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In the Hornsey Division of Middlesex there are more than two thousand outside voters, who have a property qualification and are nonresident. These men poured in from the Stock Exchange and elsewhere, thus swamping the votes of genuine electors. At present a house can confer three votes, one to the ground landlord, one to the leaseholder, and one to the occupier. The property owners often have votes in a dozen constituencies, and thus override resident householders.
An eminent London divine says : “Food is only a bribe to the appetite." It is nothing of the kind ; it is fuel to the fire. The days of begrimed, unwashed monks, and theologians preaching semi-starvation as a means of grace are drawing to a close. The welfare of the body is as essential to the happiness of man as that of the mind or soul, and must be fully regarded to produce high types of character. When the working classes wake up to realise what a goodly heritage they are being illegally robbed of, there will be fewer people bribing their appetites with narcotics and alcohol, and more enjoying those privileges Nature provides for all the children of men.
RECEIVED. Kapunda Herald (Kapunda), Labour Tribune, Canadian Labor Reformer (Toronto), Scottish Highlander, Highland News, Carpenter (Philadelphia). Weekly 'Star (San Francisco), True Witness (Montreal), The Workman (Michigan), Credit Foncier of Sinaloa (Hammonton, New Jersey), Church Reformer, Temperance Record, Victorian Freeman (Melbourne), Honesty (Melbourne). Preston Pilot, Le Prolétariat (Paris), Irish World (New York), Evansville Courier
Evansville, Ind.), Standard (New York), Crown of Glory (Newark, N.J.), John Swinton's Paper (New York), Workmen's Advocate (New Haven), Irish Trade (Limerick), United Ireland, Brotherhood, Newcastle Chronicle, Melbourne Argus, Jubilee Book (Church of England Temperance Society), Sea Music (Walter Scott), Early English Poetry (Walter Scott, Newcastle-on-Tyne), Defoe's Captain Singleton (The Camelot Series, Walter Scott), Life of Carlyle, by Richard Garnett (Walter Scoti).
Who are responsible for the Plan of Campaign but the men who last autumn refused to make concessions in order to save Irish lives which concessions they now make to keep themselves in office.
VALUE OF LAND AND BUILDINGS IN THE
The Parliamentary Committee on town, one of the simplest subjects for consideraholdings has sat through two sessions, tion. House property consists of two and is about to present the evidence to | factors, the land and the building. The the House without a report. For the | land is supplied by nature and the building
ons and recommendations of the is added by industry. Value comes to Committee we shall have to wait another | land without effort on the owner's part. year. This delay is to be regretted; it Buildings are the result of laborious effort. appears to be unnecessary, as the subjects On which property should taxes be referred to the Committee are of pressing placed ? importance and do not involve very com
At present land is not taxed or rated plicated considerations.
unless it becomes the subject of industry. The question of leasehold enfranchise
If it be cultivated or built upon, the value ment is tolerably plain to an ordinary
is included in the assessment, but the mind. Injustice and difficulty arise from
cultivator or builder is required to pay the fact that landlords, who are neces
the amount. In no case is the land. sarily monopolists, often decline to allow
owner called upon for any rate, or any land to be used for building except on a
tax except the income-tax. lease, and with the condition that the
The consequences of the present buildings erected become the property of
system, and a method for its partial cure, the landlord at the termination of the
are pointed out by the Royal Commission period. When the lease of a given on the Housing of the Working Classes, locality is about to fall in, industry is who report as follows :paralysed by uncertainty, and the land
“At present land available for building in the lord, if he renews the lease, often exacts
neighbourhood of our populous centres, though its
capital value is very great, is probably producing not only the value of thelandand buildings,
a small yearly return until it is let for building. but adds a large sum in consideration of The owners of land are rated, not in relation to the business goodwill which attaches to the real value but to the actual annual income. the spot. Under these circumstances
They can thus afford to keep their land out of the
market, and to part with only small quantities, su the fruits of personal industry are con
as to raise the price beyond the natural monopoly fiscated, and the development of trade is price which the land would command by its prevented. The leading facts respecting advantages of position. Meantime, the general leaseholds could be collected by any
expenditure of the town on improvements is
increasing the value of their property. If this land business man in a month, and a person of
were rated at, say 4 per cent. on its selling value, ordinary intelligence could say after con the owners would have a more direct incentive to sideration for a week or two whether in part with it to those who are desirous of building, his opinion existing evils can or cannot be
and a two-fold advantage would result to the
community. First, all the valuable property mitigated by legislation.
would contribute to the rates, and thus the Our Parliamentary Committee post burden on the occupiers would be diminished pones the consideration of the evidence by the increase in the rateable property; until the third year of its existence.
