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Sylvan Salt!

Sylvan Salt! image
Parent Issue
Day
11
Month
January
Year
1888
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

In the last issue of the Couhieu we Tave placo toan unusually excellent cominnlcution from Supervisor Uilbert, of Sylvan, setting foith his side of the quesiou brouglit up by the lust board of suervisors of raisingthc valuatlon of Ann Arbor, and lowering that of the towns. It will be remembered that at lts last ession, the board, in cqualizlnjr, placed 585,000 additional upon Ann Arbor city, UOO.OOO upon one district of Ypsilanti, and reduced tho townsbips just that much, maktng a dillorcnce agalnst the wo citles and in favor of the towns of 11,270,000. Had tbc total cqunlizcd v;illation been raised the ntnount placed on the cities, the case would not have been ns bad, but the towns were reduced that amount, thus making the raisc act in a doublé capacity. We have taken up a few of Mr. Giljert's assertions md analyzed them. Ho starts off his urticle by twitting the peo)le of our city of being very ignorant: The tflx gatherer has been hia rouuds, and you wlth all the good people of Ann Arbor have learncd to your chagrín that you are uot requlred to pay the whole 8585,000 hls yrar, luit malend their taxos are quite ow, payingfrom $3. 10 In Pontlnc to $19.00 In [iattlü Creek less than any city In the state of lta slze ou (1,000 assessed. The people of Ann Arbor have not Mr. Gilbert or the county supervisors to tliank that the rate of taxation in Ann Arbor is so much lower than in most other cities of the state, but the conservatism of lier own inhabitanls, who liave never rushed lieaOlong into debt and foolish luxuries. Because our people have paid for everytliing as they went along, and kept out of trouble and bonded indebtedness and consequcntly kept the per cent. of taxes down to a resprctable titfure, is an astonishing thlng for our Sylvan friend to give as a renson why he should shift his sbare of the tax burdens off ou to our shoulders. If our criticiser will study up tlie figures and post himself a little, he will fihd that it is usually tlie cost of city governments that run their per cent. up, and not the equalized valuation. Were it tlie latter, Yptilanti's per cent. would be lower than Ann ArborV, but it is much above, owing to her heavy bonded indebtedness. And Ypsilanti receives considerable of that "state pap" you so feelingly refer to. Mr. Gilb-rt says that the farms of this county have declined in value to the extent of $5,000,000 within the past lifteen years, and adds : Undoubtodly there But you sny thore are sorae exceptious are lownshlps In , . r whlch vllliiges Hre to the rule, dependgrowlng also. i adIng on location, lor mit It, nud will take lustnnce. Mr. Tozer lhf. low,u f ylvan, ' ' , , as the villnge ofuhelsells a farra adjoln8ea ls uu3oubtedly Ing tho city of Ann prosperous and Arbor for Í100 per growlng Aud the „r . reason for tl) Is Is acre, but Mr. WestfOUnd in the characfiill of the townshlp ter and energy of the of Lima ten years business men of the o ; o vlllage in keeping dp ago was oflered $S0 the gc8t raarrcetsfo per acre for hls farm farm produce In the aud would not sell. county. No water. . , .. , ,, ., power, no manufacthiB fall he sella the turing, no money same farm for $50 per votcd by the state or acre ar.d throws In county to stiraulate , business or values. aboutSMO In personal Que will often see property. Another farmers wlth loads farm In Sylvan lately ' Produce In the . . ., ' streets ol Chelsea deeded to Mr. R. who from their Kempfconsideratiou homes cn see the JS.üU), is on the tax coun. nou8e of ¦'"¦ , county, aud I nutice roll this year for one of the leading ?3.s0üartlcles In the last T ii i s t i a 1 1 ei devoled to lhe 6Ul) farms adjoi n Cliclject of more hltchiug sea. posts. Puttinjr these two assertions sme oy sidi; wc liml liow fatal is the reasoninj The piice of farms is largely governei by tlifir iicarness to a good market, am yot Mr. Gilbert tells us that farms ad joining Chelsep Kil for only half th price of those adjoining Ann Arbor! Without noticing the "unkind and uu ealled tbr" flings at the city becauíe o ti. a tnWirH of the city improvement funi and booause tliis city happens to be th peat of the university, and the count scat, we will pass to the growth and ini provcment of the cities, vjllages ant country. It seeuis strange that farn property thould have decliued so muc as Mr. Gilbert claims, when every hui ber yard proprietor in the county will teil you that more tban one-third of hi sales are for farm buildings of some kind The farms must be increasing in value. 