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ously placed an unfair burden on the farmer and small householder.
From 1910 to 1920 the total valuation of all taxable property in the state, except savings bank deposits. increased about 92 per cent, whereas property locally assessed in cities and towns increased 100 per cent.
Lands and buildings, found in 1908 to be the most highly assessed, increased 85 per cent in valuation. Livestock, from 1910 to 1920, increased per head, by various percentages; cows, 169 per cent. Yet in 1908 livestock was second in its high rate of valuation as compared with other classes. These should be compared with the average of all property, 92%. Such increases seem entirely disproportionate and unfair when compared to some other classes.
Real estate in general was in 1908 assessed at about 70% of true value, while timberlands were then assessed at about 30%. A studf of representative woodlots in southern and central New Hampshire, made by John H. Foster, now State Forester, showed average increases in assessed valuation of 161.7 per cent from 1908 to 1914, bringing them in that year to about 75% of actual value. These tax values have been largely increased since 1914.
During the period, 1910-1920, the average tax value per acre, in unincorporated places increased 143%. If that were all that had happened, the tax valuation would have risen from 30% of the true value, to 73% of the true value. But in the meantime the market value had greatly risen. The increase in tax value of wild lands has only kept pace with the phenomenal increase in pulpwood value. The disparity which existed in 1908 between these timberlands and ordinary lands and buildings, (30 to 70) has not been equalized, and those classes which have been brought fully or nearly to actual value are still bearing a disproportionate share of the entire tax burden, and
besides that, paid in 1920 on a $2.38 average rate, while un-incorporated places paid on a $.48 average rate.
The Committee believes we need a new scheme of timber taxation. So long, however, as we continue the present tax system, it should be impartially and equally enforced in respect to all classes of property.
From 1910 to 1912 the increase in the valuation of public utilities was equal and proportionate to all other property. Since 1912, other property has shown a steady increase, while the valuation of public utilities has shown a marked decrease.
Except for the Manchester utilities. which seem to be assessed at full value, the valuation fixed by the Public Service Commission, is generally marked higher than, and in some cases double, the assessed valuation.
From 1911 to 1920, the assessed valuation of the railroads dropped from $59,876,000 to $45,935,800. The Interstate Commerce Commission has recently announced a tentative valuation of the steam railroads in New Hampshire as of June 30, 1913. placing it at $61,000,000, to which must be added the portion of their equipment properly assignable to New Hampshire, thus bringing their total value to about $70,000,000. In 1912, the United States Census valued these properties at $76,000,000. The tax valuation in 1913 was $44, 520,000.
It may be contrary to the public interest to increase railroad taxes just But it is equally important that the resulting loss of public revenue should not be made up by increasing the burden of property already fully taxed and no better able to bear it than the railroads. This applies to farm property, whose tax valuation has steadily gone up, instead of down; and yet farm mortgages in New Hampshire have in ten years, increased 2 per cent., while the number of operated farms has decreased 24 per cent.
Equalizing of taxation depends not
only on equal valuation, but also on not allowing any property to escape. In 1920 more than $20,000,000 of industrial property was exempted.
Intangibles. Although other inventoried property increased 100 per cent in ten years, this class was in 1920 only slightly greater than in 1910. The amount of intangible property in the State has been repeatedly estimated by officials and students of our tax system, at several hundred million dollars. Only a minute fraction pays any tax whatever. The man who own a farm or who owns his home and works for wages, pays a heavy tax, while the man who derives his income from intangible property contributes little to the cost of the Government. An equitable tax on intangibles would give substantial relief to those kinds of property which are now fully taxed.
Deposits in Savings Banks is one class of intangible property (amounting in 1920 to $142,000,000), which has continuously paid a substantial tax. They represent the hardearned accumulations of people of small and moderate means. The
average deposit is less than $500. In the case of a 4 per cent. bank, the tax equals an income tax of 15 per cent. There is no justice in collecting such a high tax on small savings, while big investors are for the most part allowed to escape all taxation.
