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The Boise Citizen
FRED FLOED'S PAPER VOL X BOISE, IDAHO. MAY 21, 1909 NO 25 The basic principle of Henry George's doctrine of the single I a ; c u o ci tax upon land values is to be given a trial in England if the budget , u m ; n ; ctrv : c „ A _. .. , , prepared by the present ministry is adopted by parliament and there F . ,, . a » c V. .,, , is hardly any doubt of its adoption. A tax of 20 per cent, will be . , ,, ■ _, , r , , . . . levied upon the increased value of lands at stated times. This is , . , -, r . i , . . the taking of a considerable portion of the unearned increment, as it is called, for the purpose of supporting the government. The tax will fall only upon land value and not upon the improvements and is a splendid vindication of the theory elaborated by Henry George. Llyod-George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented the matter to parliament in the following language : "Now I come to the question of land. The first conviction that i PROPOSED SYSTEM LONG STEP TOWARDS THE HENRY GEORGE DOCTRINE home in upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer who examines land as a subject for taxation is this: that in order to do justice he must draw a broad distinction between land whose value is purelv agricul tarai in its character and composition, and land which has'a special value attached to it owing either to the fact of its covering market-j able mineral deposits or because of its proximity to any concentra , , . , ., -.a tion of people. Agricultural land has not, during the past 20 or ■ . r . appreciated in value m this country. In some parts I know parts of the country where the 30 years, it has probably gone down. \alue has gone up. But there has been an enormous increase in the value of urban land and of mineral property. And a still more important and relevant consideration in examining the respective merits of these tw r o or three classes of claimants to taxation. The , . . . • „ , ... - , growth in the value, more especially of urban sites, is due to no ex 6 , . , ' , ,\ c ., , , , penditure of capital or thought on the part of the ground owner, but 1 , • j .u . r entire v owing to the energv and the enterprise of the community. ' ' . J? 4 . . -. ('Cries of Oh. ) \\ here it is not due to that cause, and where it . , ,. , „ , i • - n r. is due to any expenditure bv the urban owner himselt. full credit . . : . . . ... will be given to hint m taxation. I am dealing with cases which are , r , , ° , u due to the growth of the community, and not to anything done by , • 1 K. .1 r It is undoubtedly one of the worst e\ils ot the urban proprietor. our present system of land tenure that instead of reaping the benefit of the common endeavor of its citizens a community has always to pav a heavy penalty to its ground landlords for putting up the value of their land. * * * * Is it too much, is it inequitable, that Parliament should demand a special contribution from these fortunate owners towards the de fence of the country and the social needs of the unfortunate in the in the community, whose efforts have so matedially contributed to the opulence which they are enjoying? * * * One disastrous result of this is that land which is essential to the free and healthy development of towns is being kept out of the market in order to enhance its value, and that towns are cramped and people become overcrowded in dwellings which are costly without be ing comfortable. You have anlv to buy an ordinance survey map and put together the sheets which include some town of your ac quaintance and the land in its immediate vicinity, and you will see You will find, as a rule, your town or village at once what I mean. huddled in one corner of the map, dwellings jammed together as neai fill permit, with an occasional courtyard, into which the sunshine rarely creeps, but with nothing that would just if) the title of "garden." And yet outside square miles of land un occupied, or at least unbuilt upon ; land in the town seems to let by the grain, as if it were radium. * * * * "The same observations apply to the case of mineral royalties. There all the expenditure is incurred by the capitalist, who runs the risk of losing his capital, while the miner risks his life: and l do not think it is too much to ask the royalty owner, who has contributed no capital and runs no risk, to contribute in this emergency to bear the large burden that is cast upon us for the defence of the count' } • am to help to pay the large sum of money needed to make provision for social needs, for the aged, and for those who have been engaged in digging out mining royalties all their lives. "My present proposals are proposals both for taxation and for valuation. Although very moderate in character, they will produce an appreciable revenue in the present year and more in future years. I he proposals are three in number. hirst, it is proposed to levy a tax on cruing to land from the enterprise of the communit) oi \Ye do not propose to make this tax retrospec in value only, and will \\ e begin therefore with as the law of the land vv the increment of value ac the land ovvner s neighbors. five. It is to apply to future appreciation ■lot touch any increment already accrued, a valuation of all land at the price which it may be expected to 'ealize at the present time, and we propose to charge the duty only u P°n the additional value which the land may hereafter acquire. ^ he valuations upon the difference between which the tax \\ h x chargeable will be valuations of the land itselt apart f'otn . ln U' and of this difference, the strictly unearned to taxe one-fifth, or 20 per cent, tor the state. moment—the ex a nd other improvements— increment, we propose Me start with the valuation at the present isting value. We then continue the increment front that point. the increment which the landlord ith tthe valua We propose to charge 20 per cent, on ■cceives, ascertained bv