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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 66, no. 1690: August 4, 1900

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August 4, 1900. RECORD AND GUIDE. 141 iJSSKicB-.'— DDfrltDpRfAj-ESTWE.BinLDirfe ApprflTECTUH£>{0USEa0U)D£G(HfnM^ Busnfeas ^ifoThemes of Gej^L IfftCTF*!.; '■^PRlCE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. PuWalied every Baturday. Telbphonk, Cortlandt 1370. Gommunlcationa should be addresfled to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Veiey Street. 7. r. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered at the Post-Offloe at New Tork, N. Y.. as aecond-class matter." Vol. LXVI. AUGUST 4, imO. IGOO. Tlie Index io Yohi'me LX V oJ the Becord and Guide, covering the period hetiveen January 1st and June 30, 1000, ^"s no-w ready for delivery. Frice, $1. Tliis Index in its enlarged form is now 'recognised as indispensable to every one engaged or interested in real estate and buiiding operations. It covers all transactions—deeds, mortgages, leases, auction sales, building plans iiled, etc. Orders J^or the Index should be sent at once to the o#ce 0/ publieaiion, 14 and 16 Vesey Street. M EITHER buying nor selling, the public keep away from the market, and consequently the traders have it all to themselves. News good or bad is without effect. The declara¬ tion of the dividends on Union Paciflc and Baltimore & Ohio, and better income statements from other railroads induced some buying of the railroad list at the close of the week. At one time it seemed as if the trading element had become tired of operating among themselves and, having failed to secure any outside following in their endeavors to start a bull movement, had gone on the other tack and were talking of a big decline, basing their opinion upon an ex¬ pected election scare. The idea was, of course, to shake out the long stock that holders persistently refuse to sell. It is possible that with the actual opening of the political campaign timid people may become frightened and throw over their stocks as they did in '96 and the market suffer a relapse in conse¬ quence. It may be taken for granted, however, that stocks will be a good buy on the relapse so produced, as they were in '96. It will be remembered that the turn came that year the day after the Bryan Madison Square meeting. Perhaps we may have to wait for a renewal of activity in the market until a similar indication of the final result at the polls gives the signal and points the way in which operations are most advisable. Meantime, hy harping on probable dangers in home politics and probable trouble through involvements abroad—in China and elsewhere—it may be possible for those who are now consider¬ ing the short side of the market with a view to making proflts to induce weak-minded people to throw over a good deal of stocks and bonds. Such a movement would be manipulated and forced and not justified by any features of the general situation that are apparent at this hour. In measuring the conditions at home some good men regard uneasily the prevailing belief in the sureness of the sound money victory next November, fearing that it may make sound money men careless and they would not be sorry if the latter got a hint that victory is not to he obtained by neglecting to participate in the opening campaign or failing to record votes at the polls. IT has been customary to consider that taxes of any year he- came a lien on property when the Municipal Assembly pass and the Mayor approves the ordinance levying them; and in the absence of contract provision to the contrary, the seller or buyer of a piece of realty paid the taxes according to whether title passed before or after the passage of the ordinance. This idea has been upset by a recent decision of the Supreme Court, Ap¬ pellate Division, in the case of Burr v. Palmer and another as executors. The question involved was whether the taxes of 1899 were or were not a lien on a piece of real property situated in Brooklyn on August 10th, and the decision turned upon a clause of section 1017 of the Charter of the City of New York, a part of which reads as follows: "All taxes and all assess¬ ments for local improvements and all water rents, and the in¬ terest and charges thereon, which may, in the City of New York, as by this act constituted, hereafter be laid or may have hereto¬ fore been laid, upon any real estate now in said city, shall con¬ tinue to be, until paid, a lien thereon, and shall be preferred in payment to all other charges." Plaintiff claimed that the taxes of 1899 were laid and became a lien on each separate parcel of real estate, and consequently on the lot in question, within the words of this section when, on July 25, the Municipal Assembly passed and on August Sth the Mayor approved the ordinance levying such taxes. The defendant contended that the taxes did not become, a lien until the warrant for collection had been delivered to the collector and was sustained by the Court, which held that, under the provisions of the charter of the City of New York, taxes do not become liens upon real estate until the speciflc amounts of the taxes against property have been ex¬ tended upon the assessment rolls, and the rolls and warrants for collection have been delivered to the receiver of taxes. It is the fact of the power to issue and the actual issuing of Uie warrant which determines the time when the taxes become a lien, for it is only then that the processes prescribed for the assessment of the taxes have become complete. It will now follow, so long as this decision rules the practice, that taxes will be paid by the seller or buyer according to whether title passes before or after the delivery of the warrants for collection to the receiver of taxes, instead of before or after the passage of the ordinance levying the taxes as heretofore. An objection made to tuis IS that, while the passage of the ordinance levying the taxes was done in a measure at a fixed time each year, it may be possible to hasten or delay the delivery of the warrant for collection so that there may be considerable differences in the actual days when taxes become liens on property one year from another. Cure for Panics. A WILL-O'-THE-WISP THAT BEGUILES ECOiNOMISTS. A N article in the current number of "The Engineering Maga- -^"^ zine," from the pen of George H. Hull, entitled "Industrial Depression and the Pig-iron Reserve,"has already attracted some attention, and is likely to attract more because of its ingenious- ness and accompanying ingenuousness. The author claims that abnormally high prices for pig-iron by checking the use of that material are responsible for industrial depressions, and that it follows that if a reserve is always kept on hand suihcient to keep the price at about a normal level industrial activity will flow on uninterruptedly from year to year and industrial depressions will be known no more. Mr. Hull endeavors to show by statis¬ tics that depressions are confined to iron-producing countries, becoming more frequent as their production grows and con¬ temporaneous among such nations in proportion as their several productions have approached each other in amount; and that other, or, as we may assume, nations that do not produce iron do not share in these depressions to any material extent. Paren¬ thetically it may be said that the cycle of depression that passed around the world, beginning in Australia in 1888 and ending in the United States in 1893, contradicts both these assertions. His deduction that the creation of a pig-iron reserve equal to a few months' needs would prevent industrial depressions, though, apparently to him, following as a matter of course, will not appear to other students of the question quite so easy or so clear. A cure for panics and trade depressions is the ignus fatuus that has beguiled many a thinker across the morass of statistics, and it is permissible to believe that the author of this interesting paper is being misled by one of these dim mysterious lights that lead only to embarrassment. Iron, b'y its prime importance in modern industry, has been for many years regarded as the barometer of trade, but not as the whole of industry, and, while generally a leader in the rise and fall of prices, only a partici¬ pant in a common commercial movement in which all other commodities share. The stabilitation of iron prices, if such a thing were possible, would go a long way to securing stability in industry, but not all the way. Take it, for example, that the price of iron were held at a normal flgure by a reserve of supply, would that prevent panic and depression if the United States should be afflicted by widespread agricultural disaster? We think not. But, it may be argued, such a disaster is too unlikely to permit it to be employed to meet an apparently probable proposition. Take copper, then, for illustration. This metal ia produced in large quantities to meet a demand for electrical appliances and for many other purposes for which iron is un¬ fitted or inferior. Would the stability of iron prices avert panic and depression if an over-production of copper made the capital invested in copper mining and manufacturing unproductive? We think not again. It is pointed out in the article under review that the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Bel¬ gium have each appointed commissions to discover the cause of trade depressions and all have failed to do so, though they had the beneflt of.the testimony of thousands of witnesses; it