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Letters From The People

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Ki. Coi kikh: - At no tUne durliig Ihe past twcnty years lias tlicrc been fo inucli kiiking ut the equaliation coimnittee as has becu and stil 1 is msuie over thls work just completed. Iftlus complainin and criticiim sli:ill havo the effect toennse the board of supervisors of the futura to wlit a plan by wliich ach supervisor district eau bc equalixed with matheinafcal certainty, then the vijrorous belaborhig the "coui tv supervisors" have rreeived at the hands of the city press, espcchilly the Aun Arbor press, will not have been miMpeut. Property for assessing purposes shoulil bc valueil the Mme as for auy other purpose. Takc tlie sales of real estáte in each supervisor dislrict for the past yeur (or two years if necessary) and see how the supervisor has assessed those proporties, let these findings he the base fordetermining how they shoiild be eqnaHsed atul you have a basis tliat is mathematlcally correct. EtVorts have beeu made In the past to have this plan adopted, hut a majority of the supervisors fearinr, perhaps, its effect on thelr districts have invariably voted it down. The work of the last committee showa care and is as near correct in its concluslons as any other body of fivc men in the county could determine without more direct knowledjre than can be obtalned in pouring over the assessment rolls by the hour, varicd with an occaslonal visit and stay over night with eome incmberof the board. The criticisms of the city press liave beeu somewliat misleadin?, judging from what is said on the street and In the business places, and even so correct a man as P. L. Page n-ets far away from the trulli when he eays in a recent Issue of a city papen "The board of supervisors has raised the assesseè valuation of Ann Arbor city $5ar.000, and lias deereased the valuation of 14 or IS townships in sums varyin# frnm $20,000 to $07,000." The fiicts are the asRessed valuation of each supervisor district in the county remains intact. Not a dollar has been added to any district and not a dollar taken from any district. For the purpose of dividing the state and county taxes (and this is the object of county equalization) the board might have selected a su in much less in aniount than they did- say $10,000,000- wlth the same resiilt in apportioning the taxes, but it would appear to the superficial observer that ever; supervisor district had been reduced. The board had three schedules of equalization under consideration. One presented by the msjority of the committee, one preseuted by Mr. O'Hearn as the minority report of the committee, and one offered as a substituto by Mr. Bult, supervisor of the Oth and (Hh wardsof A-m Arbor. The following fijrures will show how much the city of Ann Arbor was salted by the adoption of the majority report rather than the substitute of Mr. Butts or the minority report of Mr. O'Hearn. The city of Ann Arbor has to pny In state and county taxes eight cents more on each $1,000 of assessed valuation than it would if Mr. Butts' substitute had been adopted, and a trille over 17 cents more on each $1,000 of wweWtd valuation tlmn t would if Mr. O'IIearn's minority repoit had heen adopted. While these Mjjures show the extent of the salling( ?) business in the city of Ann Arbor, let us see liow mnch mijnr has been ven the county. Take the committee s own towns, to wit: Vork is sweetened on eacli $1,000 one cent and one-balf. Dexter, a tritle over five cents on the $1,000. Pittslitld, the same. Sylvan, about four cents on each $1,000 as contrastcd with Mr. O'Hearn's minority report. How innocent this salting business appears when analyzed. How tame these figures aro and how insijrnilicant, too, whon contrasted with the array of ponderous fijrures that hive been thrown around this salting business. "Some would lush the ocean IdIo fury To wreek a navy or drowu a fly." Tlie "salt on the cities" will not retard the growth of our beautif ui city one iota, and tlie '"suirar for the conntrv" will not


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News