15 ot 20 years ago war prices prevailed, a greenbaek $1 was only worili about 7,"c. and ot couroe taini or city values cannot be compared vlth those tiines. When wool biought $1 per lb., and wheat $3 per bushei, theie was a lictitious value on farm property. A fair comparison can only be made by rcducing the valué of farm property at that time to a gold basis. Our frieud will hardly assert that the farms of this county were woith more in gold 15 or 20 years ago than tliey are to-day. Taking bis vvay of compaiing values, city property has declined also. For instance, a house on Ann st., in this city, in : an excellent locality, built by Miss Morse at a cost of $3,500 for the building alone, was gold a few montlia ago to Mr. A. M. Doty for $2,500, including the lot. A houpe on N. State st., in equally good location, costing ifteen years since the mm of $3,800 for the building alone, sold last September for $2,500 IncluOing the lot, and on long time at that. A house built last year by Mr. John Keek, on 4th st., at a cost of $4,000 in cash, was pold a couple of montiis since for $3,500! TIktü are plenty of such sales of city property to offset tliose mentioned by Mr. Gilbert. The assertlon that city property bas doubled in value In the past lifteen yenrs is as far from the trulh is an assertion can be. We defy Mr. Gilbert, or an real estáte dealer to find a place In this city with buildings upon it that has doubled wilhin fiftecn years, or even materially increased in value unless by improvements added siiice then, costing as much as the value bas increased. Some farms may have been stripped and run down because of the greed of their owners, who rush into the city with every dollar they can get hold of to be put into a mortgage upon some poor fellow's home in city or village. But our friend would have made a better showing for his farms, had he allowcd something for the difference in buildings upon thetn, for a farm with $8,000 buildings in an excellent state of cultivation sells better than one having only $1,000 or fá.OOO buildings, and not kept up properly. Now as to the market questirn. Is it not true, my dear slr, that because of the 1,800 to 2,000 young people who niake this place, a home for nine months ol the year, (through the state pap you so freely fling at us) that Ann Arbor 3 one of the very best markets for farm produce in the state ? 8o good that farmers coine from even outside of the county, Brlghton, South I,yon, Plymouth, Pinckncy, Belleville, etc, to se'll their produce here ? Thus benefiting the farmjrs of this section equally with the terrijle city residents. Mr. Gilbert probably telis tlie truth about seeing farmers from lear here unloading produce in Chelsea. Early last sumraer a gentleman fiom Dhelsea went about the entire county and paid a few cenis more for wool than he accredited market price and secured he bulk of the clip before other dealers n the county woke up. That's how twas done. Mr. Gllbert probably did not notice his statement in a recent issue of the ( lielsea Herald: Only 3,000 loads of whent deltvered at the Chelsea elevator iu lb7, a;;alu8t 5,000 In 1886. Mr. Gilbert admits that Chelsea is irosperous and growing, the best market ii the county, and y et the rcduction on her ¦qualized valuatinn as lixed by his couinittee is $30,000! the per cent. being j.73. How is that for prosperity '! When Chelsea prospera she is reduced, iut when Ann Arbor prospers she is aised. It makea a great difference where )ro8perity occurs, it seems. Now Mr. Gilbert asscrts from licarsay vidcnce, this: But we whohnvc vislii-il your city for tlie ;st llftccn years know what we pee, and one eal estáte draier lol. i tuo wrltcr nut many nonths nno, tliat "the vnlnnof real úntate tina oubled lo the lust lidien yjárs.' l?ut this assertion II 011 B pnr wilh tlie there, and Is an assertion roerely, wiihut ono iota of cvidcnce