Imatges de pÓgina
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that they were not to be delayed in such a and has no vestige of antiquity about it. I

I miserable town.

remained there until the evening, when I The steamship Baroda left Alexandria started for Paris, via The Mont Cenis Tunnel. about twelve o'clock on Saturday, the 12th On arriving at Macon, the border town beof December, en route for Brindisi. A per- tween Italy and France, I was alarmed at a ceptible difference was noticed in the tem- request to produce my passport. Not thinkperature, it being winter on this side of the ing that such a thing was necessary, I had line, and great changes of clothing were failed to procure one, and dreaded either accordingly made. The sail up the Mediter- immediate confinement in the nearest police ranean was delightful, notwithstanding the station, as a reward for my negligence, or chilliness of the weather, and great interest indefinite detention at the railway station. was felt when gazing upon the classic shores A gentleman, who had been travelling in the of Greece. We arrived at Brindisi on Wed- same carriage with me, being provided with nesday, about nine o'clock in the evening, two passports, kindly relieved me of my where the mails were transferred, and those anxiety by giving me the extra one. The passengers who were anxious to reach Lon- Mont Cenis Tunnel was passed through don without delay, left the ship and pro during the night. I must bear my humble ceeded on their journey by rail. Brindisi is testimony to the excellent style in which the ancient Brundusium, and is mainly inter-omelettes are prepared at the French railway esting on account of its being a walled city. stations, and to the delicious manner in which It is a wretched-looking place, but it has the coffee is made. Paris was reached on brightened up considerably of late, owing to Sunday evening, where I remained until its usefulness in respect of the present over- Monday afternoon. land system of conveying the mails to and I had an opportunity of walking about the from India. I remained on the ship and pro city, but had no time to see many of the ceeded as far as Ancona, where I took the beauties of this “Queen of cities.” I had not railway for London, via Turin and Paris. At much difficulty in making myself understood Ancona I found it extremely difficult to make here, but I was greatly struck with the differmyself intelligible, but after several fruitless ence of accent in Paris, and that commonly attempts, I at length succeeded in convinc heard in Lower Canada. It is delightful to ing the official, who seized hold of me the hear a Parisian speak, even if you do not unmoment I disembarked, that I wished to be derstand a word he is saying. A great many of taken to the office of the British Consul, the handsomest buildings bear marks of the where I knew that any information I might Prussian bombardment, and of the fierceness require would be cheerfully supplied. Leav- of the Communists during the late war, and ing Ancona on Friday, the train stopped, some are still in melancholy ruins. among other places, at Bologna, renowned Having occasion during my stay to ask for its sausages, and I saw a magnificent dis- for a certain street, I addressed the followplay of that famous article of food at the ing question, mildly, to one of the passersrefreshment room of the railway station. by, “Pouvez-vous me diriger à la rue There is one undoubted disadvantage in Tournon?” The answer was given in a very travelling to London by rail, and that is the energetic voice, and for some moments the continued want of sleep. It would be a disturbance in my ears resembled that occagreat boon to travellers if the American sys- sioned by the rumbling of an express tem of railway carriages, with sleeping cars train : “La rue Tour-r-r-non? Oui, monattached, were introduced on the French and sieur, la deuxième rue.”

In future my Italian railways, but they seem to have attempts at French were less frequent. A an undefined horror of such a thing, the story was told me here of an enthusiastic French people being peculiarly obstinate on Englishman, who had been a strong supthis point. There is no such thing in Italy porter of the Napoleonic dynasty, and who as free conveyance of luggage, and I advise was viewing from the outside of a 'bus, the all who contemplate travelling in that coun- many improvements made in this magnificent try to bear this in mind, and cram as much city, by the late Emperor. He could not as they possibly can into the railway carriage. restrain his enthusiasm, and, forgetful of the Turin was reached on Saturday morning. great revulsion of feeling that has so lately This is the most modern of Italian cities, | taken place in France, called out : “ Vive Napoleon Quatre, Vive L'Empire.” The too early in the morning to gain admission words had barely escaped his lips, when he into a hotel. London was reached without found himself an occupant of the pavement accident, and my arrival ended a trip ex

I left for Lordon at four o'clock in the tending over seven months, during which a afternoon, via Boulogne, and was accommo- distance of nearly 35,000 miles had been dated at the latter place for three or four travelled. hours in a French Custom-house, it being

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EXEMPTION FROM MUNICIPAL TAXATION :

A PLEA FOR ITS ABOLITION.

BY W. F. MACLEAN, TORONTO.

