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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 29, no. 741: May 27, 1882

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STATE Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXIX. NEW YOKK, SATUEDAY, MAT 27, 1882 No. 741 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association $6.00 TERMS: ONE YEAR, in advance - - - Communications should be addressed to C. IT. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Although this is supposed to be the dull season, there is really a great deal doing in real estate. The fact is, New York is a very large city, the tliird largest in the world, and whether times are good or bad, the transactions in real eastate will continue to increase in numbers as well as in the amounts involved. This is why Ne\p^ York ought to have a Real Estafe Exchangf>. It needs a place where anybody who wants to buy or sell can be sure of finding a customer at certain hours in the day. It is to be h oped that the more conservative dealers will take this matter in hand, for if they do not, some of the more adventurous brokers will effect the organization. A New York Real Estate Exchange would find abundant business, and the members would soon realize that sales and purchases of realty in all parts of the country would in time become a feature of the dealing?. An Exchange has been aptly likened to a huge eye, whicii could be turned in any direction, that is to say, in the Mining Exchange for instance, certain brokers know all about Robinson, others about Chrysolite, and so through the whole range of stocks dealt in. In a Real Estate Exchange the brokei'age business would be¬ come speciahzed. One dealer would be an "expert in "West Side property, another would suppose to know more about business locali¬ ties, and in this differentiation of experience would come the value of an Exchange in the transaction of business in real estate. markable shrewdness, and it is expected that when the time comes the Government may be induced to buy the Mutual Union instead of the Western Union. If the press of the country made the demand, a thing that is not unlikely. Congress and the administra¬ tion might be forced to purchase the junior telegraph company. The practical monop¬ oly of the agency by which the business of the country is carried on, by Jay Gould, is a monstrous fact in itself. It should be re¬ membered that under the present system every market report is at the mercy of this unscrupulous operator. The daily press has been gagged heretofore, but unless they are again bought up by the telegraph monopo¬ lists, they w ill now tell the tnith. The break of the Associated Press with tlie Western Union Telegraph Company may turn out to be a very important matter. The news monopoly and the telegraph monopoly have now had an alliance for over forty years, and the newspapers interested have been very willing during all that time to profit by an unholy alliance with the vari¬ ous telegraph monopolies. Since Jay Gould assumed control of the telegraph, however, the newspapers have become very much alarmed, as it gave him the whip-Hand of the situation. Their alarm became all the greater when Gould got hold of the cable system. There is reason to believe they have been in secret alliance with the Mutual Union, and we hear from an excellent source that, although Gould has a large block of Mutual Union stock, he does not by any means control that corporation. The real owners of the Mutual Union are tlWbankers in " Fort Sherman," who ijrofiled so largely during the administration of John Sherman over the Treasury Department. John A. Moore, the president of the Mutual Union and the principal contractcr, is a man of re- A GENERAL RAILROAD LAW NEEDED. Much has beeu said and written of late respecting the general railroad law which last week passed the Assembly. It seems to be a matter but little understood even by those who are generally conversant upon such subjects, for the reason that the consti¬ tution in section 18, article 3, expressly re¬ quires that the Legislature "shall pass" (not may) general laws relating to several differ¬ ent subjects, and among wliich is that of horse railroads. In other words, it is an im¬ perative duty on the part of ^the Legislature to take some action in the matter. At present it is impossible to build a horse railroad within the limits of the State, for the reason that there is no law, whereby a corporation can be organized, the Legislature having so far failed to obey the mandate of the constitution. The only question then is what kind of a law shall be enacted. In the first place, it must be general in its nature, applicable to all sections alike. Under its provisions, all who wish to incorporate and build horse railroads, whether in Cattaraugus County or New York, must organize under and be governed by the same act. No one section can be exempted from its in-ovisions, neither can a requirement or restriction be put upon one locality that is not put upon another— for the reason that it would then lose its general character and therefore not bo a gen¬ eral law, applicable to all sections of the State alike. The law'must be uniform or it be¬ comes at once unconstitutional. Many fear^that if such a law is passed it may lead to the indiscriminate ^building of horse railroads in locations where they are not wanted or needed. Of this there need be no occasion for alai'm, for the same section of the constitution, before alluded to, has given ample protection to property owners; for it says that "no horse railroad shall be built without flrst having the consent of a ma¬ jority of owners in value on the line, and al¬ so the consent of the local authorities." It would seem, therefore, that the framers of the constitution intended and did invest the power into the hands of property owners to say whether they would have a railroad in front of their property or not. The question is not, therefore, before the Legislature whether a railroad shall be built in Forty-second street or the Boule¬ vard, but where property owners may want one and a majority petition for it. What the Legislature ought to do is to see that the common rights of alocality^are notinfringed upon. Why would not this be a proper time to settle the vexed question of taxation, as to corporations formed under this general act, by inserting a clause that an annual tax of say 8 per cent, upon the gross receipts shall be paid into the treasury of the city, town or village where such a railroad may te built or operated. We do not [favor a tax upon the net re¬ ceipts, as the books of such corporations might be too easily doctored, so that the treasury would receive but little or nothing, as has been the case with the New York Elevated R. R. Had a similar tax been levied upon the gross receijits of our various stage, ferry, railroad, gas and other corpo¬ rations, years ago. New York would have been to-day practically free from debt. Horse railroads are a great convenience and have done much to build up our city, and are just as useful as elevated or any other means of transit. They are an accom¬ modation to millions of our people yearly, but in passing a new law relating to them, they ought not to have the same license and power as some have that are already built. We can see, therefore, no reason why a proper bill should not be"passed, but great care and discrimination should be shown by our law-makers at Albany, to see that only such a bill should become a law. The condition of the country just at present isjnot reassuring. Food and the other necessaries of life are abnormally high. Tiade has come to a standstill from the check given to consumption, laborers are striking, the price of iron is falling, and altogether the immediate outlook is some- what^blue. The real estate interest is the only one that seems to be in a natural con¬ dition. What the country urgently needs is a good crop. This would check the export of gold, cheapen'food and allay the discon¬ tent of the working classes. It is ominous that the price of grain and provisions keeps so high in Chicago, yet it seems as if we ought to have a good wheat crop as well as a very large oat and grass crop. The corn crop is in the most peril from the wet weather and the late planting. A failure of the crops this year would be a very serious matter, and would force the country to con¬ sider whether after all it was wise to depend so exclusively upon the growth and the sale abroad of our agricultural products. The drop in stocks towards the last of the week can be variously interpreted. It may mean that the leading operators believe in a lower range of prices and that the crop may turn out a partial failure, or, what is quite as likely, it is the intention to put the mar¬ ket up in June, and it is thought desirable