lo nipoit t, ot even tho rc:il estáte doaler'i name. lie sales aboro {riven prove how wild au ssertion it Is. Now, tnind VOD, we do lot claim tliat mir city property lias lecreased in real valué, only fioin the ctitious values made liy tlie depreciatlon of tbc U. S. curreney becau.Be of the late ebellionjustasthe farms hnvfe QecreaMd, and equaliy wkli tliem. We do l'urthor claim tliat foi' every dollar ot improvenent in the cltlea ot Ann Arbof wid fpsilanti therc Dal been a similar lmirovetnont iu tbu (owiuhips of this county. The number of farm buildings crected In this county for the past 15 reara will outnuinber thebuljdlngRarected in tliese two clties, to say nothlng of he growtb of tlie villajes of Manehotrr, Saline mul .Milan. The latter villa?e ihnost entirely built withln tlie past 16 ,'ears, and equal in population and vnlue ,o any one of at lenst two aids in this city. Bot the rank iiijustice of Mr.GHbert'i equiilizinir committec may be beet shown in the 3d district of this city. Tlicn: is not B house in the ïth ward ot bis city to-day, tliat can be solil for what it cost in bard cash; and there are no capitalists in the ward either, and yet vour committce raised that district $190,300 ! It was b cruel and unjust act if ever one was perpetrated. Supervisor O'IIearn, with bis nccustomed generosity, wlien he saw the rank unjustice whlch was about to be done, aróse and said, tliat ratlicr tlian to liavo tbose people so burdened, he was wtlllng to take an additional amount on bis district - a district that is far from wealtby. In looking up tlie supervisor's proceed Inga we flna Ihe 5th and 6th wardfl of Ann Arbor equalized at 1, 000,000. We find Sylvan equallzed at $1,150,000. Is there a fair-mlnded man 'm the county of Waslitenaw who will say that there is any justice In thoso figures? There are no wealthy men in the 5t!i ward, and but very few in the 6th who are more tlian well todo. We hace taken tlie ñames of Mx men of Clielsea, which will be made known if desired, and not the wealthiest either, by any means, and we find them asessed on the rolls of Sylvan township at $GG,700, all told, real estáte persona' and all, and we are inforined by one competent to judge that a half million dollars is a low estimate of their com blned wealth. There is one man in the list who is assessed at $4,000 personal, in whose name we find undischarged mortfagea to the amount of $15,932 standing upon the records in the Register of Deeds office in this county, and our search didn' include the assignments at that, nor dii! we have access to the Jackson records where, we are Inforined, neaily as inan more appear in bis n-ime. In tbevay ot assessnunts we do not believe that the various motes In our city supervisors eyes are nearly as great as the oue bcaii in Sylvan's own. Mr. r.O'Heara, one member of Ihat com mlttee (and no more intelligent superviso on the bourel than he), representlng tlie poor est district iu the city, Rubmitted to the com mittee the flrst table of equalizallon or prop oslttoii. while aclmittliiK tlie city should b raised, said: "I don't want to take It all Uil year." Now to tind out what he was willltii, to "t&ke,'1 see Proceedlngs, paKe 81, and cora pare wlih last year, you will flud the parti raise be is wllUng lotake was $275 000, ahou half what the coruiuittee finally reported. This reminds 119 of a story. You bav perliaps heard of the man who was over taken by a couple of highwaymen tha demanded histiuiney; he protested tha wbat he had was but little, honestlj earned, and nceded by bis family ; they inforined hini tliey dfdn't care firthai they were there lor business not senti ment, and he must deliver or lose hi '"'in. So he delivered bis watcb aiu bain and a pornou ui in ,,..,... . , i,,, not satisficd with tliat they insisted upoi searching his pockets, whereupon be passed over all the money he bad, boping to save bis clothes, and was informen shat his life was spared that he tnigbt ro and earn some more. Upon beinj; brougb iuto court the robbers plead not gniltj because the man gave them his property It is not improbable that wnen Mr O'Hearn found tbat the committcR w cli'termlned to unload upon the city he attempted to make the best terms possi ble, he naturally would, and Mi-. Gil berl'.s plea that be