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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 70, no. 1806: October 25, 1902

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October 25, 1903. RECORD AND GUIDE. 601 ^f^> H--- i)Ev'oTED TO R,Ei^LEsT^TE.BulLot^'G ^^RcKiTECTURE.HouseholdDEeoRfnotj. Busit^Ess Alb Themes OF GEttefi&l I^TtRfST. ESTABUSHED-S^ t\ARPK Sm^ 1868. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS Pal>lisf>ed every Saturday Communlcationa should bo addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorK J. T. LINDSEY, Businrs.^f Manngf.- Telephone, Cortlandt 3157 "Enlered al the Pout Off^ at Neio York, A". Y.. as second-clasps matter." Vol. LXX. OCTOBER 25, 1902. No. 1806. THERE has hai'dly been a tirae when the New York and Eu- i-opean mai-lvets moved so sympathetically as now. As rates for money here decline exchange goes up and vice versa. Money is in good demand abroad, and but for a similar deraand here, which is making tirade money scarce and call money uncer¬ tain, with rates for both abnormal, we would surely be shipping gold. So £ai', we have been able to avoid that, which is fortunate because the effect of such a movement upon security values at this time would be serious. It may be that we may not have to send any this season at all, but that is something about which the wisest decline to express an opinion. Everything that can be done to ease the strain upon the market is heing done abroad as well as here. The official announcement that the British Gov¬ ernment have postponed their Intended application to the mar¬ ket for a Transvaal loan must be attributed to a desire not to intrench upon funds which are all needed to meet commercial requirements. If this policy is followed by other governments, as there is a possibility it may be, it will relieve the situation materially. At the sarae time it, as the action of our own Treas¬ ury Department reflects on conditions at home, shows that the situation in London, if not exactly unsatisfactory, is one that requires tender handling. In all the circumstance it would be useless to expect any other movement in stock prices than one of recessions. This week, from the moment when the improved hank stateraent of last Saturday appeared, there have been signs of liquidation. The movements of the very best stocks have formed one of these signs. A decline in high-priced seciu-ities is a natural feature of a period of stringency in money, because then it is that they are the issues that can be the readiest sold and with the least sacrifice. London has beeu a persistent seller. So long as the outlook for dear money continues, so long will it be that stocks will not advance, but on the contrary, will decline under liquidation forced, not by over-speculation, but by tbe general needs of the business public. Yesterday there was a change in the professional position in the expectation of the pub¬ lication of a very favorable bank statement to-day, and foreign selling abated somewhat. This may foreshadow some recovery iu prices, but the extreme care with which available funds are guai'ded and the difficulty of making time loans, even at the extreme legal rate, give the clue to the real condition of affairs. IF the attitude which Edward M. Shepard and Bird S. Coler have assumed on the trust problem be accepted by their party generally, it will give the Republicans an enormous politi¬ cal and practical advantage in dealing with that problem. It was the Democratic party, under the leadership of William J. Bryao, that first brought those buge organizations of capital into na¬ tional politics, and attempted to use them for party purposes; but although Mi-. Bryan nationalized the problem, he confined himself to vague denunciations, and took not a step towards its definite solution. Itwas President Roosevelt, who accepted on be¬ half of his party the challenge to deal with it seriously, and who has insisted that corporations whose business extends throughout the whole country shall be organized under national laws and suiimitted to the supervision and regulation of national officials. The stand which President Roosevelt has taken in the mat¬ ter is not only an excellent thing for the. country, in that it is a courageous and intelligent attempt to deal with a real evil and danger, but it is also an excellent piece of party politics. It has both deprived the Democrats of the exclusive possession of this most telling of all issues, and it baa forced them to assume a definite attitude toward his plan of national regula¬ tion. They must either accept the general idea, and flght about details, or they must fall back upon their old states-rights position, and reject any proposition in tbe direction of national control. It is this second position which Mr. Shepard and Mr. Coler have assumed; but it remains to be seen whether the Dem¬ ocratic leaders at Washington will be content to acquiesce in what is and must be a defensive attitude. It is obvious that the State legislatures are incompetent and powerless to deal with a problem transcending State limits and authority; and no one, who did not preserve a misplaced reverence for old Democratic doctrines could seriously propose to fight tbe trusts with such weapons. It would be like fighting a modern magazine gun with muzzle-loaders. The trusts must be regulated by national machinery, or they will not be regulated at all. Real Property Owners and the M^yor. Ir is doubtful whether the bearing, given last IMonday by Mayor Low to real property owners who are opposed to his tax valu¬ ation policy, served any more useful purpose than to emphasize the position taken by each. The Mayor holds, and in this is supported by the heads of the Financial and Tax Departments, that a full valuation, defined as "what a willing buyer would give and a willing seller would take," is required by tbe law; that it will more than any other valuation serve to remove the inequalities that are known to exist among individual assess¬ ments, and that it will give the city the increased borrowing power that is necessary, not only to initiate new public im¬ provements, but also to carry to completion without vexatious delays those already begun. The primary moving cause for the adoption of this policy was undoubtedly the heavy and insist¬ ent demand upon the administration for works of public util¬ ity for which there were no available means. Various expe¬ dients have been suggested to meet this difficulty, but those who have studied tbe question most will be the readiest to admit, though they may deny the urgency of the matter, that the Mayor has taken the course that will produce the earliest prac¬ tical results. The opposing property owners, whose numbers are vei'y con¬ siderable, as the size of Monday's deputation showed, question the desirability of urging forward public improvements at a greater rate than would he allowed by an increase of tax valu¬ ations such as the previous system of valuing for tax purposes produced; and oppose any change in the system of assessment of real estate for taxation, excepting where gross irregularities and ineqtialities in valuations exist. They claim that a long and well-recognized custom has prescribed that real estate in this city shall be assessed at not more than about sixty-five per cent, of its value; that the statutes regulating the duties of assessors were passed with full knowledge and in contemplation of that custom, and that the margin between that valuation and real valuation is to prevent injustice and over-valuation and is no more than is required for safety and justice. The increase of the debt limit by so large an amount as is indicated by tbe difference between the present and proposed ratios of valuations, they re¬ gard with the utmost suspicion, believing that it will eventually lead to extravagance. Tbe Mayor maintaining his position that the full valuation was not only the only proper valuation, but one absolutely necessary to tbe city's progress and development, reminded tbe deputation that the remedy for extravagance was in the hands of the citizens. There, it may be said, the matter be¬ tween the Mayor and those property owners who do not agree with him stands. The assessments are being made under the in¬ structions given by the Tax Department to the Deputy Assessors and the matter must now rest until the results of their work are made public in January. In one important particular, however, it may be said that there is a better understanding between the administration and the smaller property owner, as a result of the hearing. The talk in the corridors of the City Hall on that occasion, as well as the addresses to tbe Mayor, revealed the fact that the protesting movement obtained much of its strength from the idea that the change in the ratio of valuation would fall with especial severity upon the owner of tbe small property, whose value by reason ■ of the greater activity of its class could be tbe most easily ascer¬ tained. If tbe plan works out as its friends say it will, not this, but the contrary will be the case. As one speaker, who ap¬ peared in the character of friend to the administration idea pointed out, hitherto tenement houses and small dwellings were proportionately more highly assessed than magnificent dwell¬ ings, large business properties and vacant lands. President Wells in his charge to the Deputies when about to enter upon their duties last September said: "The Deputies are required by law to assess at its full value not some, but all of the property in their respective districts. Tbe law does not divide real estate into classes for the purposes of tax assessment, and tbey are not authorized to make any discriminations in regard to any class of property. Business property and residences, acreage plots