Press enter after choosing selection

Equalizing Taxes

Equalizing Taxes image Equalizing Taxes image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Supervisor Pond in this week's Courier has an article on Equalization, which is as follows: Tlue chronic appetite Imoro as the board of supervisors, went through its amsaal act of adding to the equalized valuation of Aun Arbor city again last Thursday. The commitr tee om equalization,- four memtK'.ra, at least- had been worWng incessant, ly three, long, busy weeks in figuring out how they c-ould tak$ ivQW their oto valuatlon, and add to that of tOie city. It was not a questlon witli tlaem, whether it was right or noi, (no city supervisor wa? conferred ■wtífo út asked what he thou-ht, öiin íiny way consultad ttbóút tüe matter) .but it was a questioü öf bow much tliey shooild take, because they had the power and proposed to do it amyhow. Of oourse we realize tJhat it is not wdien a man is g-oing to i-oto you to teU you about it, and confer witii you as to how much he shall rob you of. Last .year tfliey practically added $888,000 to Aun Arbor's assessed valuation- tihat was a fine record for them to go to their constituents on ! T!hds year they were more modest and only added $200,000 to Ann Arbor and $50,000 to Ypeilanti. Tfoe following figures show how they divided the plunder this time : Ann Arbor town - - - 810,000 Bridge water .... 15,000 Itexter 10,000 Freedom 10,000 Lodi 20,000 Lvndon 10,000 Manchester .... 25,000 Norfthfield 10,000 PittsiieM 20,000 Salem 15,000 Saline 15,000 Scio 15,000 SiLaron 20,000 Superior 15,000 Webster 20,000 Ypsflanti tOTvm. - - - 20,000 The towns of Augusta, Lima, Sylvan and York, for reasons best known to tJnemselTes, probably, -vvere left witlbout ajiy of the pde. # The four members of the committee concocting this gigantic scheme eaih unloaded $20,000- nothing selfi&h about that ! But the queerest freak .in. tüie wiiole business was the rediictáon of Manchester $25,000 ! WJiat eartlily reasoa there was for it no ome seems to know except tiLat thO committee had that much to scuttle im same way, and Watkins, tihe Bupers-isoT, is cxnie oí the jolly good fello-ws of tihe Board. And lie labored with thein incessanty to tibat ad. Tlie to'n'n did not dieserve it. It is ome of the best En tule -wfhole county. It is wide arabe and tlirivincr. There s no dead -vvood in MancJiiester, and there is not a township in the county so so ricüi in good farms, live business turases in a thrivinsi vlllage-, brlght, actiTe imd-well-to do men anti omen, as. in Manchester. It is the last one in tJie bright galaxy oí Wasütenaw county townsiiips that one would tüiink beloiuïed in the charitable column. But there it went. white toivnsliips like Lyndon, and Freedom ;mil Norttifield had to be content with a( paltry 10,000. "Juetice'1 looked ttoa-wiigih queer eyes, that time. # TVlien one considere that this amount of $250,000, by being taken trom tlhe tax rolls of these totvns and added to tihe buirdens of the city taxpayers jnakes in reallty $500,000 the richness of this supervisor' gold mine can be readily appreciated. At tJie rate the transfer of tax burdns inas been going on tor the past yeare fronn tüie county towns t-o the city, it is oníy a question of time wlueti the city will not only have to pay all the taxes, but actually pay a per capita premium to tiie residents of these townships. It has been siiggested that this last statement is overdrawn ; perhaps it is ; time alone can teil ; bilt that's the way it looks now. The complaint is constantly made LContiuued on Secoud Page] by cournty supervisors tihat Aim Arboa- is not assessed high enough, but yet no one ever brougfh forward a figure to prove sutih. aax aesertion. In looklng over a Kalamazoo paper tihe other day we carne across the work of the supervisors tliere, and we find Kalamazoo city valued at only $6,719,190 ! Kaliiimazoo is a plaoe of 25,000 inlvabit.amts. It is worth doublé Aiui Arbor city to-day in wealth. aud manufactures, aaid yet its supervisors place it at omly $1,000,000 more ttiau our supervisors do Aam. Arbor, our usures being $5,175,000. In Waslitenavr c-ouaity tliere are 20 towaisliips ; in Kalswiiazoo 16 ; and yet Ann Arbor pays more tlian oneiiftiii of the whole tax of the county, while Kalamazoo though doublé the size of Ami Arbor, and liaving foiir lees townsliips to help her out, pays less tllian ooie-fourtli the tax of the etntire county. Thie goes to show the injusrtice witJi wliich tlie county supervisors treat Aim Arbor. And yet you