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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 7, no. 148: January 14, 1871

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Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. VII. NEW YORK, SATURDAY, JANTJARY 14, 1871. No. 148. Published Weekly by THE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. . TERMS., One year, in advance......................§6 00 All communications should be addressed to C. "W. SA?V-ICTGT. 106 Broauwat. cor. of Pine Street. The Record is regularly maUed to subscribers every Friday night at eleven o'clock, and should be deUvered by the Post Office authorities on Saturday morning early. Any subscriber not recei-ying his paper in due season may rely upon it that the fault is entirely with the carrier, and a complaint lodged either mth the Vosb Office authorities or at the Record office wiU remedy the irregularity. Any carrier deUvering the RECORD later than Saturday morning is remiss in his duty. THE WEST .SIDE ASSOCLATIOlf, There was a large attendance of property ownera at the meeting pf the West Side Asso¬ ciation on Wednesday evening last, and consid¬ erable interest was taken in the questions for discussion. Mr. Wm. R Martin, the President, delivered a very able and exhaustive address on the subject of the taxation of bonds and mort¬ gages. He illustrated his ideas of the injustice of this tax by three examples, viz. : First,. the case of a lot of lamd free from mortgage, and on which the tax assessors fix a valuation of' $20,000; at the rate of two per cent, the tax on this land would be $400. Second, the case of a lot of land, adjoining and similar to the first, on which the same valu¬ ation has been fixed, buib on which there is a mortgage for $10,000 ; on this land, at the rate of two per cent., the land-owner would pay a tax of $400, and the mortgagee would be assess¬ ed for $10,000 of personal property, his mort¬ gage, and on it be taxed $200, making in all a tax of $600 on Third, the case of a lot of land, adjoining and similar to the last, valued at the same sum and taxed'at $400, on which there was a mort¬ gage for $10,000 for which the mortgagee was taxed $200, but difEering from the second case in this, that the land-^owner had also personal property, assessed at $10,000, he could swear off against this his- mortgage debt of $10,000, and thus escape any tax upon his personal pro¬ perty. Now, whsit does this show ? In the first case there is $20,000 worth of proper¬ ly which pays $400 tax; in the second case the same amount of property paying $600 tax; and in the third case $30,000 worth of pro¬ perty paying $600 of tax. That is, the second man pays as much tax as the third man who has 50 per cent, more property, ani pays 50 per cent, more tax than the first naan who has the jmnie amount of. property. ^ These examples show conclusively that taxa¬ tion of mortgages is double taxation, and that there is no just principle on which such taxa¬ tion can be susterined. The land taxation, so far as land there is taxed, is an income tax ; for it is in fact and in form a tax on the annual value, the rent or income, of the land. The taxation of .Gl-reat Brita,in is the most scientific, the most .economical in collection, of any peo¬ ple. The Englishman pays no poll tax, no land tax, no salt tax, no tax on any of the ngpessax- ies of life, except it be on beer or tea and sugar. They have taxes on successions and transfers of property, stamp taxes. Their customs are levied on five or six articles. Their income tax affects those who have realized property pro¬ ducing income, and their excise tax is justly levied on the -vices and indulgences of the peo¬ ple. Their taxes are thus paid as nearly as practicable out of the profits of the people, and not levied on property as such without regard to its productive value. It is also clear that the taxation of mortgages cannot be defended on the pretence that if one man has money, and another land, and the moneyed man lends it to the land-owner, so much personal property is lost to taxation, un¬ less the mortgage is taxed as personal property, because the money either goes into the land, and becomes transformed into an estate in the land, as in the case of a purchase, or the money remains in use as personal property, represented by a bond, to which the mortgage is merely a collateral, and very seldom actually resorted to. In neither case should it be taxed; for if it stiQ reniains in use as personal property it is taxable as such in the hands of the man who holds it, wherever it, in fact, is found; and i£ it passes into an estate in the land, and is really represented by the mortgage, then there would be the same reason for taxing a purchaser of land for the money with which he had bought it as his personal property, on the ground that he could seU his land and get his money back again. This would be a case of double taxation, and palpably absurd. We regret that we have no space for the re- maioder of Mr. Martin's speech, which was very forcible and to the point. Mr. W. H. Peckham followed Mr. Martin on the same subject, and gave several good iUus-. trations of the matter. On the question of rapid transit nothing new was elicited, and no new plans proposed. Mr. W. A. Whitbeck, in a speech of ten minutes length, set forward some of the difficulties and objected strongly to the proposed viaduct rail¬ way, and stated that real estate experts estimated the cost of right of way alone at from three to five million dollars per mile. The viaduct vrill ruin property wherever it goes. It is estimated by some that its resulting damage to property below Fifty-ninth street will be not less than $10,000,000 per mile, and by others competent to give opinions, that the viaduct will in general diminish the .value of every block through which it runs to the extent of 30 per cent. The consequential damages re¬ sulting from the construction of underground railways in this city will be very trifling, and win end when the road is completed, for the sub-way buried beneath the surface of streets, enclosed in masonry and surrounded by earth, will not communicate either noise or vibration to adjoining houses ; its operations vsdU be con¬ cealed and it will be perfectly, harmless. Inde¬ pendent of the cost of right of way and result¬ ing damages, engineers disagree as to which win cost the most for construction—^tHe undergrotrnd or -vdaduct way. Mr. Church followed Mr. Whitbeck and pro¬ posed that the city take the project in its hand and settle the matter by immediately un¬ dertaking the work on its own responsibility. Mr. Church presented some interesting facta and statistics demonstrating the fact that the income derived by the city from increased valuation of property would doubly compensate the cost. GOSSIP. An important point, touching the ownersliip of lands which were once stieets, and have since been convert¬ ed into lots, came up on Wednesday before Judge Ereedman, of the Superior Court. The suit is entitied, RusseU D. Miner agt. The City, and is brought to recover damages for alleged fraud by the city in obtaining from the plaintiff a deed of land In Seventj'-eighth street, be¬ tween Fourth and Fifth avenues. Years ago, when the plaintifE owned land on the north side of that street, ex¬ tending from Fourth to Fifth avenue, and aUeged to be a portion of lot No. 143, in what was known as the " Old Common lands," he deeded it to the city. Subsequentiy the position of the street was changed, and plaintifE now claims that by an old common law in general usage a man who o^-ns land adjacent to a stieet owns the fee simple to the middle of the' street, and in case it is closed he is en¬ titled to one-half of the disused portion. It is claimed, in defence, that this law does not apply to steeets in the city, and it is denied that any fraud was committed in obtaining the release, or that by general grant of the lot-in question, any right to the disused road is vested in the plaintiff. The strip of land in controversy is 900 feet long by 25 feet wide, and is of great value. The case is expected to last several days.....The present officers of the Elevated Rail¬ way were reelected on Wednesday last. They state that the "dummy" .ha.8 proved such a success that they have contiacted for one of the most approved pattern, and will have it on the track drawing passengers in four weeks. The cable-system has been entirely abandoned; the officer who favored it has been elected a Director, and another en¬ gineer placed in the position. The annual report was not furnished for publication.....The carvers of this city and vicinity met on Wednesday evening last in the Casino, on Houston stieet, to adopt some plan by which a large body of fellow-workmen now out of employment can obtain daily- labor. A resolution was passed pledging each individual member, after January 15, to decline working over eight hours, and to submit to a proportionate curtaUment of wages. By this action it is hoped that employers wUl be compeUed to engage additional workmen to do the work which now fiUs up the ten hours.___Mr. Husted has intro¬ duced a bUl iiito the Legislat-ure for a three-tier steam rail¬ road—^to run'on the west side of New York—being the same bUl that passed the Legislature year before last, and was vetoed by Gov. Hoffman, on the ground that it got through by sleight of iand and not by the votes of members. The bUl is generaUy known as " Swain's Three-tier Road," and provides that the Company shaU buy- the right of way between blocks and ran the cars on an elevated striic- tiire having three teacks, one above another. Senator Norton has given notice of a bill in the other House for a simUar road, to run on the east side of the city.___ The Beal Estate Owners' Association listened at a meet¬ ing on Wednesday evening to some statements by Joseph Haight, the President, which were cordiaUy endorsed by those present. The laws, he said, regulating the erection of tenements in this city are a dead letter, on account of their impractica.biUty. Not a single house in this city has been erected, in. conformity with those laws. Tenement property would not-net four per cent, if those laws were compUed with. They provide for permits to construct tene¬ ments otherwise than in conformity vrith the laws, if the pjermits are sanctioned by the Supreme Court. Every