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The University of North Carolina news letter. online resource (None) 1914-1944, July 15, 1925, Image 1

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The news in this publi cation is released for the press on receipt. THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA NEWS LETTER Published Weekly by the University of North Caro lina for the University Ex tension Division. JU^Y 15, 1925 » CHAPEL HILL, N C. THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS VOL. XI, NO. 35 Edito.ial Boar,!. E. C. Branson, S. H. Hobbs, Jr.. L. R. Wilson. E. W. KniKhc. D. D. Carroll. J. B. Bullitt, H. W. Odum. Entered as second-class matter November U. 1914, at the Postoffiee at Chapel Hill. N. C.. under the act of Auttuat 24. 1912 PEOGMM FOR TAX STUDY CLUBS Hi. TAX.^iBLE WEALTH (It is saggosted that two people, A and B, handle this section.) , A. Outline A-1. Locat Government and the Gen eral Property Tax: Thef'principal source ot revenue. Is it a good tax? 2. The Ratio of Wealth'to Tax Rate: Increase in taxables may mean decrease in rate. High valuations may^mean low rates. Low valuations may mean high rates. Are taxables increasing'as fast as the cost of government? 3. Real Estate (rural): Acres of land listed compared with area of county. Total value and'per acre value. Valuations compared with those of similar counties. Cultivated land,;^ percent of to tal. Value per acre. Waste land, percent of total. Value per^acre. Pasturage, percent of total. Value per acre. Forest land, percent of total. Value per acre. Tax valuations compared with mark^ prices. The Constitution requires that ali. property be listed its . true value in money. Is that the practice? 4. Real Estate (urban): Number of town lots, 1913 and iSfiio. Has the increase.been normal? Compare valuations with those of other cities. Compare valuations with sale prices. Wbat is the basis of assessing vacant lots? Are they all listed? Is there a real estate map? 6. Personalty (tangible): Amount of personalty exempt ed from taxation. Class of personalty exempted. Compare tax abstracts with vis ible property. Percentage of personalty listed. Percent of true value at which it is listed. Suggest changes in the law. Suggest changes in method of listing. 6. Personalty (intangible); Solvent credits: Bank deposits. Motes and mortgages. Stocks and bonds. Solvent credits offset by indebt edness. Homestead indebtedness half deducted. When? Are solvent credits being listed in your county? If not, why not? What is double taxation? Suggest changes in the law rel ative to intangible property. B-1. Corporations: Number corporations in county. What can be done to others? Are corporations in collusion with county officials? Are corporations assessed at true value? 2. Polls:' Ratio of polls to population. Ratio of polls to votes cast. Compare these ratios with those of other counties. Should there be a poll tax? Should it be higher? Is farm land listed at 100 percent of its market price? Are town lots? What is a progressive land tax? Should the taxing power be used to encourage home and farm ownership? How? Should there be any tax-exempt se curities? ' How are mortgagee and mortgager taxed under the recent homestead act? D. Sources of Information Frank W. Taussig. Principles of Eco- Macrnillan Company, New York, 1915. Chapter 69 (The General pp. 528-549. (Any good textbook in Economics may be substituted). North Carolina Revenue and Machin ery Act, 1925. Consolidated Statutes of North Caro lina. ^ County Tax Books. Conferences with Tax-listers. Tax Supervisor, and Register of Deeds.— Paul W. Wager. Church Property. Cemeteries. Charitable institutions Public institutions. ! B. Explanation The principal source of revenue for. local governments is the general prop- ; erty -fcax. This tax was devised i.5 the days before industrial development and when land was the chief form of wealth. ^ In the colonial period and in the early days of statehood, almost everyone held landed property, and his income was roughly in proportion to his prop erty. Professional men were few; and they were usually owners of houses and land, and were taxed on these. Mer chants had visible stocks of goods, and they also as a rule owned real estate in addition. All were reached by the property tax and in fair proportion to their ability to pay. But as the com munity ceases to be simple and homo geneous, property and income no longer run side by side. Many people with large incom:^s own little property.'