Secondly, the owners of the building land This delay probably arises from the fact
would be forced to offer their land for sale, and
thus their competition with one another would that the Committee is largely composed
bring down the price of building land, and so of men who are directly interested in the diminish the tax in the shape of ground-rent or existing state of things and are in no price paid for land which is now levied on urban hurry to make amendment. In the
enterprise by the adjacent landowners, a tax, be it
remembered, which is no recompense for any ordinary affairs of life we seek judicial
industry or expenditure on their part, but it is the assistance from impartial and uninterested natural result of the industry and activity of the persons, but when a land question has to townspeople themselves." be considered the tribunal is usually com The Commissioners thus show that posed largely of landowners.
freedom from taxation enables landowners The taxation of ground rents, which to keep back from use the land which has also been referred to the Committee, they control, and thus they eventually is even less complicated than the enfran obtain higher prices than would otherwise chisement of leaseholds. It is, in fact, | be possible.
The argument used by the Com- | suffering, the injustice, the overcrowding, missioners will be best illustrated by an the starvation, which arises from the actual fact. Brockwell Park, near Herne existing system, and which must increase Hill Station, consists of 100 acres of land, and intensify if that system be conwhich, twenty-five years ago, were worth tinued. £ 500; they are now worth £1,500 per acre. In order to ascertain the actual value of The increase in value has been £4,000 land and the value of buildings in the per annum. The owner pays in rates £81 Metropolis, information has been sought per annum, being assessed at the supposed from land agents and others as to the agricultural value of the land. If the plan terms of recent leases or sales. recommended by the Commissioners were Particulars have been ascertained of adopted, the owner would be rated at 4 59 cases, and it is believed that these per cent. on £150,000, or £6,000 per examples give a fair indication of the annum, and would pay in rates about actual value of land throughout the Me£1,525 per annum instead of £81. This tropolis. They represent various districts land is now being let for building at 8s. and circumstances. The cases have not per foot frontage, and the moment it been selected. All the instances of which comes into the occupation of tradesmen details could be obtained have been used. or working-men, it will be assessed at its Where the rack rent could not be ascerfull value. Why should it not be taxed tained, and the cost of the building was at that value while it remains in the enjoy known, 8 per cent. on the outlay has been ment and possession of the original land allowed, and this added to the ground lord ?
rent has been given as the rack rent. Even thus the landlord would benefit, Two cases have been introduced of without labour, to more than double the old buildings where the rent paid really extent he would be called upon to pay in represents only the value of the land. rates. The tax upon him would not check | The buildings are scarcely worth keeping industry, for he has exercised none. But in repair. The property would be worth a tax cannot be placed upon buildings | quite as much if they were removed. A without checking development. This good deal of property in London is in a may be also illustrated by reference to a similar condition, and this fact must be fact. Opposite the entrance to Brockwell taken into account in estimating the Park are some small shops, and behind value of land. these shops are railway arches. Some of Very much higher ground rents are paid these arches are rented by the shopkeepers. than appear in any of the cases named. One of the shopkeepers desired to enclose Instances have been given before the the open end of the archway in order to Town Holdings Committee in which the protect his goods from the weather. He ground rent absorbed for many years all proceeded to enclose it, but during the the rent obtained for the property, and it progress of the work he ascertained that was shown by the evidence of Mr. Ryde if the archway were enclosed the rates that 30s. to 40s. per foot per annum is payable would be increased 255. per sometimes paid for land. This sum reannum. This he could not afford to pay, presents two or three times over the and therefore stopped the enclosure. The value of any ordinary buildings which foundation of this small work may now be could be placed upon it. No such exseen without the intended structure, and treme instances have been met with in small as the instance is, it shows the the present enquiry, and therefore none paralysing effect of taxing industry.
such appear in the table. On the other Probably no one will defend the present hand it is probable that land has been state of things. But many persons object recently let for building on terms lower to any change in our system of taxation than any instance mentioned. because such change disturbs values and It must be borne in mind that the bears with more or less hardship on recent object of the enquiry is not to ascertain investors. It is quite true that no altera the amount of ground rent paid, but the tion in taxation can be made without purpose is to discover the actual value of inflicting some undeserved losses upon land as distinguished from the cost or individuals, but against such losses we value of the buildings placed upon the have to regard the paralysis of trade, the land.
TABLE SHOWING THE VALUE OF LAND AND THE VALUE OF BUILDINGS IN THE METROPOLIS IN 59 CASES.
Rack Rent Rent
Land. Building St. Paul's CHURCHYARD, formerly the site of St. Paul's School. Let by the Mercers' Company, 1886
5,700 SAVILE-ROW, No. 15 ...
300 ... PARK-LANE, Nos. 42, 43, 44. Leased in 1885
3,500 Corner of EASTCHEAP and Philpot-lane. Lease from Drapers' Company about 1882
3,300 ... 8,000 HEDDON-STREET, behind Piccadilly. Leased 1885. Warehouses ...
376 ... 776 WHITECHAPEL (Middens-street). Warehouses ...
50 ... 170 EASTCHEAP (Botolph House). Ground rent just sold at 26 vears' purchase ... "" brough Mansions).
