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July 8, 1899.
RECORD AND GUIDE.
Bibo^s >ib Iheubs or CeHek^ ltf<^^i<P1-Â»
4>RICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
Publiahed every Balurdaij.
TELEPHONE, COKTLANDT 1370.
CommunicatlonÃ§ should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vesey Street.
â– J. T. ZrXDSET, Business MmxH/er.
'â€¢ Entered at the Post-O.Sice at New York, N. T., as second-class matter."
^â– 'ol. LXIV.
JULY 8, 1899.
REGARDING matters in Wall Street there is little new to say
this week. A gocd business is being done in,' investments,
the demand for which is shcwn by the high price paid, at
â– wholesale, for the City of New York bonds awarded this week.
'The fact that this city is in such gocd crÃ©dit suggests the pro-
â– -priety of retiu-ning to a 3 per cent, bond when- the large loans,
that coming improvements will call for, ehall be issued. The
rste was raised from 3 per cent, to ZV- per cent, during Mayor
;Strong"si administration, and in a period of financial disquiet
-and when the passage of the Consolidation Act of 1S97 had
.raised questions as to the legalÃ®ty of a particular issue. There
Is now no need to' offer spÃ©cial inducements to bankers and the
public to take the bonds, and there is very little doubt that a 3
â– per cent, bond would be eagerly taken at par, a resuit that would
be better for the city than having a 3'4 per cent, bond taken at
.a premium of nine and a fraction, as it would effect a saving of
about a fifth of one per cent, in interest during the life of the
bond'. We ccmmend this idea to the attention of the financial
authorities of the city. SpÃ©culative Ã©lÃ©ments are mostly con-
Â«erned with the movements of railroad shares, which for the
jnoment promise profits to the venturesome. The railroad situa-
â– tion is un'doubtedly gocd. To say nothing of real or imaginary
consolidations, earnings are ail that can be desired, and there is
japparently a dÃ©sire among railroad managers te make the best
â– of tbe opportunity to establish frien-dly and profitable relations
â€¢with each other, There are one or two properties that form the
â€¢Â«nfO'rtunate exceptions, for instance the roads that are feeling
â€¢the worst effects of the Texan fioods, but the losses there are
â– well distributed and they do not count for a grÃ©ai deal in so big
â€¢a sum as the total of railroad capital.
PUBLIC affaira in France and the Transvaal bave appar-
ently ceased to influence money circles in Europe, so
â– certain does it now appear that the questions that hÃ¢ve been the
'Cause of so much disquiet there will be honorably and peaceably
â– eettled'. The course of the money market gives more anxiety
than politics. PrÃ©dictions are made cf high rates in the fall, with
the greatest stress felt in Berlin. The city of Parisi and the Gov-
â– ernment of the French Soudan are both in the market for loans.
â– German textile trades are not so jubiÃ®ant over the outlook as are
those of iron and co'al. The rise in the price of wool has, of
course, made manufacturing more expeusive and reduced the
â– country's ability to compete in foreign markets. Tariff laws in
the United States bave further eut off the German markets con-
:siderably. The home market further feelsi the effects of the
Tvorking of the looms' that had previously been employed in thÂ©
service of the foreign mariiets, The conditions' prevailing
^among European work people are displayed by a strike that is
now taking place, or was a week or so ago, at Briinn, Austria,
-among the cloth weavers there. The men, 12,000 in number,
â– asked that their hours might be reduced from eleven tO' ten be-
â€¢cause of the distance they had' to Hve from their work owing to
"the dearness of lodgings in Briinn, often occupying an hour to
traverse. The employers refused; the men went on strike, and
Jor two months bave held out, living with their families on the
â€¢contributions of the labor associations. The manufacturing
<:lothing houses of the big cities, who draw their material from
Briinn, are alarmed by the prospect of not getting the 6,000
piÃ¨ces of cloth they need for their winter work alone. The
Spanish Finance Minister in presenting his budget indi-
rectly reveals the desperate situation from which the United
â– fitates rescued his country last year. His flgures show that from
the outbreak of the last Cuban insurrection until last March
something like $400,000,000 had been expended' for war pur-
poses in the West Indies and in the Philippines, with |50,000,000
still remaining due. This total of $450,000,000 wilÃ® be int:reasedi
when a full settlement is made. Of the money expended 5250,000,-
000 is represented by loans which bave to be met, besides
$300,000,000 of Cuban, Porto Rican and Philippine loans which
Spain has to assume, making $550.000,000 added to a national
debt of $1.130,000,000, besides other obligations amounting to
perhaps $60,000,000 or $70,000,000, ail of which will bave to be
funded,' ConsidÃ©rable assistance in meeting thÃ¨se obligations
wilÃ® be asked of bondholders, but the Minister aiso asks the
country to contribute $60,000,000 more in taxes this year, and
has thereby produced the Barcelonan and other riots which now
form the subject of press reports.
