* r . ,^'v > *^M4 aBrW ^m fOm " ; ":; f- >W -S *s> VflN 3 ML ^^ r Er - . I ^ '^ 'VA it**. THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LIBRARY IL * :& f'A, The person charging this material is re- sponsible for its return to the library from which it was withdrawn on or before the Latest Date stamped below. Theft, mutilation, and underlining of books are reasons for disciplinary action and may result in dismissal from the University. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LIBRARY AT URBANA CHAMPAIGN APR 2 1 978 MAY 3 ' L161 O-1096 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS STUDIES IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES VOL. 1. NO. 3 SEPTEMBER. 1912 SOURCES OF Municipal Revenues in Illinois BY LENT DAYTON UPSON, Ph.D. Sometime Fellow in Political Science University of Illinois PRICE 75 CENTS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY 1912 305 xt COPYRIGHT 1912 BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION 7 CHAPTER I. PROPERTY TAXATION 1 1 Tax Levies 12 Exemption from Taxation 15 Method of Assessment and Collection 16 Property Taxes 17 Personal Property Taxes 21 Losses in Collection 24 CHAPTER II. LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 26 License revenue 26 Liquor licenses 26 General licenses 30 Business taxes 41 Vehicle licenses 43 Foreign fire insurance tax 45 Police fines 47 CHAPTER III. GIFTS, GRANTS AND SUBVENTIONS 55 School revenue 55 State grants 55 Endowment income 56 Tuition 56 Miscellaneous income 57 Gifts by individuals 57 CHAPTER IV. REVENUE FROM SERVICES RENDERED 58 Departmental receipts 58 Public service privileges 61 Special assessments 68 3 CHAPTER V. Page MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 73 Water plants 73 Electric light plants 86 Cemeteries 89 Libraries . . 90 City Hospitals 92 Street railways . . 93 Sewers 94 Real estate 94 Other city property 95 Interest on city funds 96 CHAPTER VI. LOANS 101 Bonded Indebtedness 101 Tax warrants 105 Floating debt , 107 CHAPTER VII. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS no BIBLIOGRAPHY 120 INDEX 121 MAP SHOWING LOCATION OF CITIES . . 126 TABLES Page 1. Relation of Taxes to Total Income, Tax Rates and Per Capita Tax Income in 24 Illinois Cities in 1909 19 2. Assessed Valuation by Classes of Property and Total Assessment in 24 Illinois Cities for the Year 1909 20 3. Relation of the Assessments of Real and Personal Property to the Total Assessments in City and County, and the Relation of the City Personalty Assessment to that of City Lots, 1909 23 4. City Receipts from Town Collectors and County Treasurers, 1909 24 5. Number of Saloons, Population per Saloon, License Rates and other data relative to the Liquor Traffic in Illinois Cities, 1909.. 28 6. Total and per capita Income from License Taxes, Illinois Cities, 1909 34 7. Principal Licenses and Rates 36-37 8. Business Taxes, Rates and Total Income, 1909 42 9. Vehicle Licenses, Rates and Total Income 44 10. Total and Per capita Income from Foreign Fire Insurance Tax, 1909 46 11. Disposal of Arrests in 5 Illinois Cities, 1909 50 12. Disposal of Arrests in Illinois Cities by Percentages 51 13. Statistics on Strength of Police Forces, Number of Arrests, etc., 1909 53 14. Revenues of Specified City School Districfs 56 15. Receipts from Fees, Inspections, Departmental Receipts, Charges, and other Miscellaneous Sources, 1909 58 16. Fee Offices and Methods of Reporting 60 17. Rates and Income from Franchises, 1909 63 18. Dates of Grant and Expiration of Franchises 65-66 19. Statistics of Municipal Water Plants and Cost per Hydrant in Illinois Cities, 1909 79 20. Statistics Relative to Cost of Operation per Million Gallons Pumped by Municipal Water Plants 80 21. Ratio of Operating Costs to Receipts in Private Water Plants.. 83 22. Ratio of Operating Costs to Receipts and "Total of all Costs" in Municipal Water Plants 83 23. Statistics Relative to the Cost of Operation in Municipal Lighting Plants 86 24. Charges by Private Electric Light Plants for Arc Service 88 25. Income and Cost of Operation of Municipal Burial Grounds 90 26. Statistics of Public Libraries, Illinois Cities, 1909 91 5 Page 27. Receipts from City Real Estate 95 28. Balances and Receipts for General Funds, Special Assessments and Special Funds, 1909 98 29. Statistics Relative to Municipal Indebtedness, 1909 100 30. Sources and Totals of General Revenues, 1909 117 31. Sources of General Revenue, 1909, in Percentages 118 32. Ranking of Twenty-four Illinois Cities, 1909 119 INTRODUCTION. The purpose of this study is to examine the sources of municipal revenues in the state of Illinois, as typified by the budgets of a number of cities for the year 1909, noting the variations in the different municipalities and the means of revenue which are not fully utilized, so that all the financial revenues of any city may be made more available to the others. As cities become larger-lhe per capita cost of adminis- tration tends to increase. This does not necessarily mean that there is more waste or graft in the management of large cities than small ones ; but that as more people come together, they find it advantageous to do in common many things which formerly each individual undertook for