Stock in trade of merchants and mills and machinery were assessed in 1908 at 55 per cent and 34 per cent respectively of true values. By 1920 the valuation of these classes were increased about 200 per cent. In spite of this increase, there still exists serious undervaluations in the opinion of the present Tax Commission.
Farms and the ordinary home. are still heavily overtaxed in proportion to other property. The condition is serious, both to individual and the State. The important industry of farming has shown a serious decline. A change in our tax system can only come as a result of general public understanding. There should be a campaign of public education. The Farm Bureau should prepare a constructive program for action by the next Legislature.
THE WHITE FLOWER.
By Alice Sargent Krikorian.
I wandered lone upon the desert strand,
Gone is the flower from the desert place.
We hope there is foundation in truth for the rumor that former Governors Rolland H. Spaulding, Robert P. Bass and Samuel D. Felker, former Congressman Raymond B. Stevens, former State Senator John G. Winant and other men of prominence in state affairs will become candidates for the House of Representatives in the New Hampshire Legislature of 1923. Every man who is Chief Executive of the state for two years gains thereby experience and knowledge of great value to the commonwealth, but which in the past has very rarely been made of such use as it might be.
In recent years retiring Governors have sent messages to incoming Legslatures which contained mendations and suggestions based upon facts, not theories, which the new law-makers would have done well to heed. But it is the Chief Executive just inaugurated, not the one giving up the chair at the head of the table, who has the greater influence in molding legislation. From most aspects this situation is right, just and desirable. It does, however, retard the continuous onward march of the state because of a lack of mutual understanding between the executive and legislative branches of the government as to the point of development. which has been reached in state affairs, what the next steps should be and how they should be taken.
The larger the number of members of the lower house who have had previous experience in higher positions, the broader its view will be and the greater the likelihood of early and effective co-operation with the new leader of the state.
Massachusetts, who, as an ex-President of the United States, was a very influential and useful member of Congress until his death.
be an recom
A conspicuous national instance of such service comes at once to mind in the case of John Quincy Adams of
Of former Governors of New Hampshire now alive only two, Hon. Nahum J. Bachelder of East Andover and Hon. Henry B. Quinby of Lakeport, are enjoying the leisure of well-earned retirement. Others who are active, but not eligible for service in the New Hampshire Legislature because of other engagements, are United States Senator Henry W. Keyes, First Assistant Postmaster General John H. Bartlett and Chairman Charles M. Floyd of the New Hampshire State Tax Commission. Governor Albert O. Brown, who will "ex" after the convening of the next General Court, doubtless will give that body as much benefit from his experience of two years as can be contained in a valedictory address, but it would be of very great benefit to the state if his services could be further enlisted in some way for such important tasks as the preparation of the budget bills and the revision of the tax laws.
With our very large Legislature and our insistence upon rotation in office, New Hampshire comes nearer than any other state in the Union to giving all of its citizens a direct share in the state government. This approaches one of the ideals of democracy and has both a theoretic and an actual value in advancing interest in, and knowledge of, public affairs, among the mass of the body politic. But it also has its manifest disadvantages and some of these can be overcome or alleviated by the leavening of the legislative mass with the experience, good sense and forward look of such men as those named above.
Mr. Brookes More, whose friendly interest in the Granite Monthly is reciprocated, we feel sure, by all its readers, is engaged in the interesting and congenial work of turning Ovid's Metamorphoses into English blank verse. The Cornhill Publishing Company, Boston, issues in attractive form the first fruit of these labors, Book I, including "The Creation," "The Four Ages," "Giants," "Lycaon Changed to a Wolf," "The Deluge," "The Pythian Games," "Daphne and Phoebus" and "Io and Jupiter." This neat volume is listed at $1.25 and is to be followed by a larger edition, now in process of preparation, which will include the first five books and will be published at $3.50. Mr. Frederick Allison Tupper, in a brief, but appreciative introduction, predicts that Mr. More's work will become "the standard translation of Ovid for the English-speaking world," because in it "the unparallelled felicity of expression and the matchless fluency of the classic poet find in Mr. More an interpreter so competent, so loyal and so felicitous."