TAKT

AKING the community as a whole, tal buildings; prisons and asylums; univer

and speaking somewhat theoretically, sities and colleges; unoccupied lands; law Municipal Taxation is a self-imposed bur- courts and salaries of law officers; pensions den, supposed to return adequate compen- under $200. sation to the taxpayer, who, in consenting Municipal.-County, city, town, and to be rated, retains the right of regulating its township halls ; court-houses and gaols ; imposition and extent. It is an admitted ne- registry offices ; exhibition buildings and cessity, and, if properly levied and equally grounds; water-works, parks, and markets ; distributed, should not be burdensome. cemeteries; public schools ; poor-houses,

But it is just here that a great evil has its hospitals, and houses of correction ; origin. Taxes are not equally distributed pounds; fire halls and police stations ; vaor properly levied. And it is for this rea-cant lots, &c. son that the great majority of taxpayers Sectarian. Churches and church consider taxation a huge injustice to which grounds; ministers' salaries to the extent of they are forced to submit, and for the re- $1,000, and their dwellings to the extent of moval or amelioration of which they have $2,000 ; cemeteries and burying grounds ; no resource. None can deny that there is denominational schools and colleges; congood ground for this opinion, and that great vents, monasteries, and abbeys; orphan injustice exists. The origin and cause of the asylums; infants', boys', and girls' homes; greater part of this injustice is directly Christian association and benevolent sotraceable to the exemption of certain classes ciety buildings; hospitals and dispensaries, and properties from taxation. How nume- &c. rous these classes and how extensive these Miscellaneous.Scientific, mechanics', and properties are the public has had no means literary institutes ; incomes derived by of knowing, but an idea may be gained from farmers from their farms; personal prothe following summary :

perty secured by mortgage or invested in The property and persons that escape Provincial and Municipal Ontario debentaxation in Ontario—it is with this Province tures ; bank stock (but not the dividends); that it is proposed to deal-may be divided railroad stock ; personal property equal to into :

debts due thereon ; personalty under $100; Imperial.-Houses occupied by persons rental from real estate (but not interest on in the service of the Imperial Government; mortgages); household effects, books, and Imperial, naval, and military salaries and wearing apparel. pensions.

To show how great is the injustice that Federal.—Real estate and structures, such flourishes under this system of exemption, it as parliament and departmental buildings; will be convenient to examine the above post-offices and savings' banks; custom- enumerated classes and properties under houses and inland revenue offices; emigra- different heads, namely: the exemption of tion sheds ; penitentiaries ; military colGovernment and Municipal properties; perleges and storehouses, barracks, drill-sheds, sonal incomes; and sectarian properties and and forts; ordnance and Indian lands ; | incomes. vacant lots, &c. ; residence and salary of Governor-General ; salaries of Dominion GOVERNMENT AND MUNICIPAL EXEMPTIONS. officials ; pensions under $200.

Provincial-Parliament and departmen- At first sight it would appear that no in

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justice results from the exemption of Govern- with the ratepayers of Toronto? Why, ment or Municipal properties, since these then, should they not bear a share in the were called into existence for the public cost of the civic improvements with which good; but on going below the surface an these institutions are surrounded? Again, important anomaly presents itself. Nothing take the City of Hamilton. Why are its could be more equitable than that these ratepayers expected to provide roads, walks, properties, being as they are for the general lights, sewers, &c., for the court-house, good, should be purchased and maintained registry office, county buildings, gaol, at the public cost. But this is not the case. &c., of the County of Wentworth, all While the people at large have to furnish situated within the city's limits? The peothe money to secure the site and erect the ple of the county number twice as many as building, the surrounding improvements, the residents of the city, and to them accrue quite as necessary as the building itself- most of the advantages conferred by these such as roads and pavements, water, light, buildings; yet by an anomaly in the law sewers, fire and police protection, &c., have they are provided with improvements by

. to be provided by a very small fraction of those who use the buildings least--the peothe public, namely, those who happen to be ple of Hamilton. A similar state of affairs residents of the municipality in which the will be found in all county towns.

Let us building is erected. Not only do these even go a step lower. All the townships people contribute to the general fund, but have town-halls and fair-grounds in some they are specially taxed for the benefit of one of the little villages within their bounds. institutions from which they, as citizens of By the system of exemption a very small the country, derive no greater benefit than section of the ratepayers of the township their fellow-countrymen who may be many those who happen to reside in the village in miles removed from the location of the which this township property is located-are buildings. Take, for instance, the Federal unjustly charged with providing improvebuildings at Ottawa. They are the property ments around property owned and used for of the country at large, and a resident of the benefit of every resident in the township. Vancouver or Halifax derives as much bene- These exemptions probably had their rise fit from them as the citizen of the capital. in the belief that to tax public property Why then is it that the Ottawa ratepayer is would merely be taking money from one unjustly compelled to provide improvements pocket to put it in the other. But such for the benefit of the residents of British belief is error.

