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Brought forward . * e to . $1,633,840 83 Metropolitan Sewers: North system . to e . $57,795 99 South system . e e . 52,534 36 *-o-o-o- 110,330 35 Metropolitan water to © ge e 1,274,105 31 Highways in full to August 1, 1902 * go 11,109 91

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Boston pays nearly 40 per cent. of the State tax proper, 50 per cent. of the Metropolitan park assessment, 82.41 per cent. of the Metropolitan water assessment and 25 per cent. of the Metropolitan sewer assessment.

While we have no right as a City Government to instruct the Senators and Representatives from the ef City in the General Court, we may be pardoned for reminding them of the proportion of the weight that their own constituents must carry of State and metropolitan district expenses, and to suggest that no new ventures, save those imperatively calling, be adopted until this community can better afford to answer. Besides, it must be borne in mind that under existing conditions the monetary obligations of the City to the State are likely to increase; this very year, for example, we shall have to provide from current revenue some $400,000 for water assessments more than last year, thus either adding to the tax rate or subtracting from purely local uses that amount.

The Police Department eighteen years ago was taken from the control of the people of the City and handed over to a commission appointed by the Governor of the State. It is no reflection upon the excellent character of the Commissioners or upon the creditable manner in which they perform their duties to insist that the act was a violation of the first principle of home rule and a needless and profitless wound to the pride of the first City in the Commonwealth. It is beside the question to argue that the work is quite as well done as it could be under local directions. It is enough to answer that the system in itself is false. & * Territorially, the County of Suffolk consists of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop; for all purposes of paying the bills, it is simply Boston. The other three towns contribute their share of everything but money. - Probably two-thirds of all the litigation of the State comes to our County Courts. Judges are easy of access, the City is now within short time distance of the mass of population, and the juries are liberal. A large percentage of the heavy County expenditure is caused by the accommodation of outside litigants. “Boston pays it all, and is threatened with a demand for increased court-house accommodations, altogether because of the business that it does not itself contribute. Why the City has waited so long without making some attempt to adjust the equities between it on the one side and the State and County on the other I am unable to conjecture. At present the statement is timely that for State, Metropolitan, Police and County purposes, this City pays some 30 per cent. of what it raises by taxing its people for purposes over which it has no efficient control and from some of which it gets but small benefit. The amount which the City had the right to borrow within the debt limit in 1902 was $3,792,546.16. Nearly all this amount has been authorized; and most of the loans have been issued. The borrowing capacity of the City within the debt limit is this year but $2,686,840.33. Against this amount the first charge is $1,500,000 for new school buildings and grounds. It will be necessary to provide a like amount next year also, to make up for previous years' neglect and provide the 10,000 children now in portable school-houses or hired premises with adequate and permanent shelter. The work of schoolhouse building is progressing as rapidly as possible, and when the work of the Commission in charge is done the City will have school accommodations ‘probably equal to the best in the Union. In addition to the $1,500,000 raised from loans in 1902 there was provided from current revenue $90,000 to finish grounds and buildings and pay balances on contracts inherited from the School Committee. Thus last year the City provided $1,590,000, or $144,000 more than the School Committee demanded with considerable heat, but it was done in a way that more equitably distributed the burden. It will be my pleasure formally to recommend at an early day the appropriation of the full amount authorized by law—$1,500,000 for new school sites and school-houses this year. If this amount be provided for the purpose, there will remain available for other uses only $1,186,840.33, as against $2,292,546.16 last year, a tlecrease of $1,105,705.83. It is therefore clear that the utmost care must be exercised in selecting the objects to which loans from this comparatively small fund should be applied, and it is equally clear that in the circumstances no part of it should go except to meet the most pressing general needs, and to objects of the highest public utility. In the laying-out and construction of highways, the time has come when further operations must cease until highways already laid out are provided for in some way. As this account stands now, there is a deficit of $825,336.93 (closely estimated), without reckoning interest, in the fund available to meet obligations already incurred (see Exhibit V.), while takings aggregating about $600,000 in cost await my approval, reluctantly withheld until means for payment appear. Chapter 323 of the Acts of 1891 embodied a comprehensive plan in harmony with the most approved systems of new street-making adopted in great cities. It provided among other things for the laying out and construction. of streets and the assessment of the cost upon those immediately benefited. It also authorized the City to raise by loan a fund not exceeding $3,000,000 to carry out the improvements indefinitely; the theory and expectation being that the whole amount spent would be repaid by the persons benefited from time to time, and that thus a perpetual fund would be created to make new streets. It was not, of course, contemplated that abuttors should pay the cost of great thoroughfares. The act in its operation did not produce the expected result. A glance at the Auditor's reports showing income from assessments proves discouraging. After some time a mistaken judgment that, from the trend of decisions, the Supreme Court might pronounce the imposition of the whole cost unconstitutional, caused the law to be amended so that only the adjudged benefit to an estate should be assessed, the actual cost disappearing. Instead of a fixed quantity—cost — equitably distributed, the uncertain element of benefit still further reduced the public income from street making, and the fund, once intended to be permament, soon vanished. A later Act authorized the City to borrow further, but provided that the bonds and certificates outstanding should never be more than $6,000,000 in excess

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