authority, collects the amount due and has the right to retain one-fourth, or more, for local requirements.
Previous estimates put the number far higher, but as the Mehtar assesses his fighting strength at 8000 only, this number is probably not far wrong.