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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 49, no. 1244: January 16, 1892

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m luary 16.1892 Record and Guide, 65 •^ \ EST)ÆL1SHED-^NWPH21'-Í^1868.^ DEVOTn) 10 Í^L ESTME . BuiLDIf/G ll the stock worth but 30, and figuring the bonds at 90, the present first preferred siiares should sell at 70 and the 2d preferred at 50. The rediiction in interest and dividend charges ahead of the common stock amounts to about 1 per cent, and it is claimed that the physical improvements contemplated and made possible by the new issue of the bonds will very soon add another 1 per cent, so that the common shares may be said to be prospectively 2 per cent by way of dividend better o£f than before. As they will shortly have a London market and the backing of Drexel, Morgan & Co. perhaps the claim of 40 wiU be justified sooner than the doubters now believe. NO one who has f oUowed the course of business in England dur- ing the year wiU be surprised at the assertion that the prices of most commodities, except food stuffs, have been tending downward throughout the year. Xhe movement has at no time been heavy, so that after all prices are not very much lower at the end of 1891 than they were at the beginning; in fact it has been a case of gradual decline forming a natural accompaniment to the duUness of business. Out of the twenty-six leading commodities eleven have fallen in value, tour are quoted at about the same level, whUe of the eleven which are quoted higher no fewer than seven are articles of food. It is among minerals that the fall has been most decided. AU iron and steel quotations, with the síngle excep- tion of Scotch pig iron have fallen in value. Among textiles the most noticeable as well as tue most important movement is the continued f all in cotton. Trade in this line has not been remuner- ative, and there has been a noticeable contraction of English exports to the East. The prospects for the rescue of any consider- able portion of the money which British investors have sunk in Argentina are not improving. The balance sheet of the national government wiU show a heavy deficit. The BuenoB Ayres customs receipts for the year amouut to ^about 48 miUions of paper money. The estimated expenditure in the Budget of 1891 is 393Í miUions in currency and lOiá raiUions in gold, and there was a deticit of some 5 or 6 raillions in gold from 1890, besides some 3 miUions of extra expenditure, for which no provision was made in the Budget and which had to be added to the floating debt. As the receipts of the othor Custom houses of the Republic are always insignificant compared with those of Buenos Ayres, and wUI not add much to the revenue, it wiU be seen that there is another heavy deficit for this year, although the compact wilh the Eothschild Comraittee to withdraw and burn yearly 15 raiUions of the paper currency has not been fulfilled, nor ever wiU be. The National Legislators have voted the Budget for 1893 with another heavy deficit, so it is justifiable to expect the financial question to be more pressing and serious than ever in the coming year. The THE report of the State ComptroUer indicates that the fíuances of New York are in a very satisfactory condition. In spite of the fact that administrative expenses have becn increasinj largely of late years, th'e State is practically free from debt, and, what is better still, we are gradually approaching to a financial conditiou which wiU make any general tax levy unnecessary. The Comptrol- ler believes that the tirae will shortly come when the corporatiou laxes, the succession taxes, the taxes on coUateral inheritances and similar sources of income wiU suffice for all State needs. Very certainly they can be made to suffice, and they should be raade to suffice. The State proi^erty taxes work raost unsuc- cessfuUy and uujustly. Everyone knows what a tarce the tax on personal property is; the only people who pay it are widows and orpbans and a pitiful rainority of conscientious gentlemen. Yet the State benefits by its beiiig evaded, for its coUection would ham- per business and drive awaj' capital. The State tax on real estate is more successfully collected but is necessarily unjust and is par- ticularly so to New York City. The Board of Equalization, which contains no representative from this city, has an impossible task in endeavoring to equalize the assessments of the differeut counties; but if even the assessments were equit- ably made, the injustice would reraain. Under any property tax spread over a whole State a wealthy localiiy like New York has to pay out far niore than it receives in benefit. Real estate ought to bear the expenses of raunicipal governraent—such of them as cannot be made out of the careful working of all publicfranchises; but it is no fit subject for State taxation. If Tammany knows what it is about it will undertake a reform on these Unes. AVERY sensible proposition is that of paving the roadway of .5t!i avenue with some smooth material. The class of vehicles which use this avenue are mainly carriages, and in order that driving may be pleasant the pavement raust be made either of wood or asphalt. If the alliance between the residents of 5th avenue and the politicians had been any closer than it is, the pres- ent granite block pavement, which was only laid a few years ago, would never have been put down at all, but driving on the avenue would long since have been restricted to carriages and the roadway would have been raade ti) suit thera. Every foreign city of any importance limits heavy trucks to certain thoroughfares ; but in spite of the obvious desirability of such regulations, New York has never had the advantage of them. But 5th avenue needs another change also. The present legislative restriction of the building of any surface railroad on the avenue should be repealed, and a charter should be granted to some company that would operate a cable road from a few blocks above 43d street to Wash- ington square or thereabouts. The shops that now nearly mon- opolize the avenue from 14th to 43d street require sorae better means of surface communication than the stages; and as the restriction was only intended to preserve the character which the avenue had ten years or more ago, it is foolish to pre- serve it when the charactfr of the avenue is changed and to the detriment of the best interests of the property. Of course, no rail- road should be permitted on that part of the thoroughfare which still retains a predominantly residential character. If such a rail- road was ever authorized provision ought, to be made for some northernconnection. It would, of course, be very difficult to find a cross-town street north of 43d, the property-owners of which would permit tlie location of a surface railroad in front of their doors, but if nothing else could be done some arrangement might be made whereby the cars could run through 43d street for a northern connection. It would, for instance,beagreat convenience to many Westsiders if they could get to points along lower 5th avenue by means of the Boulevard cars. WHEN Austin Corbiu assumed the presidancy of the New York & New England Railroad Company, it was raysteriously announced that sonie very deeplaid and far-reaching plans were under preparation for the improvement of the property; but only the vaguest hints have been divulged concerning the details of these plans. The Daily Stockholder, for instance, is responsible for the assertion that the New England, the Long Island Railroad Company, and, perhaps, one other important corporatiou would all have a common station in New York City. When one remembers all that a station in New York City means, the magnitude of Mr. Corbin's plaus wiU be appreciated. But where this station is to be and how it is to be reached, insiders refuse to say, and speculation has not been very successful in dis- covering. One story is that;the new tunnel from 42d street, New York, to Long Island City wiU be used for the purpose; but the proposers of this theory fail to explain how in the world tlie New York & New England trains were going to get into the tunnel. On the other hand, the Tribune says it may be stated authorita-