OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 11, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-08-11/ed-1/seq-2/

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ryou invited persons interested in the
matter either way to offer further
suggestions to the board in writing.
Availing myself of this invitation, I
desire to call your attentions to an
indirect result which will follow re
ductions in the loop- district alone,
and which being indirecMs liable to
escape the notice of the public and
your board.
The assessors' valuations for the
city of Chicago for the year 1915
show an increase of 14 per cent in
the districts outside of the loop and
a like increase of 13 per cent only in
the loop district. A horizontal in
crease in the city theoretically should
not increase the taxes paid by any
property or district, as the rate de
creases in the proportion the values
Increase. If more taxes are levied the
proportion paid by each property or
district should be the same under a
horizontal increase in values. The
assessors' increase for 1915 was evi
dently a mixture of horizontal and
special increases, as it averages near
ly the same throughout the city.
Treating it as a horizontal increase,
which it mostly is, it should not in
crease taxes unless a greater amount
of taxes are levied, and if a greater
amount of taxes are levied it should
not increase the proportion paid by
any district over present valuations.
However, if you accede to the prop
osition of loop owners to reduce the
valuations in this district to the pres
ent figures, leaving the valuations in
othe districts unchanged, you will
thereby reduce the taxes paid by the
thpy now pay under the present valu
tions by approximately the sum of
$1,000,000, and transfer this amount
to the other districts to be there lev
ied and paid in addition to the taxes
they now pay under thep resent valu
ation. You will thus make the own
ers of loop properties a present of
$1,000,000 of their present taxes un
der present valuations, and levy upon
the other districts to raise this
amount in addition to the taxes now
paid by them.
The question, therefore, is not
whether properties in any district of
the city are valued too high for pur
poses of taxation, but the question is,
are the relative values of the proper
ties in the different districts correct?
According to the best expert opinion
as to city values, the loop is now
undervalued for assessment pur
poses by about 20 per cent, as com
pared with property in other districts
of the city. This opinion agrees with
what one would expect when it is re
membered that owners of loop prop
erties are better able to handle their
valuations before all bodies concern
ed than the smaller owners in other
parts of the city. And it is not sur
prising that this influence should
have produced an advantage in favor
of the loop of 20 per cent in its valu
ations; in fact, considering the pub
lic apprehension as to this special in
fluence on loop valuations in past
years, it is surprising that the dis
crepancy is not more.
, At any rate, I think no one will be
found who will now claim that loop
properties are over-valued for pur
poses of taxation as compared with
other parts of the city, and I think no
one will be found who will directly
advocate a proposition to relieve loop
properties of $1,000,000 of taxes paid
by them under present valuations and
increase the taxes on properties out
side of the loop to the extent of $1,
000,000 to make up the difference.
Yet this will be the result and the
only result of reducing the loop valu
ations to the old figures and leaving
the valuations in the other districts
unchanged. What is not directly
claimed and cannot be supported
should not be allowed to result by in
directtion by the mere juggling of
valuation figures throughout the dif
ferent sections of the city; in other
words, the increase in values made
by the assessors being general, it
should be dealt with in a general way
if the equities of all the districts in
the city are to be protected.

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