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From The People

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Ciielsea, January 20, 1888. 51 n. Editok: - I have been mucli ititersteil in your several articlcs on the subect of " Sulting the Cities," as tliey have ppeared in the CoüBIEB froni week to veek 8nce the Board of Supervisors djourncd. From the tone ot some of lic anieles I thought yon a little excited, )ut your last item put your hope in the rayer book. I couclude you are now in lic riglit frame of niind lo hear some acts and reccive somo good advice. ïspccially as the tax gatherer lias lieen lis rounds, and you with all the good copie of Ann Arbor havo learned to 'our chngrin that you are not requlrcd to Wf the wholc $585,000 this year, but nstead their taxes are quite low, paying rom $:.4O in Pontiac to $19.00 in Battle eek, less thnn any city in the state of :s size, on $1,000 assessed. Undoubtedly he tax in your city would be niuch ïigher, if the people in this county or tate were not year after year, voting lundreds of thousands to " boom " our wantlfnl "Athens"' of which we are all very proud, never thinking of serving njiinctions to prevent collecüon of the BZ alter we have given the "boom." Jut Mr. Editor, your charges tliat the ast Board of Supervisors unjustly raised he city in the equalizing betwecn the everal districts in the county, I consider inkind and uncnlled for, wlien the best nformed men in your city tells us of ler growth, and her many newspapers, claim it is growlng as fast as any city In he state, and to convince people of that act, publish a listgiving the actual cost of buildings, " as given by the builders," saying nothing of the enhanced value of ot, or of adjoining property causcd by such building) amounting to the sum ot nore tlian $900,000 for the lastfour years. Lint I understaud the editor now says 'that was in fun, only said to boom the city." Well, perhaps such a boom would not cost $5,000, and would of course be cheap. But we who have visited your city for the past fifteen years know what we see, and one real estáte dealer told the writer not many months ago, that 'the value of real estáte liad doubled in the last tifteen year?," then add the vast aniount of personal estafes made and moved into the city for same time , then fifteen years ago the city was equallzed at $4,442,000 and to-day after being "Salted" the equalized valuation is $5,245,000 or $823,000 more than then. Yet not as mucli as the increase in buildings alone in four years, ( Ie3s than } the time that the ruise represent?.) To muke a comparison with the equalization of the townships, I will only aay in a general way, that e very perron who has watched the matter, knows, that farms are selling in this county 20 per cent. less than they dkl lifteen years ago; in otlier words, are worth about $5,000,000 less, as farms are being sold now. If any farmer doubt this, let hini try to mise money on hi farm from some Ann Arbor cipitalis and see what amouut he can get with hi huid for security. Undoubtedly there are some exception to the rule, depending on location, fo instance, Mr. Tozer sells a farm adjolll ing the city of Ann Arbor for $100 pe acre, but Mr. Westfall of the township o Lima ten years ago was offered $S0 pe acre for itïs farm and would not sell, thi fall he sells the saine farm for $50 pe acre and throws in about S500 in uersona projjorty. Anotlier farm In Sylvat lately deeded to Mr. R. Kempf conskler ation $3,500, is on the tax roil this ye;i for $3,800. But you say there are townships in which villagcs are growing alio. I adinl it, and will take the town of Sylvan, a the village of Chelsea is undoubtedl; pro?peruus and growin;r. And th reason for this is found in the characte and energy of the business men of th village In keping up tiie best niarke for farra produce Ia the county. N water power, no manufacturing, n money voted by the state or eounty t stimulate bualues or values. One wil often see farmers with loads of produc in the streets of Chelsea who from thei homes can see tlie court house of tliei county, and I notice one of the leadln articles in the last Chelsea Herald i devotcd to the subject of more hltchlnj posts. Yet with all of this prospeiity you will Bee In Mr. O'Hearn's minority repor (m l'roccedinjjs last Board Supervisors lie proposes to reduce Uie cqualizeil valu ation of the township $50,000 or $20,000 more than the niajority reported, a though tlie Supervisor of Sylvan wa one of that majority. Mr. O'ÏIearn ha been in Chelsea, and like a fair ani candid man was willing to admit tha the decline in farms would fully equa the increasB of values in the village and Uien the township had boen raised it the past nfteen years $98,000, or almos huif as mucli as the whole city of An Arbor, up to that date. And what is tru of Sylvan is undoubtedly true of othe towns to which your articles refer. In a late copy of the Colkiek the edito iuüiuites that it would be a good ide to induce the Supervisors in the vicinit; of Chelse i to attend the " Cottage Praye Meeting " now dolng so much good i that place. No doubt we might all b benelited by following li is suggestion But I fear not in just the partícula desired by the editor of the Coukiek viz., reduction of the valuatlon of th city. Kight here elt me suggest to tli Supervisors of the rich warüs in Ann Arbor that tliey assess one-half th personal wealth In their districts, n matter lf it should increase tlie total o their rolls, and they will no longer hea the coniplaints of him who only ow the small roof that covers him and li is but on the contrary will niake for them sel ves friend-. And, Mr. Editor, if you will throug your columns show up the unequal as sessineiits In tlie city as between the rlcl and the poor, you will also relieve th farmer?, upon whom the prosperity o our villages and cities depend; who no bear the buiden of taxation. Thei lands, buildings, stock and tools all ii sightofthe assessor. Yes, all In sigh except what they owe, which is no smal amouut as you can see by the report ol th Commissioner of the Michigan Labo Bureau, which shows the mortgago in debtedness on the farms of this county to bealmost $5,000,000, or0# of their sell ing value. I have been told by one wh has the best opportunity toknow, that a least three-fourths of these mortgage are owned in Ann Arbor, and amount to over three times the total personal assess ment in the whole city including gas aiu water works. Mr. Editor, in all your unkind remarle about ttie last Board of Supervisors am especially the Committee on Equaliza tion, I have no doubt you have beei guided by honest couviclions, but an; man having the opportunity you have should post himself before making sucl gross charges. Mr. P. O'Hearn, one member of tha commitlec (and no more int lligent super visor on the board than be), represeiilinr the poorest district in the city, subtnittet to the committee the tiïst table of equall .ation or proposition, whlle admittiiij ing the city should be raised said: " don't want to take it all this year." Now to lind what he was wUling to "take,' see Proceedings, page 31, and compar with last year, you will find the partía raise he was willing to take was $275, 000, about half what Uie committee flnallj raported. And another very worthy member (no one of the committee), from tlie city o Ann Arbor, ofl'ered a substitute for botl reports of the committee, in which h propoaed to take $440,000 (see Pioceed inss. page 32). Now, Mr. Editor, do you not tbluk you have made a "mountaln out of a mole hill," and will you be honest enough to inform the tax payers of that fact througl the columns of your valuable paper ihat they m.iy know the County Supervisors are not ao dit honest as your foruier articles would Indícate? Then advise your next corps of supervisors to assess the rich, and thereby reI I i . 1 - i i tllfACA t it limit t - 1 V I I l i 1 l ïo l Iklll'jliilk