crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 51, no. 1301: February 18, 1893

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031148_011_00000307

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
February IS 18B8 Record and Guide. 243 r.ntieum'O^'. uiDruPlliXlflRft ' ESTABLISHED^ftWCH21"^lS5e^.;^ "SBkisS) TO RfA,L EsTAjE, BuiLdi/i'g Aj'.cKitectu-r.e .HotisDiou) DreoR^nofc PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADTAIVCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TeLEFHOKB] .... COBTLAHDT 1370. Communications shoold be addresied to C. W. SWEET, 14 & 16 Vesey St. J. 1. LINDSEY, Business Manager, ^^Knteredat thePost-offtce at New Tork, W. Y., as second-class moMtr." ■wrote recently, legislation counter totbe interests of the Manhat¬ tan Co. is out of the question. That company will not permit any rivalry in the rapid transit business. New Yorkers do not recog¬ nize that all their talking is but the chattering of a parcel of irre¬ sponsible persons. The Manhattan Co. is master of the situation and will in time settle affairs to suit itself. Indeed, the supposition that the people have any effective voice in tbe matter does seem absurd when we consider what all their talking and complaining during tbe jiast seven years has amounted to ? Denser crowding on the elevated roads. Are we any nearer to real vapit transit to-day than when wo began to complain years and years ago? New York is an interesting place just at present for the student of popular sovernment. Vol. li. FEBRUARY 18, 1893, No. i,;oi AWEEK ago everyone in Wall Street was confident tbat, Con¬ gress having refuged even to consider the repeal of the silver law, the Treasury would exert its ingenuity to devise some plan to at least mitigate the evil that law is doing until a Congress more amenable to the wishes of the people should assemble. But only another disappointment lay there. Gold exports continue in large amounts, the time is at hand wben the interior will be heard from again calling for the balances it has in NewYork. There is less dis¬ position to loan money, and as a consequence rates are higher and likely to continue so. The close of the market without a rally of importance after so big a break is a discouraging feature. No explanation for the declines in prices seen at the of the week is so satisfactory as discriminations against certain elas-es of secur¬ ities by loaners of money, because the declines have been in such securities as would naturally be affected by a determination on the part of the banks to lessen their loans. The Reading incident aggravates the situation. While the banks have to prepare for the impending inierior demand, they are probably also touched deeply by the refusal of the President and tiie Treasury to find any relief for the present position of affairs, and believing they know their own business as well as the people in power at Washington can know, it may be putting their houses in order to meet a tro ible that may only be probable, but for which they must not in any case be unprepared. A iittle more display of want of confidence in the future and the troubles that have burdened the financial world so long will reach the acute stage. It is, however, easy for the administration to pre¬ vent this. SOME ingenious persons are siriving to discover a connection between the Webster and Plunkitt bills (which increase the power of the Dock Department) and the hidden rapid transit scheme which Mayor Gilroy has more than once hinted he is the happy possessor of. The Mayor is probably the only man in the oity who has both a plan and enough strength of mind to keep it to himself, but people who will guess at these matters when they don't know say that if he does not favor the Manhattan road extension, which they think most likely, hesurelyinclines tosome project such asthe one David J. King, Jr., has advocated—an elevated road on arches along private property on West street. Tbis project, not at all a bad one, provides not only for rapid transit, but for a vast system of warehouses adjunctive to the wharves and piers along the river front, and herein it is supposed lies the reason for Tammany's sud¬ den desire to break in upon the sleep of the Dock Depart¬ ment, augment its powers and remove the statutory lim¬ itations that now exist to the amount of its expenditures. Tammany will pnsh the Webster and Plunkitt bills, it is said, because it desires to develop the city's water front and docks into something like correspondence with Mr. King's proposed system of modern warehouses. We sincerely hope all this may be so. hut we fear ifc is too good and that there is more subtlety than truth in the hypotheses. For New York to obtain in one step a solution or partial solution of the rapid transit problem, and tho creation of an adequate system of docks and warehouses in place of the present shanty-town accommodations is altogether beyond reasonable expectation. In truth, Tammany does not seem to be particularly eager to play any open part in our unending rapid