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IN BOARD OF ALDERMEN, January 5, 1903.

Ordered, That His Honor the Mayor be requested to furnish for publication a copy of the address delivered by him before the City Council this day. Passed. Sent down for concurrence. JAMES H. DOYLE, Chairman.

IN COMMON COUNCIL, January 5, 1903. Concurred.

ARTHUR W. DOLAN, President. A true copy. Attest: EDWARD J. DoNovAN, City Clerk.



Gentlemen of the City Council: The primary subject to engage our attention at the beginning of a new year of civic responsibility is the condition of the finances. By reference to Appendex I, it will be seen that during the past year the gross debt has increased $3,237,833.72, and the net debt $5,656,771.56. A large amount of this increase is due to the loans of $1,500,000 for school land and buildings, two belated assessments from the Metropolitan Park Commissioners, the necessity for reducing by more than $500,000 the City's expectations of a return from betterments, and to some minor causes. The other items represent issues of bonds for objects legitimately falling into the class to be paid for out of loans instead of current revenue, including those imposed upon the City by statute law, like the building of the Cambridge bridge, the Broadway bridge and the East Boston Tunnel. Of the gross amount of bonds issued, $4,426,551 was authorized before 1902, and the rest, $3,280,000, within the year. The obvious fact cannot be ignored that Boston either plunges or is rushed into deeper debt every year. At some time the debt must be paid, unless, indeed, we adopt the view that “a public debt is a public blessing.” Meanwhile the sinking-fund requirements and interest run into the millions, and our burden per capita far exceeds that of any other great City in the country. It is idle, as well as difficult, to say what might be avoided were we left to ourselves to manage our own local affairs, and control the expenditure. The Commonwealth has, however, in the exercise of its undoubted sovereign power, laid upon the City burdens not of our own seeking, which we are forced to carry, with little or no voice in their imposition. In 1898 the net amount paid by the City to the State in settlement was $555,009.07, while in 1902 it amounted to $2,025,018.74, an increase of $1,470,009.67. The gross payments made by the City to the State in 1902 are as follows:

State tax * to © g e to . $541,920 00
Abolition of grade crossings . te & © 179,243 78
Armory loan, sinking fund and interest . * 34,223 15
Metropolitan Parks:
Assessment, 1900 . so . $258,961 59
{ % 1901 . . . . 285,448 59
6 €. 1902 . . . .309,709 50
Interest on deferred payments . 24,334 22

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Carried forward . e • * * . $1,633,840 88

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