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Salting The Cities!

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Scarcely a year passes but that the supervisors feel called upon to take a few thousand dollars of taxes off of their own shouldcrs and place the burdon upon the pcople of this city, and occasionally a llttle on Ypsllanti. This year, however, "caps the climax," as the cxpresslon goes. On a basis of $30,000,000 Ann Arbor has been loaded down wlth $585,000 more than last year, Ypsilanti wlth $100,000, and the same amount has been taken off of thetownships, prlncipally of the towns whose supervisors were upon thecommittce on equalization. An analysis of the business briiijts out these facts. Saline gets reduced $58,000, wltli Mr. Davenport as member of the commiltec; Sylvan gets reducid (you know Sylvan property has been depreciating lately, not worth anything hardly, and so Sylvan must be reduced of course) $30,000 with Mr. Gilbert as momber of the committce; PltUfield (poor deterioatIng Plttsfield, where land is a drusj In the raarket at $75 and $100 per acre) was lowered $60,000! and Mr. Case on the committee, of course; Dexter - well Dexter has an excuse, there are so many lakes in Dexter and the farmers have had to go flshing so much that their farms have run down you know, and so Dexter liad to be whittled $45,000, Mr. Dwyer being an active committeeman. Mr. O'Hearn.of the 3d and Ith wards of this city was a member of that committee, but what could onedo against four such mathemeticians? So Mr. O'Hearn had to submit to a raise of $95,000,- you know the new M. C. depot, and the new Catholic school building and the new Hobart Guild hall have been built In his district - not oneof whicli is Hable for taxation, but it was a suffleient excuse to salt the district, of course. Then Chairman Gregory ; what do you suppose he appolnted that committee for? He evidently knew what for wben Lima - the poor, lean township of Lima, where farms, (Chairman Gregory's own for instance) are not worth over $80 or $90 per acre, carne in $67,000 lower. It wouldn't do for these great figurers lo take it all, of course not. They must manage to throw a sufficient sop to others to make the thing sure of passing, so Ann Arbor town (where the Ann Arbor water works, an Ann Arbor city enterprlse that gets all its support f rom the city is assessed for $100,000, and where a new pulp mili and such things have brought down the value of property) comes in for a $55,000 slice ; Augusta, that has been all out up by rallroads, and made awful poor, gets a $20,000 lump of the sugar; Bridgewater, away down in the south part of the county where they can only raise about 50 bushels of wlient to the aero, lias $50,000 to tweeten its tooth ; Freedom is patted on tbe back wltli $30,000, and told to mil up a little bigger democratie nmjority next time; I.yndon isn't worth living in now that County Clerk Howlett Is out of the township, and tumbles down $40,000; Lodi is poverty-strlcken $20,000 worth; Manchester has built a new town hall, new brid;e8, and several new injis, ana lis greenback supervisor beHeves in inllating the curreucy but when it comea lo tases that's a different thmjr, and he is coaxed into the sall deal by h $45,000 inducement; and Sharon, the oíd borne of Ex-Co. Clerk Roblson, where lie did intend to return, has run down bil! #50,000 wortli since he left. (For lleaveu's 3ake, John J., go back theie and help builil the poor, rickety oíd town up again, so tlmtshe will be able to stand up and answer to the roll cali as she used to in the days when sturdy Andrew RobUon represented lier on the board of supervisors. Tbose were daya when Sharon would be aslmmed to ask any one else to help piiy her ehare of the just fax burdens.) Scio. poor decrlpit, down-trodden Scio, with her 150 or more democratie majority, she isn't worth as inuch as last yearinto $40,000! Ypsilanti town has gone down liill to the tune of $55,000 ! wliile York, In which a large thriving village has sprung up of late years, remains the same! Uow fortúnate! If her supervisor had been such an adept in ligurrg as is the Sylvan supervisor, and had got on that commlttee, he would have figured out that every new store and building and iiulustry going up in his township really lessened the value of property, and would have had a reduction, and asked the poor people who are unfoi túnate enough to owu any property In Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti to py his taxei for htm. To show somewhat how unfalr the prejudioe against citles i, we will give one instance. A very wcalthy man once resided in Ann Arbor. The supervisor put him dowD upon bis roll for he considered a moderate amnunt of his wealth, $75,000. To