did it voluntaiily I rather ludierous. I have been told by one who has the bes opportunlty to know. thnt t leAnt. thruc fourthsof tbee mortgnges are owned iu Aun Arbor, and amonnt lo over Ihree times the total personal assessment in the whole cit; lncludlng gas and water works. "Any íniin, having tbe opportunity you have, shouUl post himsclf befori makiiig sucli gross charges." Such false statements are a stock In trade with those who seek toprejudlce tlie country people against our city, bu one who emleavors to be honest and candid, as we believe Mr. Gilbert does sliould be careful how he misleads peoplc with snch uiitnitliful tatémenla. Come down somelime and lel's go over the books. You will find that the mtn having by far the most DiOrtjra;; s of any in the coiinty U i6sesed in Limn, rcmoving from Ann Albor becuuse he was átttsket too high. You will lind that not ovei one fourth of tlie ïiioitgages are held b reaideiitl of tliis nity, and you will stil further lind that a lurjíe aiununt of mortgarcs on farm and city property Iihyo bren bought by money farmers htive brougJU inio the city and léft with ngents for Inveitmenl. One flrm alone In tuis city has many thouuinda of dollars ol such nioney. Granted tliat farms are mortgaged how iibout the lionies n cities? Are tlicy not mortfraged equnlly witli the farms? Look over our records and see the home alter home In our city on wliich the oc oupiint pays taxes, and interest and insurnnce; and the owners of these mort irages aie not all city resident?, either Thcre are many uealthy men in this Oounty oulslde of Ann Arbor and Ypsllanti, and we do not believe (with the onp exception perliai)S, of Mr. Boeman, ] Lyndon) tliat Ihere is one of thein who is asesseil at one-fourth liis realtb. If any farmer rtoubts tbls, let hlm try to ralse money on hls farm from some Ann rbor capltallst aud see wbat ainount be caá-' get. wltb hls land for gecurlty. Why is it necossiiry to go to some Ann Arbor cnpttallst f Why not go to Bonte Cbelsen c.ipitaiist ? She has several of tlicni, as the records show. It Ann Arbor capilalists are belng continiiiilly raised on their valuution you can't blame them for rcquiring a fair per cent. on tlieir loans, can you? And Mr. Editor, If you will through your columns show up ihe unequal nssessments In the city as between the Hch and the poor, you will also relieve the farmers, upon whom the prosperlty of our vlllHges and cltles deneou ; who now bear the hurden of taxHtlon. I'tnui lands. buildings, slock and tools all in slght of the asseesor. Some of the unequal assessments buTfl been referred to above. Before Mr, Gilbert Cülls upon other supervisors to assess people one-half tlieir personal wealth, would It not.be wel for 11 lm to set the exaniple ? Ann Arbor is proud of her steady frrowtb and prosperity, and wel! she need be, but itappearsto be in spite and not h ith the aasistiince Df those who ouglit to be her friendo. If our worthy Sylvan Tricnd will stop to rctlfct he niay conclude that the stare is not (!oinjj all she does for the univejrsity to boom Ann Arbo, but to benciit benelfj on the sound principie fhat it Is cheaper to edúcate and enlijihten her children than it is to support them in i;;noiance. Mr. Gilbert will pardon us if we still insist tliat it would be a good thlng to in. luce the supervisors in the vicinlty of Chelsea to altend that cottage priyer nieeUng. BHtï and Langulort known to fami and tlie world as the Two'Sams, are in the Overcont line now. Read tlieir proa lindamente. T;ike winter as you iïnrt him, and lic tiirns out to be a tliorouglily lioncst fellow wlth w nonsense in btm whlctl is n comfort in the long run. - Lowell. The liand that glves, gSTlISW?- Eugene Sue. If all our wishes were gratilied, most of our plensurcs would be destroyed. - Whcately. The oharltlea that soothe and heul and bless. lie ícattered at tlie feet ot men like flowen. - Wordsworth. ¦ Worrts are often seen hunting for an idea, but ideaa are nevc-scen huutlDJt ior words.- K. W.Shaw. "Two thousand dollars jest for a pitcher!" rupeated old Mrs. Bentley, in amnzement. "I wonder what them Chicago folks kin be thinkin' of! Thla craze for decoraled chiny is gctlin' to be

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Subjects
Ann Arbor Courier
Old News