inigflit as well try to give the mam in tüie moon a Delsarte movement as to try to argüe wltíh. oue oí -tlhese superTsoirs oai tëis point. They are as deaf as a stone monument and as silent as tltie sptiiux. Tttieir answer is : "We gwt the votes ; this is pie ; we propose tx slice it up as we claoose aüdi eat a piece every year. In th.e langmag'e of tlhe mortal Flannigan, oí Texas, 'Thivt's wtoat we are here for.' " Here is tihie way the equalizatiom. committee -worked tlüs year, (aad it le a specimen of every year). To wanl the. last end of the session they got together and discussed this one point omly : "How nmcli shall we give tJie city cf Aam Arboir this year?" There was no comparing of rolls- except the rolling done ty Uie superrisor froni Manchester- no questioms asked of tiie supervisors from ■HhO oity of Ann Arbar, as t-o their olpinion as to -vvhat M-a.s rig-ht ; In fact the questioai oí rigtrt neme once eoit-ered the minds oí the committee, it was a question of migiit. Ai'ter tlhe amoTunt was agTeed upm as $200,000 tfoen they set about divitling the swag. This was a scwne■wtoart difficult task as they all wanted it. and the Manchester man especially, and hO eucceeded so well in sfliowlng tihat he had mare personal on Mb baoksi than all the other supervisors put together, prevailed upcii the committee at last to give him tbe bipgest sH'ce. After eacli of the committee had agreed to keep for tlieir wil use $20,000 then they set about giving to their personal íriends on the board. And that's the iray it was dooie. And tttiat is probably tihe way it ■svill continue to be done until tlhe injustice gets so rank, as it bas in same caunties, that the legis];itt!a-e -ivill interfere, and fix it 90 tlhat the impoaition can be continued no langer. That our read-ers may kaiow just Ilow much the city has been raised sinco tiils ''saltlng'' business commenced, we give below a table, shO'Wing equalized valuation as ifcwas in 1883, and as it is now, witfc. the inórease and decrease for eacli district. It will be interest ing to peruse : The increase has been $598,000 fcw Amii Arbor city, amd $5,000 for the first district of Ypeilaartl. Tlie decrease the townstüpe and the 2d district of Ypsilanti city, as -will be noticed, has been $5,713,000 ! It is a wonderful record, isn't it ? "Whesa the basis of equalization was dhainged frottn thirty millions to t-wenty-fi-ve million dollars, the towas took it all themselves and gave this city none, though Ypsilanti city did receive a store oi the same. We hoi that our friends, the sujyervisors of tJie vari ons townsliips, will cut out tiiis table, paste it ín tiieir hats, and bring it to the next meeting of the Board. It may be a help to them when the questian Is asked tiheni, as it always is In the equalizatkwi committee, "well, lnow mucli shall we raise Aun Arbor thi yeaor ?" They may take occasion t-o look over tlhe figrires af the past, and it is poesiWe that their conscienccR may get a clhamee to woirk on them a little. Mr. üiwioan, of Xortüiiield, who voted witli the city supervisors against tOie committee's report this year, did eo ia tflie interest of his own township. By adoptLng that report Webster wias reduced $20,000, Salem $15, 000, and his own township only $10,000, tinne giviiig them the advantagc of his to"ivin in the fractional school distráete, and practically raising the laxes in NortQiíield, while lowering Jiás ritóli nlghbor'. He vas simply makhig an attempt to get a just división oí tlie plunder. It must le remeinbered tfiuat all llli'is time the nssesed valuatioin oí tllLeso towjis has been going down. Bvery year the mipervlsors have been Éfhortnklng tile valu of the property taiey placed upan tdieir n-ssessinont rolle. Tttuat our readers may háve some ida of tibe extcait oí thifi shrinkage, wc give below a table elliowiaig the aoqpBBoá valuation in 18S3, and tihe sanie, in 1893, together with the Minount eatti to-nship has decreased ite pa-operty : In tibe mieaatime tlie property on tui rolls in tlve city of Aun Arbor has Inoreased $797,870, and in Ypsilanti $419,200. Ia ottoer words, the aseessed valuation of tfhe tywrns has been decreased $3,026,385, -nihile tlie assessed valuiatioji in thO cities lias been increased $1,254,670. A difierence of over $4,200,000 in ten ye&ips ! You would luardly believe it, but snioh is the fart, these iigures are taken from tite p-roceedings of tliie Board of Supervisors, as found om tlieir journal in tlie oounty clerk's office.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News