Were all this public proColumbia and Halifax? Or, rather, why perty taxed, and all made to bear a share in is it that the latter escape from paying a just it

, the injustice at present witnessed, of a share of the cost of providing these public few having to pay, would be abolished. buildings with necessary improvements ? The only set-off to all this exemption, from The greater part of the revenue of the Do- federal property down to township halls, is minion is collected through the custom the argument that these buildings and lands houses and inland revenue offices. Would confer special advantages on those living it be any other than proper that a portion near them ; in other words, that the populaof this revenue should be set aside to pay tion is increased, and that a great deal of for the improvements surrounding these custom is drawn to the store and hotelbuildings, instead of compelling the resi- keepers, &c., by outsiders having to come dents of the municipality in which they hap to the municipality to transact business at pen to be located to do it? It is the same the public buildings which may be situated with Provincial property. Is it just that within it. The people of Ottawa will be the people of Toronto should furnish told that Parliament draws a great many the three million dollars' worth of property in to that city who leave considerable money that city, belonging to the Province of Onbehind them, and that if the departments tario, with all manner of improvements? Do were not there they would be so much not the people of Essex and Glengarry, as poorer. To see how fallacious this argucitizens of the Province, derive equal ad- mentis, it has only to be remembered that the vantages from Osgoode Hall, the Normal person called there on business ; if he spends School, Central Prison, Lunatic Asylum, money, he gets value in return; that he University, Legislative Buildings, &c., &c., would be at similar outlay no matter where

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the buildings were located ; that if an extra is exempt from paying a just portion of the amount of “business” is done, there is a cost of the comforts that municipal governcorresponding rush from outside places to ment supplies, has never been explained. It participate in it; and that the great majority has yet to be demonstrated that a clergyman of the ratepayers—the labourer, the me works harder for his salary than the merchanic, the clerk, the schoolmaster, &c.-chant and the mechanic, or that the public are not one cent better off because these business would not be effectually conducted buildings happen to be in their city than if if judges, departmental clerks, revenue colthey were in Winnipeg. They only make lectors, and postal officials were not exempted a living, and that they could do in any from municipal taxation. All these derive place. A man keeping an attractive hotel advantages from the roads, pavements, might just as well claim exemption because light, and means provided by the municihis house draws strangers who spend money pality for protection from thieves and fire, among the storekeepers, and that if it were and should bear a share in the cost. People not there the people would not come. And are taxed, not because of their calling or of as it is with the Federal property, so is it with the source from which they receive their the Provincial, county, and township exemp- incomes, but in order to provide certain tions. The only persons who reap advantages conveniences in which all share, and which from the location of public buildings within a assist all to earn a livelihood and the better municipality are the owners of the land at the to enjoy their incomes, whatever they may time the site is selected.

be. Consequently, if a man shares--and There is only one class of public pro- all must necessarily share-in the advantages perty which, if exempted, causes no injus-conferred by municipal expenditure, he tice. This is the purely local municipal should also share in the cost. property of cities, towns, and villages. It Had Parliament, when it was so anxious embraces city and town halls, fire halls, about its officials that it provided for their police stations, public local schools, houses exemption from municipal taxation, given of refuge, hospitals, markets, parks, vacant them their tea, coffee, tobacco, spirits, and lots, &c. These are held only for the benefit other taxable articles, free from custom or of the residents of the particular municipality excise duties, it would have at least shown in which they happen to be. No one out- a consistent principle. But it took good side the limits derives the least advantage care not to be out of pocket itself, and from them. Hence the people within the placed the burden on the municipalities. If limits, and for whose use alone they exist, Parliament thinks it is wrong to tax shouldand do provide the improvements with Dominion officials, is not a greater injuswhich they are encircled. It is only in this tice perpetrated when it taxes them itself? class of public property that to tax would This furnishes an illustration of the saw, be to take money from one pocket to put “What you do is wrong; what I do is it in the other. But in doing this no in- right.” justice would be committed, and, at the Personal exemptions create privileged same time, the principle that all property classes, and privileged classes have often should be taxed would be vindicated. been the cause of revolution. All men are

equal, and whatever tends to clash with PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS.

this principle (and certainly exemption

does) is injurious, and should be speedily The persons classed as exempted under corrected. Mechanics and farmers are just this head may be divided into those who as necessary to the community as judges pay no taxes because of their calling, and and clergymen, and both should stand on those who pay no taxes because of the the same ground. But the farmer and source from which their incomes are de- mechanic, under the present system of taxrived. In the first division we have clergy- ation, suffer a double injustice. They men, monks, nuns, and Imperial officers; have not only to pay taxes while the minisand in the second, Dominion officials, in- ter and the civil service employee are excluding lieutenant-governors, judges, civil empt, but they have also to pay the taxes of service employees, and those receiving these latter. federal pensions. Why this numerous class The moral status of the clergyman or

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