-Tn- comes of lawyers, physicians, and other professional men, of salaried officials, of prosperous mechanics, of property- less laborers, and so on, are not sourced in property. Even the income of a businessman has but a Iqose-relation to his property holdings. Strictly speak ing, of course, there is no such thing as a tax on, property. The tax comes not out of the property, but out 'of the incomes of property owners. There fore, when property holdings cease to bear any direct relation to'.income, the property tax should be supplemented by other forms of taxation, and so,it has for state purposes. There are other aspects of the gen eral property tax which are discrimina ting. Not all property gets entered on the tax books. Land and buildings, machinery, farm animals, and the more bulky forms of property cannot be con cealed, but there are many forms of intangible property which can be con cealed. Very much depends on the honesty of the owner. Stocks, bonds, mortgages, and all other evidences of wealth are income-producing property. They may yield a larger, and more cer tain income than land and houses, yet the larger part of such property is not listed for taxation. Evasion is the rule, not the exception. The general property tax in its appli cation to intangible property is hap hazard, ineffective, productive of small revenues, and demoralizing alike to taxpayers and tax officials. Yet, to ex cuse, or reduce the rate on intangible property would be an unfair discrimina tion against real estate and would dis courage home and farm ownership. So long as a county is largely agri cultural a general property tax serves very well, but as a county becomes in , dustrialized, i local government should be devised. I But until there is a complete over- I hauling of our tax system there is only i one possible course to follow—that is, to endeavor to get all taxable property on {the books, and at a uniformly high val- i nation. Just as an increasing tax rate n. WATER POWER There are four sources of electric power which may be made available for service in rural districts. These are (1) power generated locally by falling water, (2) power generated locally by steam, (3) power generated locally by internal combustion engines, and (4) power generated at a distance by a large power company, transmitted to the rural district, and purchased from the company by rural consumers. No one of these sources is best for all lo calities. In determining what source of elec tricity shall be used, cost of power and reliability of service are the chief fac tors to be considered. The advantages and disadvantages of the four sources of power will be considered in this series of articles largely from these two stand points. This and the succeeding article deal with local water power. In generating power by falling water the two principal elements to be con- THE DOCTOR OF THE FUTURE A Health Counsellor The medical schools of many coun tries, especially, perhaps, those of _ North America, Great Britain, and to j sidered are (1) amount of water avail a less degree of Western Continental i and (2) the distance through which Europe, are facing several problems of the water can be made to fall. The curriculum, of teaching methods, of i power which can be produced by falling purpose and of aim. An 'American com-1 water may be estimated by multiplying mitted' has been formed to examine the | the number of cubic feet of water flow- course of study in the United States j jpg each second by the number of feet and to recommend changes. This com-. the water can be made to fall and di- mitLee will be expected to find answers ! viding the product by eleven. The re- to such questions as these: What kind j suit is the horsepower that can be de- or kinds of doctors ought the medical | veloped assuming eighty percent effi- school to turn out in response to the ciency of the plant. This may be ex needs and demands of the public? What pressed as a simple formula thus: should graduates know and be able to j g h do? How best can they be hdiped to j 82 master this knowledge and skill? How : Where Q No. of cubic feet of water can they be given the right attitude; flowing each second, toward their work? ; G . No. of gallons of water flow- Probably three-quarters of ali doctors i ing each second, today are general practitioners, that is, ! h No. of feet through which physicians whose aim it is to recognize : water can be made to fall, diseases, to deal with all the more com-; Thus if it is found that there are 100 mon maladies by advice and treatment, • cubic feet of water per second flowing and to know when to refer patients to ; in a stream (equivalent to 746 gallons specialists. This' general practitioner , per second) and the water can be made is at present facing many difficulties, to fall 22 feet, then there can be pro purposes, and pumping units can be operated on extremeli"^ small streams,' which flow as little as 10 gallnhs per minute. It should be emphasized that steel overshot wheels are greatly to be preferred to wooden wheels. The wood en wheels have many disadvantages and in the long run are more expensive to operate than the steel wheels. In the next article the water turbine and impulse wheel will be discussed, together with some elements to be con sidered in choosing the proper type and size of installation.