him- self. In a village, each householder must occasionally be his own truant officer, his own sanitary inspector or his own sidewalk layer. In cities such duties are more effec- tively cared for by the public authorities. Kindergartens, medical and dental inspection of school children, charities, disease prevention, better sanitation, street and public lighting, parks, and other social welfare work make in- creased demands upon the local administration where many people are concentrated in a city. At the same time the maximum legal tax rate in Illi- nois is the same for all cities ; and growing municipalities find it necessary fcb seek for more sources of revenue other than property taxation. Such potential sources of revenue include liquor and business licenses, vehicle and insurance taxes, increased returns from police fines, fees and de- partmental receipts, and profits from municipal enter- prises. In some cases enlarged expenditures are tempor- arily met by increased municipal indebtedness. To secure data for this study, an examination was made of the budgets of twenty-four cities of over 8000 7 8 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [368 population, located in various parts of the state. Chicago has not been included, owing to the magnitude and special features involved in such a task, and also to the fact that a comprehensive study has already been made of its mu- nicipal revenues. 1 Questionnaires were sent to municipal officers; annual reports were received from nearly half of the cities ; and personal visits were made to all but two, Quincy and Joliet. No one of these methods of inquiry proved entirely satisfactory. It was difficult to secure replies even to direct questions. No printed report gave a complete state- ment for a single city. In the cities visited, the data had to be secured from a number of officials. Nevertheless, a complete statement was secured from all but three of the cities examined covering the revenues for general purposes j and the omissions in the three cases are small and unim- portant. The general plan followed in the arrangement of material is that employed by the Bureau of the Census for tabulating the statistics of cities, a general outline of which is shown in the table of contents. Since, how- ever, the cities included in this study are relatively small, with simple financial systems, it has not been possible to analyze the revenues with the same detail as the Census Bureau. The figures used as a basis of the investigation are those of actual city incomes for the fiscal year 1909, rather than the revenues which legally accrued during the year. For example, delinquent taxes for this year do not appear, though they are really an asset and will ultimately be collected. In their place, however, appear the delinquent taxes of previous years which were paid during the period under consideration. Outside the field of taxes, this cer- tainty of ultimate payment is not so great, a situation which illustrates the error of keeping city accounts upon a receipt and expenditure basis, rather than on a basis of legal accruals and liabilities. In one city only |700 of *C. E. Merriam: Report on the Municipal Revenues of Chicago. 369] INTRODUCTION license fees was paid within the fiscal year. Either the $200 remaining will become an asset of the year fol- lowing and will offset the expenditures of a year to which it does not belong, or it may drop out of the ken of the city treasurer and fail to be collected. In addition to an analysis of the revenues received, an attempt is made to explain why some sources of revenue have not been utilized. In some cases, there has been local opposition to a particular form of taxation. In other in- stances, the cost of collection has been too large in pro- portion to the revenue received. In still other cases, a scientific and impartial collection of charges would result in increased revenue. Further, there is included in this study considerable data not directly involved in city budgets, but of value to officials seeking to increase municipal revenues and as illustrations of facts which must be brought to the knowledge of officials if municipal government is to be progressively and permanently bettered. The more im- portant data of this kind relates to the cost of operating municipal water and light plants, the time and date of expiration of public service franchises, the rates of license taxes, and the relation between the number of liquor licenses and the number of police. A summary of the conclusions of this study of the municipal revenue system of Illinois is to be found in the concluding chapter of the text; but it may be of interest to note here that: The maximum total tax rate (of one percent on the supposed full value of property) is inadequate to meet the needs of the modern city. The percent of total income received from other sources than property taxation ranges from_60% in Joliet to 3% in Urbana. Personal property estimated to equal real estate in value is paying only approximately one-third to one-fifth of its legal burden. 