transit farce. Apparently it is perfectly content to see the Manhattan treated liberally, and at present everything points to tbe ultimate triumph of that Company and the utter rejection of all uudergrouud or other projects. Everybody must recognize by tbis time that the Manhattan Co. is strong enough to shut out any real opposilion to its own interests. It has won over the newspapers and practically everybody else powerful enough to thwart its wishes. As a well informed Senator in Albany IF common sense has any eway among our legislators at Albany the bill at present pending which establishes home rule in tax¬ ation will be passed. The ultimate purpose of the measure is to briug about the abolition of personal taxation in New York City, Brooklyn and other cities of the State, as they tire one by oue of the present imbecile attempts at the impossible. SLu'ients of tax¬ ation declared long ago that a tax upon personal property, how¬ ever Justin principle, is in tbe very nature of things impractic¬ able ; and experience '' pressed down and running over " has demon- strattd from one end of the United States to the other the truth of this judgment. In a speech which he made last week before the legislature, Thos. G. Shearman pointed out that, according to the sworn returns of taxpayers, Ohio has lost in five years foiir thousand watches, thirty thousand carriages and $11,- 000,000. New and stringent laws in California deprived San Fran¬ cisco, according to the report of the tax collectcr, uf two-thirds of its cash and one-third of its personal properly; while the banks of that city held but $7,000,000 in c£sh on assessment day and $20,- 000,000 immediately before and after. Fifty counties in the State acknowledged the possession of beehives, but only four could admit the charge of having any honey. Nine-tenths of the State owned cows, but were without a single pound of butter. The city of Boston was able to fiud only §8y,000,OCO of per-sonal prop¬ erty, exclusive of hank stock, in IS89—an amount so ridiculously small that the assessors were constrained to arbi¬ trarily increase ifc to 5186,000,000. In New York City an equally absurd condition of affairs exists. According to the returns of the Commissioners the metropolis is more notable for the poverty of its citizens in everything but real esiate tiian for anything else. There is scarcely enough tangible personal properly in the city to provide half the inhabitants with the decencies of life. So far as New York City is concerned there would have been nodifficulty about remov¬ ing the farce element from our tax laws long ago. To-day real estate practically pays all taxes, and the abolition of the per¬ sonal property tax would be little more than legal acqui¬ escence to what has existed for years. No one would dispute very seriously about a nominal proceeding. The source of opposition has been the rural districts. The farmer fears lo let go of a method of taxation which he believe reaches the hoarded wealth of " the other fellow''in thecity. Taxation, he thinks, uoon real estate would nipan for him taxation upon the greater part of his possessions, while other people differently cir¬ cumstanced as to the character of their belongings would escape contributing lo the expenses of the Slate. So far ithas been impos¬ sible to convince the farmer that this notion of his is a foolish one. His mental processes are too simple to permit him to grasp a slightly complex question. To overcome the difficulty the Home Rule Taxation Bill was iutroduced. It allows every community to order its method of taxafcion as it pleases without, of course, freeing any locality from its obligations to the State. Sugar-coated in this way the farmer may perhaps swallow the pill. MAYOR GILROY, iu replying to the CummilLee of Graduates of the College of the City of New York, who called upon him the other day to obtain support fcr the bill authorizing the removal of thecoliege up town said, in opjiosing tho project: " Let us look after elementary education first." Undoubtedly the Mayer is right. It would be folly for the city to expend something like $1,750,000 in an improvement of the kiud contemplated at a lime when accommodation in the grammar schools is so insufficient that thousands of pupils are preforce ex:3luded. The Mayor's remark however, has been extended to mean tbat it is the business of the municipality to furnish its citizens with nothing beyond simple elementary education, and in certain quarters the idea has been heartily apju-oved. The argument in favor cf lirnilattun is tbe old one that municipal education is merely in a way a iinlite measure Citizens are to be educated at the public expense in order to keep them from becoming criminals. The Siiu says: "A wcll-oidered city cannot afford to let children grow up in ignorance. In self- protection it must provide the rudiments of its education. lis direct duty to education ends there."' Why should it end there? Indeed, why should it even begin for the reasons given? The notion that a ludimentary educatiou~