2,286 5,600 VICTORIA-STREET, WesTMINSTER (Marlborough Mansions). Ground rent recently sold for 24 years' purchase
2,500 8,000 DENMARK Hill, 3 houses. Ground rent recently sold by
auction at 24 years' purchase ... Goswell-ROAD, CLERKENWELL (Charterhouse-buildings) ... 500
1,500 HAMPSTEAD (Church-place). Ground rent recently sold at 237 years' purchase
1,100 Gray's INN-ROAD (Duncan-buildings). Ground rent recently sold for 24 years' purchase ...
1,400 Earl's Court (House, Bramham-gardens) STREATHAM (Leigham Court-road) :
150 Tulse Hill (16 houses, situated in Court-road, Christchurch
road, Thurlow Park-road, Perran-road, Palace-road, Lancaster-road, Norwood-road, Chatsworth-road, Romola-road, and Deerbrook-road). Particulars supplied by Messrs. Bayliss and Co., Tulse-hill
216 ... 1,124 OLD BROAD-STREET. Original ground rent, £400 a year, has
now 38 years to run. It has just been sold for £15,000 600 ... 1,300 BLACKFRIARS (Victoria-walk). Ground rent, 31 years to run,
at £450 a year. For this lease £17,000 has been recently offered and declined .
450 ... 1,750 New BRIDGE-STREET, No. 5 (old building). House not worth
keeping in repair, but allow for it £ 50 per annum, and the balance of the rack rent represents the value of the land ...
250 ... 350 SHOP in Fleet Street (old building). Rent £300, allow for house £75 ...
225 ... Twenty-THREE Houses, as per list from Temperance Build
ing Society of cases brought under their notice during
709 JEWIN-STREET, No. 18. Lease 79 years, ground rent £140,
sold for £1,400, which at 8 per cent. would give a rental
of £112 per annum above the ground rent ... ... 140 .. 252 STOCKWELL-ROAD (Tramway Stables). Ground rent £70, outlay £2,000.' No frontage, access through an archway 70 ... 230
£16,176 £ 43,511 The above table shows the annual amount of ground rent to be £16,176 and the rack rent £43,511.
gross rateahi, rack rent
193 per per annum
The question then arises what deduction must be made from the rack rents in order to arrive at the announts actually paid. The gross rateable value of the Metropolis is a little over £37,000,000 per annum and the net rateable value £30,000,000. Of the value assessed 93 per cent. is collected, thus showing a reduction of 27 per cent. The rack rents must be reduced in nearly the same proportion, but in order to be within safe limits 20 per cent. only is deducted from the rack rents, thus reducing the £ 43,511 to £34,809.
With the land rents a different process must be adopted. In many cases land. lords are paid ground rents on property which does not appear on the rate book, either because the buildings have not yet been let, or from their removal and rebuilding. There is much land of great value for building not yet let, and which should be rated at its value in accordance with the recommendations of the Royal Commissioners on the Housing of the Poor. The landlord enjoys not only the annual income but also the reversion, and large profits on dilapidations, re-lettings, and other perquisites. On these considerations we add 20 per cent. to the value and bring up the total of the land rents in the examples given from £16,176 per annum to £19,411.
Deducting this amount (£19,411) from the rack rents (£34,809) there remains for the buildings, £15,398 per annum.
To discover the annual value of land and the value of buildings throughout the Metropolis we must multiply the examples given by 861 and a fraction, which will raise the total to £30,000,000 (the net rateable value). We thus see that the annual amount payable is :-For land, £16,728,830 ; Buildings, £13,271,170. Total, £30,000,000.
But to discover the true value of land and buildings we must capitalise the annual value of each at the same rate as a purchaser would pay.
For land, buyers will usually give 25 years' purchase. For buildings, 16 years' is perhaps a high average rate, thereforeTHE ANNUAL AND CAPITAL VALUE OF LAND AND BUILDINGS IS Land (annual value) ... €16,728,830 X 25 ... Capital value ... £418,220,750 Buildings (annual value) 13,271,170 X 16 ... Capital value ... 212,338,720
In London the industry and enterprise , industrious builder is taxed fourteen times of the people (not the enterprise of land | as much as the idle landlord on half the lords) has brought up the value of land value. to £418,220,750, and upon this enormous To state the case is to show its injustice, property the owners who enjoy the in but the injury arising from the system is come therefrom pay in taxation annually even greater than the injustice, and it is less than half-a-million, whereas builders not easy to estimate the loss and suffering pay more than seven millions a year in occasioned by a plan of taxation which taxation for property, the value of which paralyses industry and affords encourageis only worth £212,398,270. Thus the ment to idleness.
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION. I have just been travelling in the United It is evident to anyone who will think States, where the land and labour clearly about it that the first country questions are at the front, a matter which which adopts the policy of direct taxation cannot fail to be of interest to every other advocated by Mr. George will, other country of the civilised world.
things being equal, rapidly advance to The agitation which is gaining the foremost place among nations, and strength every day for increased taxation either compel all others to adopt the same of land values, together with the Treasury or have their trade ruined. accumulations of money from Customs' The people of such a country can dues, forces upon legislatures the removal manufacture more cheaply than any other, of taxation from industry and the abolition and can carry on agricultural and all of the tariff.
other pursuits to better advantage also,