comparing what he receives w tio " be made immediately after tins bill. °'i the transfer of sale, and on the passing of the prop - property on . . ert - v u pon death; and if there is any increment which is not • ne tx penditure bv the landowner himself on improvements, but mereiy to the appreciation of land n the neghborhood owng to the ! growth of population or some other cause, then the same charge would be made on that increment. Corporations (which do not I die) will pay upon property owned by them at stated intervals of I years, being allowed the option of spreading the payment of the I duty upon the increment accruing in one period over the following ! period by annual installments. * * * Upon the creation of a lease or upon the transfer of an inter ; e-t in land only such proportion of the increment duty will be payable j as the value of the lease or of the transferred interest l>ears to the ! '.' aIu f ° f the fee simple ° f the land ' and increment d "ty once P aid wiU trank the increment of the portion of the increment in respect of -, - -, , . , . U which it has been paid trom any lurther charge of the duty. As re . , . J , s , , gards the duty payable on the occasion of the grant of a lease, p ro : . . . . 1 , vision will lie made for pavment by installments, inasmuch as in such - . , , circumstances no capital sum is available lor pavment of the dutv. * j I I BEAUTIFYING A CITY Boise is one of the most beautiful state capitals in the United States, but our citizens will be forced to sit up and take notice or it will be left far behind by Madison, Wisconsin, concerning which tbe Lewiston 1 ribune prints the following. Madison, \Yis„ which is credited with a population of 25.000, has marken a £ oal far U P on the he, S hts ' h has determined to 1)ecome the most 1)63111,1111 ,n the COuntr >' Sonie "' bat lts ! )eo P le have 1)6611 ms P ,red w,th th,s ambltlon by the natural teaut> ' which surrounds them. Low but graceful hills begirt the town, and s & it lies between two lakes that are connected bv a stream. These 1 resources alone would fire the imagination and give restless energy (to the hands of a people having less than the normal instinct for beautv. The people of Madison have been moved to utilize their re To this end an associaton. made up, of course, of the most With a sources. public spirited citizens, was tormed more than a year ago. 1 * , „ , ... . ., . , , „ , part of the first money collected, which was contributed by a tew 1 , . . . . ,-. , , ~ wealthy men of the place it emploved a landscape architect of Bos - % , ... . . „ . - ton to make a plan ot beautification. The plan he made called for . 1 . , .. . £ œ u -, i the destruction ot several blocks of stores, office buildings and .. private residences, the ground to be made into an esplanade that 1 ° , . . will sen e as an approach to the state house now being constructed . . , , a a to replace the one partly destroyed by fire five years ago. 1 . 1 : , ... ... , , tended that flanking this esplanade, which will extend from Capitol park to the high embankment rising from the shore of one of the lakes "shall be all the public buildings that may be erected in the furture." The plan called also for several parks and a rami hing driveway, and for the planting of trees and flowers innumerable. With this plan, of whose items we have given only a few. as the chart of its purpose the association set out to get the money necessary As this would require several years, it asked citizens It is in to execute it. to agree to give whatever they could yearly toward the cost of the No legal obligation w as required of any one. It was thought work. that as the plan began to unfold its beauty, the growing interest and pride of the citizens would hold the subscribers faithful to their So far this faith has been abundantly justified. The promises. amounts of the yearly subscriptions run from $1.000 down to S-V which is indicative of how general this ambition has pervaded all classes of citizens, and at a meeting held recently it was announced that $201,669 had been collected in this way. the city government had appropriated $103.000 to improve its own property in conformity with the adopted plan of beautifying, and the railroads were persuaded to spend $56.000 in making some changes that were necessary to execute the plan with fidelity. Park sites have been In addition to this. The work of execution is well under way. bought and are in process of development. Drivew ays have been laid out. and already 141.000 trees and shrubs have been planted. The hole scheme is divided into units, and no unit undertaken until the Thus the work is made a series of v money to complete it is in hand, finished tasks, each giving the ambition and energy to complete the next, for the rewards of achiev ement come in quick succession, and the consummation of the whole conception, although the work of years, is virtually assured, and not only will it. in numerous ways, profit from its enterprise and energy, but it will find as much pleasure in its work as it will get the finished task: and when it comes to rest and behold the it has created, it will realize that, as the by-product of its It will become the "model capital city." i rom beauty labor, it has made a public spirit that will be a heritage to future generations. Aldrich never stated a truth more bluntly than when he proph esied that he would be there after Roosevelt was gone, knowledged leader of the Republican party there is none to dispute President Taft is cutting a sorry As the ac ith the Rhode Island senator, figure in the tariff legislation. V. President Taft should read up on President Cleveland's utter at the time of the passage of the Wilson tariff bill after Gorman The Aldrich bill will Does President Taft ance had got through amending it in the senate, be equally an act of "perfidy and dishonor. " possess the courage to say so? Is he satis \\ hat kind of a tariff does President Taft favor? fled to let