—Thorndike Saville. ‘duced 100 X 22 200 horsepower. Sim- The specialist tends to monopolize pres tige and to receive relatively much' li larger fees. Laboratory and ,hos»pitaI pie methods for measuring the amount facilities which the modern doctor ought of water flowing and the fall are de- to have are expensive and often inac- scribed in detail in Farmers’ Bulletin cessible. Sanitation and preventive No. 1430, entitled Power for the Farm medicine are restricting and even elimi-; from Small Streams, which can be ob- nating diseases like typhoid and mala- tained free by writing to U. S. Depart- ria, which once afforded a good deal of ment of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. practice. Free and pay clinics, school It, can be seen from the formula and industrial medical services, health : given that if we have a high fall we insurance (under government auspices ' don’t need as much water to develop a in Germany and England), hospital' given amount of power as if the fall is associations and all efforts to spread low. Conversely, if we have plenty of costs of sickness over large population ^ water, we won’t need to have so high groups,, and other forms of social medi-' a fall. ;• cine tend to encroach upon what was attract taxables from the books, a de-. creasing tax rate attracts taxables. A relatively low tax rate not only makes it easier to get intangible property list ed, but it attracts outside capital into the county. Abundance of taxable wealth and efficient government are the only means by which to secure a reason able tax rate. C. Questions for Thought What efforts are being made to in crease the taxable wealth of your Should it be required of women? county? Married? Single? DogvS: How much does dog tax yield? Are the dogs all listed for tax ation? Are the dog taxes all collected^ What is the penalty for failure to pay dog tax? I Could the idle land be put to any profitable use? Is your county increasing or decreas ing in population? Why? Does diversified agriculture increase taxables? What is the relation of tenancy to i taxable wealth? To what fund are the dog taxes [ Is your tenancy ratio increasing or applied? ' j decreasing?' Compare number of dogs in i What should be the basis of taxing county with number of sheep;; timber land? oows. I What steps ar^ being taken toward Compare dog values with those I reforestation? PLANNING THE VILLAGE In the United States nearly 20,000,000 people, or about one-fifth of the popula tion, live in villages. These tens of thous ands of villages are also the service sta tions of more than 30,000,000 farming people, for purposes of business, educa tion. religion, health, a-id social well being. Thus the lives of almost half of our population are intimately affected by village conditions. These people classed as “rural” by the census, pro duce practically all of our food supply, send leaders into nearly all walks of life, and are the chief conservators of our national ideals. The approaches, arrangement, sani tation, and attractiveness of these vil lages, upon which a sound and healthy economic and social country life de pends, are of vital importance to the half of our population living in the vil lages or using them throughout a life time. Villages should be easy of access; approaches should de direct, durable, and enjoyable. Physical layouts should be based on naturalness, healthfulness, and convenience; housing conditions should be sanitary, convenient, and economical; dwellings should be satis factory to the eye and set in pleasant surroundings. There should be clean and well-kept lawns, tree-b(»rdered streets, and good architecture. Dump heaps and congested places should give way to open spaces; and public parks and playgrounds, lake shores, spots of natural beauty, and points of historic interest should be set aside for the use and enjoyment of all. Public buildings should be so located and arranged as to facilitate business efficiency and stimu late civic priile. All villages can not have all these improvements at once,- but they can overcome self-satisfaction and’plan spe cifically for the betterment of condi tions. The sooner these charges are planned, the more easily they will be realized year by year, even though only one improvement at a time can be made. The plan can be drawn before the vil lage is started, taking into account ex isting natural conditions and allowing ' for necessary