So-called vital problems of government are sadly plenty, just now, not only across the water, but in our own country. Some of these troubles may be bogies, without foundation or substance; but some of them are not; and one of those which we are sure is not is the question of what to do with and for our railroads. The governors of all the New England states are So sure that this is a real problem of immediate insistence that they have appointed special commissions to cooperate in trying to work out a special plan for the transportation and traffic salvation of this corner of the nation; and Governor Brown of New Hampshire has succeeded
in securing for our contribution to this conference the valuable services of Lester F. Thurber of Nashua. Arthur H. Hale of Manchester, Benjamin W. Couch of Concord, Clarence E. Carr of Andover and Professor James P. Richardson of Hanover. Doubtless all of these gentlemen and the other members of the coming conference as well, have read a book published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, this year, at $2.75, entitled "Railroads and Government, their relations. in the United States, 1910-1921." But if any of these conferees or any other person who wishes to be well posted on the railroad problem has missed this volume the lack should be remedied at once, for it gives the best back ground possible for a constructive study of the future of our transportation machinery. It is easy to read and to understand, yet it is thoughtful, thorough, and complete. It is straightforward and plainspoken, and yet it seems to us fair to all concerned. The author, Frank H. Dixon, now professor of economics at Princeton University, held a similar position at Dartmouth College for 20 years. He knows whereof he writes and if what he has written is a textbook, it is one which should be studied in every business office as well as in every class room.
The tragic note in "Dancers in the Dark," one of the most talked about books of the year, is furnished by Sarah, who was the first Woman of the World Joy Nelson ever had known; but who, Joy found out later when she learned to call her Sal, came "from a little New Hampshire town, was the village belle, wore spit curls, rhinestone combs and all that sort of things till some underdone Dart
mouth freshman took her to Winter Carnival and she saw she'd found her lifework." What that lifework was Miss Dorothy Speare, who is, we think, one of our Lake Winnepesaukee summer residents, describes very frankly, giving a word. painting of our younger generation taking the easy descent to Avernus with a cocktail in one hand and a cigarette in the other that is almost shocking. That it isn't quite so is because we know so many college boys and college girls who do not bear the slightest resemblance to Jerry and Sal and Felicie, to Packy and Twinky and Dum, and because we think the latter are very much in the minority in spite of the tremendous amount of publicity given the foolish "flappers" and their kind. Miss Speare writes well. She has created one character, "Jerry" that will stay in the mind longer than most figures of modern fiction. Her descriptions of Bohemian Boston are almost duplicated by newspaper reports of recent investigations by coroners and detectives at the Hub. So we cannot take many exceptions to either her material or her manner of using
it save to say that we hope her next story will have a less lurid and more convincing background. The George H. Doran Company, New York, publishes "Dancers in the Dark" at $1.75.
Uncle Mary by Isla May Mullins (Page, Boston, $1.75) is announced as "a novel for young or old." and those in both classes who have en
joyed the half dozen stories from this author's pen previously published will welcome her new work. Those who have made the acquaintance of "Uncle Mary" before will be glad to hear that her wedding, in the next to the last chapter, was "the biggest doings that Sunfield ever saw."
The St. Botolph Society, 53 Beacon Street, Boston, has issued a new edition of "Omar the Tentmaker," the historical romance by Nathan Haskell Dole first published in 1898. When one thinks how few of the thousand books that saw the light in that year still retain life, the evidence of the merit in Mr. Dole's story is realized.
By Sarah Jackson.
In summer when the sky is bright
I seem to hear it hiss and roar