Aldrich, the special advocate of the trusts frame the bill? \nd where does the president stand on the income tax? Senators Borah and Cummins each want the other to put the Rather a dangerous undertaking as the mice con was advanced to bell the cat. bell on Aldrich, eluded when the proposition MEETING OF PIONEERS OREGONIAN RECALLS THE DaYS OF THE OX TEAM IN CROSSING THE PLAINS Those early pioneers of Idaho who crossed the plains to the Oregon country will appreciate the following from the Oregonian : Attractive posters, conspicuously printed in blue on white paper, announce the meeting in this city June 11 of the thirty-seventh annual feunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association. The meeting will be held, not in the Armory, as for some years past, but in the commodi ous auditorium of the Masonic Temple. Embellishing the posters containing the announcement are the covered wagons, i. e.. wagons over which canvas is tightly stretched, drawn by long lines of oxen. Neither picture nor description can give more than a superficial idea of these wagons—the homes of pioneers for full half a year, as they journeyed at first by pleasant, later by painful, stages, but always moving slowly from the Missouri River to the Columbia in the fourth and fifth decades of the past century. To be appreciated these wagons must be seen. Candor compels the statement that close inti macy with these old covered wagons for a period of half a year de tracts somewhat from any romance that may have been woven around them at first glance as an ideal means of conveyance. But such as they w ere, they held and still hold a place in the his tory of the most strenuous, and at the same time, the most w onderful movement of homeseekers in relatively recent years. It is, indeed, practically inconceivable that any prudent, responsible head of a fam ily should have yoked oxen to these lumbering, clumsy vehicles, Stored them with bacon and hardtack, with dried apples and rice as an occasional luxury': such bedding and clothing as were absolutely necessary (which thus gauged was mighty little) mounted delicate women and from eight to a half score of children atop of the load and struck out through a practically trackless wilderness swarming with Indians whose temper was at best uncertain, on a journey of sev eral thousand miles. Yet this was the American emigration movement during the decades above designated .and its results brought to the far Oregon country its first settlers .its subsequent state-makers, a courageous company of aien. women and children, the suvivors of whom are hailed, honored and feasted upon this annual occasion as pioneer-. These were people who. in their youth were of determined will, dauntless courage and enduring physical filier. Yet it must be said, in the light of experience, that ignorance of what this great emi gration movement really meant in danger, fatigue, impoverishment, sickness, privation and death stood them in the stead of courage. Otherwise the long journey, with its hazards to the helpless, would not have been undertaken under the conditions that attended it. But undertaken it was by hundreds of adventurous homeseekers from 1840 to 1S*>0. Within the limits of these two decades there were good years and bad years, as reckoned bv the vicissitudes that Now the Indians. attended these w anderers on the wav. over whose hunting grounds these dusty caravan- crept slowly, day after day, w ere hostile to the movement and hung upon the rear of the crawling columns menacingly ; again, they were seemingly friendly, though w ith ev er a wary eye upon the rifles that hung to the wagon bows. Polluted water and unsanitary food caused much sickness and without remedial agencies or know ledge w herew ith to control it. there were in the years of the heaviest emigration many deaths. Still the "covered wagons" jolted forward, the eyes of the sur viving tenants anxiously scanning the western horizon until finally a hait was called and homebuilding in a most primitive way. began. It was thus that the foundations of the state were laid. Its history in detail has never been, never can be. told. Lips that struggled with the narration in neighborly wav in the early years have become silent : bodies that literally beat themselves out against conditions of poverty and isolation that slow to yield, have returned to dust : little graves made by pitying neighbors in secluded corners of land claims have been leveled by time and obliterated by the plowshares of plenty and from an isolated community, literally scratching for a living in a beautiful wilderness, Oregon has grown to be a prosperous, populous state ;the covered wagon has become a memory —the slow-moving oxen little more than a tradition representing an impossible means of transportation. Detriot Free Press:—It was the former custom to select city mottoes from the dead languages, but now they are live ones and aim to attract attention without the aid of an interpreter. Detroit's is of that kind and Topeka makes a hit with "Topeka Kan.. Tope ka Will." This not only ignores the classics but takes !il>erties vv i the much-disorganized rules of spelling, yet it is calculated to arouse a good-humored feeling toward the pushing young city. "You'll like Tacoma." is also a late motto. It does sound like a municipal war cry, but it carries the impression of calm assurance and will give the rival City of Seattle a chance to adopt something more in tense with a sharper ring. How would some of these serve: "San Francisco shakes things up:" .'Milwaukee never brews trouble:" "Pittsburg Smokes and makes it pay:" New York tempers the wind io the lambs it shears:" "Boston is the lustiest of the has-beans;" "Washington leads in all but liaseball?" it So the Republicans really intend to revise the tariff upwards in spite of the speeches of Candidate Taft and other party spokesmen. Truly there is but one leader of the plutocratic controlled party and his name is Aldrich.