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Henry George Theories

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The craziness of the last legislature is becoming more and more apparent as the days glide by and the laws enacted by them are put into into practice. The last evidence of their incompetency and running after vagaries comes to the people in the new mortgage tax law whieh assessors have to observe. The law as it stands on the statute books to-day practically wipes personal property off the tax rolls, and places the burden of raising the revenues for the support of the local and state governments upon land alone. The old law required that all mortgages should be assessed to the man holding them at his place of residence, as personal property, and that real estáte should be assessed as real estáte. This new squawbuck law requires the assessor to put mortgages on his roll as a part of the realty. This is liow it works: A is on the tax roll for $2,000 personal property. This consists of a mortgage on B's house and lot, wKiéh is on the roll for $3,000, making a total assessment to the two men of $5,000 on the roll. Naw the new law says that A's assessment of $2,000 shall be stricken from the roll entirely, and that B's assessment shall be divided, $1,000 to B, and $2,000 to A, leaving a total assessment oï $3.000 in place of $5,000 as heretofore. To ascertain how mnny thousands of dollars have been stricken from the rolls in this city, we have gone through the books of the various wards and separated the mortgage property from other personal property, and find the result, by wards, to be: lst Ward $231.400 2d " 196,600 3d - 114,000 4th " 021,200 5th " 10.000 Oth " lTr..7.:)0 Total íl.048,950 It is perfectly safe to estímate of that amoirnt a cool $1,000,000 will be entirely lost to the assessment roll. What will be the result ? This: The taxes to every property owner, to every man or woman who owns or is attempting to pay for a home in the city of Ann Arbor, will be increased Just one-sixth. "Yes," you say, "but B, wlio has a mortgage. of $2,000 on his home, and is assessed at $3,000, noiv has to pay taxes on only $1,000." That was undoubtedly the intention of the law, but the alleged place of enclless torment is said to be paved witli good intentions. Every eapitalist and loaner of money has found out long before this that it is not the law, and the poor man or woman s required to sign a contract to pay the tax on the mortgage also. Thus the present law allows the capitalist to go untaxed, and the one who is attempting to pay for a home has to pay all the taxes as heretofore. and an increased tax besides. of one-sixth because of the wiping off the rolls of the personal assessment. Henry George may be a good theorist, but when his theories come to be put into practice, it makes the poor poorer and the rich richer every time. The squawbuck legislature was a costly luxury to the people of the state in more ways than one.


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier