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The University Tax

The University Tax image
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The tak tbat tbe Jegislature of the state has seeu fit to lay upon Miohigao residgnts tor the support of the university has never been objeoted to by any class bnt the farmer. Froni the cities thero has never been heard a word against the levy made npon property for the support of the great educatioual institutioa the 6tate has fostered since 1837. It appears that in consideriug the amount of money raised by the sixth of a mili tax the farmer imagines be pays the whole of it instead of 16 cents npoü each thousand dollars assessed valuation put .against his name uu the tax rolls of his conaty. To relieve the mental auguish the farmer is passing through at the present time, Tbe Juurnal hag worke'1 at the tax books of Washttinaw oonnty in its efforts to flnd out just how mach mauy farmers in the district annually pay toward the support of the university, and moreover in vvhat way, other thau that of being part owners of the great sohool, they are themselves fiuancially benefited by being permitted to assist in the support of the institution. The largest amount paid ariuually by any farmer in this couuty, which may be considered typical, for the support of tbe University of Michigan, is tbat paid by the Boydeu estáte, which is called upon to spend for this purpose the sum of $3.30. A farmer whose property is assessed at f23.000 is unusually riobi hut the case oited is only au extreme. The great .rnajority of the farmers in this county are assessed in amounts from SI, 000 to $10.000, and pay, the uuiversity amouuts varying from 16 cents to $1.60 annualiy. For further data as to the amouut actually paid by farmers in this oounty the followiug list is offered. The names are those of farmers taken indiscriminately from the tax rolls of tbe oounty and follovving their pages íb noted the actual amounts each pays annually toward tbe support of the university. They are all farmers well kuown bereabouts. Mauy of them are antagonistic toward the institutiun on account of the burdeu of its tax and quite as many of them are not, and would be williug to pay twice the tax rather thau see the institution in any way orippled : Edwin Ball, Webster, $1.45; Jacob Bluui, Bridgewater, $1.35; Philip Blum, Bridgewater, $1.1?; Orman Clark, Lyndon, $1.45; Wm. DaDsingburg, Augusta, 84 cents; John Fiegel, Freedcm, f 1.35; Albert Graves, Ypsilanti, (37 cents; George Gill, Saperior, $1.25; Wm. Hali, Sbaron, $1.15; John Hunter, Ypsilanti, $1.59; Gideon Hoyt, Lodi, 66 cents; John Huehl, Fret-dom, $1.35; Jacob Knapp, Freedom, $1.46; Bmery Leiand, Northfield, $1.41; John McDingall, Superior, 49 uente; George McDougall, Superior, 66 cents; Amos Mclutyre, York, 99oents; Roberc McColl, Webster, $1.53; Pbil Murray, Salem, 50 cents; E. A. Nordman, Lima, $1.06. , These few names were taken at random and are thoso of some of the wealthiest farmers in this county, unnsnally wealtby as this county is. Other names might be offered to the extent of a column, but they would show no better how trifling, almost beneath regard, is the actual amount the farmer is forced to pay toward tbe support of the university. The fact of the institution being here causes tbe establishment of innumerable boardiug houses, where in the course of a year are used enormous quautities of farm products. Tbat such large quautities are consumed here maltes Aun Arbor a umket sucb as caunot be equaled in tbe state for tbe farmer. Living is expensive here, much more so than in Detroit, but it is a great thing for the farmer. At any time he can get from one to three cents more per dozen for his eggs than he can anywhere else in the state. His butter be sells for from two to flve cents more per pound than would be offered by any one iu Detroit, and his poultry and meats are paid for with a difference over tbose tbat are sbipped in from elsewhere that would hardly be believed were the prices quoted. Berries and all small fruits that grow in this county are consumed here with a rapidity tbat warrants tbe farmer in cbargiug from one to three and one-half cents more per quart than he ever reoeived for the same gnods sent out of town Judged accurately from statistics of the markets aud the tax rolls the riobpst farmer in Washtenaw county can pay his university tax with the profit on one load of hard wood sold in Ann Arbor at Ann Arbor prices, bigher, as they are, than anywhere else in the state. And, on the other haud, the poorest farmer whose name appears on the tax rolls of the county can pay his university tax with the proceeds of tbe sale of oue-half peck basket of wormy peaches. - Detroit Journal. Reforcing to the facts coutained in this article the Journal editorially says: "The Journal's Ann Arbor correspondent did the public good service whea he put together his interesting article on the university tax quescion. He made it very clear that the farmers of the state, instead of being burdened by the one-sixth mili tax for the support of the university, have not the slightest reason to complain of auy hardship inflicted upon them by reason of that tax. "From the tax rolls of Washtenaw connty our correspondent finds that the farmers' share of this university tax burden is 16 cents on each $1,000 assessea valuation of his property. A farmer whose property is assessed at $10,000 pays $1.60 as his sbare of the nuiversity tax. Is that muoh of a burden on him? A farmer with that amount of assessed property is a wellto-do farmer as a rule; generally enterprising and public-spirited. He may have a mortgage on his farru or he may uot. It is well understood that if his property is assessed at $10,000 it is worth miich more than tbat, for the time has not yet come vvhen farm or other property in Michigan is assessed at its fnll valne. "If a farmer pays taxes on property assessed at $5,000 he pays a nniversity tax of 80 cents; on property assessed at 13,000, 48 cents; on ptopeity assessed at $2,000, 32 cents. Now, whether it be true or uot, it is said that the most kicking against the university tax is done by tbe farmers and by the sruall farmers at that. Is tbere any good reason for it? "Wbere is there a farmer in the state, who has any pride in the progress of the oommonwealth, who parts relunctantly with his 16 cents on the $1,000 for the support of the University of Michigan? Is tbere one, when he comes' to see and understand what an insiguifioant som it is that he is called upon to contribnte to the rnaiuteuance of one of the foiemost and best knowu educatioual institutioufs in the land? "And if the aotual necessisties of tbe university cali for somethiug more than the reveuue derived from the oue-sixth mili tax, would tbe average fatmer be 'justified in filing a vehement protest? "Let us all be sensible about this. The Univeraity of Michigan belongs to the people of Michigan. It is Dot snstained by rich endowments, It depends and must depend upon the good will and generosity of the tate. The nniversity is worth to Michigan muoh more than it cost to snstain it and keep it in the very front rank of American universities and colleges. It would be a woefnlly mistaken policy tn hold it back with Jniggardly appropriations and compel it to drop into the second class. The people of Michigan will never consent to that."


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News