-------------*------------- -. -u'^
THE COMING TAX RATE.
THE assessment relis bave been completed and delivered to
the Municipal Assembly, where they will remain open to
inspection until the .ISth instant. The property valuations
hÃ¢ve been so discussed since the tentative figures were an-
nounced at the opening of the year, and each change made since
has been so eagerly scught that the final results surprise nobody
and call for little remark. In view of what was a practical neces-
sity for an increased real estate valuation, there was little or no
expectation that the considÃ©rable increases originally put uponi
commercial and the best class of residential propertles would be
taken off, so that no one will be surprised to learn that the subÂ¬
stantial rÃ©ductions of valuations in thÃ¨se classes hÃ¢ve been few.
The Personal property valuations reveal the absurdities that the
public hÃ¢ve yearly been accustomed to see in them, and ivill conÂ¬
tinue to see until the tax laws are reniodelled to dispose of evils
accompanying laws that cannot be enforced. Naturaily the
further ability of the city to incur debt as a res'ult of the inÂ¬
creased real estate valuations arouses euriosity as tO' what the
municipal authorities will dO' in the matter of rapid transit, but
no direct expressions of opinion bave been elicited from them.
Valuations having been fixed for a year to come, what owners
of real property are now most immedtÃ tely interested in is the
probable tax rate, and this' is a subject for so much serious
thought that we urge its careful considÃ©ration, not only by those
whO' will individually hÃ¢ve to pay the tax but aiso and particuÂ¬
larly by those who can speak in a reprÃ©sentative character for
property owners. It has been truly said that at the moment
no one can estimate what the prÃ©cise tax rate will be. But the
public bave been aware of several facts that point tO' quite a high
rate, and' that aiso indicate that there are possibilities of one
borough being made to bear heavier burdens than the rest. The
ComptrollÃ¨r issued some figures a short time ago which indicated
an ordinary net budget of about $84,500,000, that may be furÂ¬
ther reduced though not to affect the tax rate very materially.
This sum apportioned oil the whole city, whose real and PerÂ¬
sonal tax valuations are $3,478,252,029, would call for a rate oC
2.42. There are in addition 'deflciency charges for 1898 amountÂ¬
ing to over $7,000,000, to be apportioned among the five borÂ¬
oughs, and aiso county charges to be met. The ComptrollÃ¨r has
suggested a way in which the deflciency ought tO' be divided,
which would throw about five-sevenths on the boroughs of ManÂ¬
hattan and the Bronx. The several couaty budgets' of course
fall upon the counties upon which their respective amounts will
be expended. As we regard the Comptroller's figures, Manhattan
and the Bronx will hÃ¢ve to raise $12,941,371 in addition to their
proportion of the several budgets, or a sum equal to' 0.48 per cent,
of their combined real and Personal property valuations, whick
amount to $2,668,988,835, and would make the tax rate on thoso
two boroughs practically 2.90. Brooklyn's county and deflciency
charges, according to the Comptroller's figures, amount to $2,458,-
727, or the Ã©quivalent of 0.37 per cent, on the real and peraonal
property valuation of $655,092,984. That would make Brooklyn's
entire tax rate 2.79. The borough of Queens would be still worse
off, because although its county and deflciency charges are set
down at only $1,393,898, that is equal to 1.26 per cent, of its asÂ¬
sessed valuation of $110,066,632, and give that county a comÂ¬
bined rate of 3.68. Richmond has only $191,142 of extra charges
to meet, but on its assessed valuation of $44,103,582 that is
Ã©quivalent to a rate of 0.43 and would make the whole rate in
that borough 2.87.
Iii the face of officiai warniogs against unotflcial estiÂ¬
mÃ¢tes of tbe tax rate on the incomplÃ¨te data now before
the public, we do not claim accuracy for thÃ¨se flgures, but
we use them to draw attention to the serious necessity that
exist.'Ã® for each borough to see to' it that it Is only charged with
the obligations for which it is legally respotisible. The gÃªnerai
rate may prove to be less than we name owing to further cfCsets
being found to reduce the ordinary budget; the deflciency budget
may be apportioned among the boroughs in another way than.
that suggested by the ComptrollÃ¨r, so that the requirementa,