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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 11, no. 255: February 1, 1873

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ND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XI. NEW YOKK, SATUEDAY, FEBEUAEY 1, 1873. No. 255. Publis/i,ed Weeklu by TÏÏE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. TERMS. One year, in advance......................$6 00 AU communications should be addressed to C. ^W. SWEEIT'. 7 ANB 9 Waruen Street. No receipt for money due the Real Est.VTE Recoru wUl be acknowledged unless signed by one o£ onr regular collectors. Henry D. S.mitu or Thomas F. Cumsiings. Ail bills for collection will be sent from the office on a regu- larly printed form. The désire on the part of the community for a rapid, transit road to be built by the city in¬ creases the more it is discussed. The Hei'ald has long advocated this plan, and now the Warld, a fierce no-govemment paper, favors the municipality doing the work rather than wait- ing any longer for capitalists, who will not un- dertake the task unless at such a cost to the community as would be a grievous perpétuai tax. Our Croton Aqueduct works and public parks show that good honest work can be done for the community by its chosen ser¬ vants, while nearly ail the waste and fraud in public work is when it is done by corporations who use the public money -without responsi- bihty to any one but their own stockholders. The Crédit Mobilier scandai is a case in point. Had government built the Union and Central Pacific roads with its own money, under the direction of army ofl&cers, it would hâve taken several years longer than it did, but the roads would hâve been honestly constructed, and for half the cost incurred by thèse great railroad corporations, and that too without vothig away millions of acres of land, which could hâve been kept for actual settlers. Ail government work is slow, sure, and tolerably honest, and the public are well treated in the way of charges. Not so work done for the goverment by stock corporations. Thèse last are irresponsible, wasteful, androb both the government they work for and the community they serve. By ail means let us hâve a viaduct road built by the city. It will be run, if so built, in the interest of the community at large instead of a few capitalists. ' New York must be managed like a tree or shrub. It is useless to look after the branches and leaves unless the rooiss are also attended to. Now the roots of this city, its vvholesale busi¬ ness thoroughfares, "which had " ample room aud verge enough " in. former yearsj hâve been of late so pressed by increasing business that their natural circulation is impeded, and death mnst ensue unless the " earth is loosened" around them, and they are allowed to broaden out to natural dimensions. A good sign in this direction is seen in the renewal of the proposi¬ tion to widen Ann street, especially since only one building of much value, the Market bank corner of Pearl and Beekman, would hâve to be removed. The propei-ty holders along the line hâve taken the matter up, and wUl apply to the Législature for authority. ;-' It is designed to make Ann street 125 feet wide at Broadway, taking the additional space from the north side of the street, which is then to run eastward for about 25 feet, with the north side at a right angle to Broadway, and an obtuse angle to the présent boundary of Ann street, which will cause it to gradually decrease in width until it is 100 feet wide on the aver¬ age. Ail new ground is to be taken on the north side of the street as far as Gold street, where Ann and Beekman streets are to blend in an open space, for the accommodation of horse-cars, narrowing from 160 feet ta width at this point to 100 feet at ClifE street, whence Beekman is to continue of the same width to the East River. Between Cliff and Water streets, the new space is to be taken from both sides of the way, and from Water street down on the north side only. The movers of this project désire also to pur¬ chase Fulton Market, demolish the présent structure and erect in its place a great street car dépôt for the Third, Fourth and Lexington avenue, East Broadway and Avenue C car com¬ panies, and also for the Sixth and Eighth Avenue lines, should the latter two gain per¬ mission to cross Broadway. Two new ferry lines from the foot of Beekman street—one to Bridge street, Brooklyn, and the other to Wil- liamsburg—are additional features of the de¬ sign. The Brooklyn Ferry company wiU neither op¬ pose nor support the project. But the citizens of Brooklyn are very earnestly in favor of it, as is shown by their letters to the dailies. They complain that private parties hâve been allow¬ ed so to obstruct Fulton street that vehicles and pedestrians passing to and fro between the two cities hâve been continually blockaded. THE TAX ON MORTGAGES. That the tax on bonds and mortgages is in effect a second tax on real estate is now gene¬ rally conceded by financiers, and the movement in favor of its removal is becoming continually stronger. The injustice of the présent system ! is sometimes denied by people who are other- j wise clear-headed, because of their failure to j distingïdsh between property and crédit. " Property," or " capital," is a term that can only be justly applied to the immédiate product of human labor or the accumulated fruit of past labor. It is only this and the services of men who hâve no capital or pref er to give services, as in the old system of road-mending, that Govern¬ ment has a right to take by taxation. As to the tax on mortgages, it is plain that from the land must be raised the money to pay the tax of the mortgagee as well as that of the mortgagor. If the original owner had not been compelled to borrow, the tax would hâve been only on the value of the railroad, ship, or lot ; but as soon as the second person gives his loan the tax is increased in proportion. Again, if the lender had become joint owner, the tax would not hâve been increased. The obligations given and taken between our citizens are taxed, as if a man, by giving or takiag a mortgage, increas¬ ed the property of the State. If two men gave each other mortgages on their houses for the same amount, and then each in.sisted that he had a house and a mortgage, and that thus, while the two houses were worth $10,000, the houses and mortgages were worth $15,G00, who would believe them ? Ail the taxation ostensibly levied on crédits really falls on the borrowers This pressure upon crédits is particularly severe on mortgîigors, because the assessors can always find their do- ings on record, while most other crédits are not recorded. In conséquence of this, though money has been cheap within the last year, it has been harder to get it on mortgage than ever before. So long'as taxes were light, that on mortgages was merely nominal. But now, if the mortgagee pays the tax, he gets much less than the markeC rate of interest ; and if the mortgagor agrées to pay it (as he must, if it is paid at ail) the mor-tgagee has to run the risk of a def ence of usury. It must be admitted that the justest form of taxation would be in the shape of an income tax, if incomes could be really got at. But the disposition to fraud in statements of annual profits is so universal that this way is impracti- cable. Even the strongest corporations become suddenly possessed of immense amounts of. Government bonds about the time the assessor comes round, and as suddenly dispossessed when he has gone. It is probable that the final verdict of ail just men wUl be in favor of mak¬ ing a tax on real estate the principal if not only source of revenue. One good effect of this will be the curtailment of land monopoly. WAKE3 AT rUNERALS The evils resulting from wakes at funerals, both physical and moral, hâve often been allud- ed to ; and while it may be possible in some cases for devout people to carry out their reli-.