changes in the future. If the plan is flexible and the goal is always kept in view, the village may easily di rect its growth and development, thus avoiding the necessity ofjmaking itself over later under great difficulties and at great expense. The day of isolationihas passed. No longer can villages afford to be ugly and unknown. Modern;? methods of transportation and communication have opened up the hidden,;;places. Millions of tourists travei;thousands of miles an nually over improved|highways. Euro pean villages have long realized the eco nomic value of the tourist traffic and have prepared to take ?advantage of it. They have found that beauty pays, and discovered the inefficiency^of the com monplace and the efficacy'of individual ity and physical distirtction in towns as well as in people. ^ Village planning, whether original or continuous, is not merely a theoretical idea. It is the foresighted application I of ordinary business methods in the remediable physical and mental defects | making of public and private improve- He will survive only if he can win 1 which are so common. This will mean! ments, so that physical development lu- , , . , 2, , There are three kinds of machinery supplementary taxes for I “"‘'illations which we may use in de- There are people who as-, veloping small water powers. The steel sert that this type of physician is overshot water wheel is the simplest, doomed; that he will disappear because Xhese-wheels are very efficient and sat- he cannot compete with the specialist jgfactory for small installations up to' on the one hand and with preventive about 60 horsepower. The steel over- and social medicine on the other. ; water wheel is cheap and easy to Such an outcome is to be viewed with i operate. I-fe has a wide usefulness in concern. The well-trained, properly • developing water power when the quan- equipped, experienced general practi-1 tity of water availaWfe is from 1 to 30 tioner of ability, character, and person- i cubic feet per second, andiwhen the fall 'alityis a fundamentally valuable per- available is not greater than 25 feet. It son. vHe is a good diagnostician. He j is to be preferred to the more compli- sees his patient as a whole. He knows cated and costly turbines for the con- his peculiarities and circumstances. He i ditions just mentioned, and will satis- can decide when to refer him to a spe-' factoriiy operate farm /power plants, cialist and when to protect him against' small mills, etc., where the power re* the very real danger which is threat-1 quirements do not ^exceed from 6 to 60 ened by a narrowly specialist point of; horsepower. Waterwheels of^the type view. He cheers and encourages, warns ■ described are made by the Fity Water and commands- He is not only a phy- Wheel Company of Hanover, Pennsyl- sician but a friend and counsellor. The ■ vania, and by the Rodney,Hunt Machine disappearance of the general practitioner ; Company, Orange, Massachusetts, would be a serious loss. The stimulating ; overshot wheel is particular- philosophy of individualism,with its im i ,y pulping water for farm sistence upon independence, initiative, ; ambitidh seems to be embodied in ' and the general practitioner. in other counties. Exemptions from Taxation: United States bonds. North Carolina State bonds. Select some plot of land held out of | important of all, he must become use for speculative purposes and com- practitioner of preventive medicine, pare its valuation with the' sale price of adjoining property. confidence and make a living. But he ' an increasing pre-occupation with the will have to meet the new conditions, normal and a knowledge of thfe effects He will have to submit to a measure of' upon health of diet, exercise, mental team-work in the use of laboratories' attitudes, recreation, and family and and other resources; he will be com- social life. To train men and women pelled to recognize the public demand for this reinterpreted and redirected j for sharing costs of sickness and, moat ‘ function, the medical schools will be will go hand in hand with social and in dustrial progress. It is not just a new way of-spending money, l It is the ap plication of good business'principles to the necessary spending of money; the spending of a little today that a much greater amount may be s^ved later. In counsellor of health, a man who can recognize and correct the minor but compelled radically;to modify their aims I Truth, it is real conservation, of public and methods and to “permeate the cur-1 prqperty and genuine economy of public riculum with the preventive idea.”—1 funds. —Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1441, Rockefeller Foundation. | u. S. Department ofiAgriculture.

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