this the gentleman objected, and changed his resideDce to Lima, where the supervisor assesses him at $30,000! when asked why he didn't put up the as8essment where it ought to be, the supervisor of Lima replied to the writer of thls : ' Why, if I did do so he would go to soine otlier town, and theu we wouldn't get anytliiDg." Yes, Lima takes what really belongs to Ann Arbor, and then comes and shtfts $67,000 of lier valuation over on tothe very city she roba of her wealthy citizen. It will soon be a crime to own property in a city at this r.ite. li the people of Ann Arbor wcre inclined to bf fair," said the supervisor who flgurrdout this great problem, "tbey would accept of this Mise and suy not a word, they might to bo given a few hundred thoufand more yet in my estitnation, and they ought to be gentlemen enough not to kick over it." Jes'so. Wonler it any man should put Ii is hand In this supervisor's pocket and take hig money, if he would turn around and thank him for relievinjf him of carryinjf the heavy stuO' around? Guess not. While the people of Ann Arbor admit that the city has grown and that property has increased in value; whilu her people are proud of the fact that every year sees new improvements, and while they as cltizens are perfectly willing to staud tlieir just proportion of taxalion, whut they do objuct to 11 tliat the city should be made the dumping ground In the tnx line for a number ot men who by llghtening the burdens of their own towns hope to make suOlcient politicul capital thenby to retain tlieir positions ns supervisors. Whilu Ann Arbor has grown and prosprrud, so have other places In the couiity in like ratio. In Sylvan township Chelsea has prospered. No village in the state of its slze does more business, orhas moro nrofrperous business men, anil tlie village is oonstantly growlng in weiilth and [mportance. Sylviui is uo pauper to ask a reduction in taxes. Othrr places have grown. Saline lina not been Mie in this era f prospcrity, as several new business blocks, new rebidences and new public buildings testify. Tlio same may be said of Manchester; while in York the village of Milnn hal sprung up as if by magie, nnti is a live, wideawake fttlaga. Thon on the nortli, Salem has teen a little villiijru grow op witliin hor limita witliin a sliort time. In Xorthfield Whltmorc Lake is on the up grade. The villaife of Dexter in Scio lm nol been standing still eitlier, and yet al) oí these townships are lowered ! In fact we should like to have a man point out a single township In tliis county that hasnot improved; where new buildings, new barns, new dweil Ing?, etc, have not beci put up wltkin the past few years. Tlie country has kept even pace with the city, gentlemen. Give the city lts share of the inercased taxatlon and we will not say a word. One feature of this raise was qtllte prominent. The supervisors who were instrumental in figuring this thing, each had a copy of our esteemed cotemporary the Kegister's soniewhat exaggerated list of improvements In our city publlshed just prevlous to the annual meeting of tlie supervisors. That was the very worst thlng our city supervisors had to contení! with, tor It was constantly thrown in their face, and the fact that the flguros given was mere guess work, counted for nothlng. The publication of that probably had more t' do with the ralsing of the taxes than iny other one thing, and many people are quite iwlignant over such bull-headeduess. "Tou city folks can kick juft as nm'cli, just as hard and just as long as you want to, we don't care a il- d. We have got thehandleto this whip in our own hands, and we propose to use the lash freely. We are the ringmasters and we propose to make you city clowns dauce around Ilvely on this tax business." Such in effect, were the words of one of the famous alters in conversation with a gentleman last Saturday. It shows the animus of the whole business, viz : Miglit, not rlght. This ratee is especiaüy burdensome iipon the people of the 5th ward, where property is assessed nearer to its actual cash value than in any other supervisor's district in Waahtenaw county, and we defy any person to show anything to the contrary. There are many small homes in this ward that could not be sold tiday for the acsessed valuation, and these people have $190,000 of other people's valuation heaped upoa their slumlders. Isn't it pretty tough ? To show what abnormal ideas are eutertained of city wealth, Chainnan Gregory made tho assertion In a private con-' versation Saturday, that there wire planos in the First and Sixth wards of, Ann Arbor worth more than the whole personal property of some of the townships. What a ridiculous Idea.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News