10 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [370 Cities which give a limited number of saloons the mo- nopoly of the town's business, will lose from |5,000 to $10,000 a year unless they advance the license fee to a point where the cities will share in the monopoly profits. Business taxes can be made to contribute ten per cent of municipal income without serious opposition. The vehicle tax has proved a financial success in all of the cities in which it has been tried. In Evanston the re- turn is over f 8,000 a year. Departmental fees and charges could be made one of the more profitable sources of revenue but require more secure checks on the collection than exist at present. Taxes on the franchises of public service corporations are being imposed as rapidly as existing franchises expire, and produce from $1,000 to $5,000 annually. None of the cities investigated receive adequate inter- est upon public funds. The operation of public water plants in a number of cities has been efficient and economical, but the rates are too low to pay a profit, and frequently do not even meet the cost of operation. Street lighting could be done through municipal plants operated in connection with the water works at about one- half the price paid under private contract. There is urgent need that the state authorities create some municipal clearing house of facts which will cooper- ate with cities in installing a gradual revision of the sys- tem of keeping city accounts, uniform city reports, and methods of publicity which will keep both officials and taxpayers informed of advances in municipal adminis- tration. CHAPTER I PROPERTY TAXATION. Tbe Illinois constitution of 1870 authorizes the gen- eral assembly to vest municipalities with the power to assess and collect taxes for corporate purposes. 1 How- ever, this privilege is restricted by further constitutional provisions, which require that the levies be uniform in respect to persons and property; that privilege taxes be uniform as regards the class on which they operate; that the legislature must not impose taxes upon municipal cor- porations for corporate purposes; and place restrictions on the amount of municipal indebtedness. The general municipal incorporation act of 1872, the revenue clause of which was amended in 1897 to apply to all cities incorporated in any manner, 2 gives to munici- pal councils the following powers: a to control the finances and property of the corpor- ation b to appropriate money for corporate purposes only, and to provide for the payment of the debts and expenses of the corporation c to levy and collect taxes on real and personal prop- erty for general and special purposes d to fix the amount, terms and manner of issuing and revoking licenses; and e to borrow money on the credit of the corporation for corporate purposes 8 The revenue clauses of the incorporation act also pre- scribe the method of assessment and collection of taxes; provide that all municipal expenditures shall be included 'Constitution of 1870, Art. 9, par. 9. 'Kurd's Revised Statutes (1908) ch. 24, par. 283. 'Rev. Stat., ch. 24, par. 62. II 12 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [372 in an annual appropriation measure passed by the city council, and that no further appropriation may be made from taxes except upon a majority vote of the electorate; 4 that appropriations must precede tax lexies, as well as contracts entered into by the city; and that the tax levy ordinance must state both the rate or amount and the purpose of the tax. The appropriation ordinance and the tax levy ordinance are required to be distinct, and the former must be passed first. 5 The levy ordinance is filed with the county clerk who calculates the rate required to j aise the amounts ; and if it is necessary, he is required to scale the rate down to keep the aggregate of all tax levies within the legal limit of three per cent of the assessed valuation, allowing to each taxing district its legal pro- portion. 6 TAX LEVIES Until 1909 the ordinary tax rate was limited to five per cent of one-fifth of the cash value of the taxable prop- erty. An amendment of that year raised the basis of assessment to one-third of the actual cash value, and made three per cent the legal tax limit. 7 This statute does not affect the real tax rate, but raises the debt limit sixty per cent. *Ibid, ch. 24, par. 89. B Peo. v. Florville, 207 III. 79. "The method of scaling as prescribed by the Juul law is as follows : a total is found of the rates necessary to give the certified sum ; the amount over three per cent is used as a numerator and the total percent as a denominator, each item being reduced in this proportion. Professor C. E. Merriam in his "Report on the Municipal Revenues of Chicago", (City Club of Chicago, Pub. No. 2, page 86) gives this example: "the West Town demands for tax levy (state, school building and special sanitary district excepted) aggregated in 1903, $7.55 per $100. These special rates were then scaled down 255-755, and the total thus reduced to five per cent." 'Laws of 1909, p. 308. 373] PROPERTY TAXATION 13 The taxes which cities may levy unrestricted by refer- endum are these : For general purposes 1.2% Interest and sinking funds. . . ."a sum sufficient"' Educational purposes 1.5% School buildings 1.5% Public libraries .12% Parks 12% Cyclone tax .3% The taxes to provide interest and sinking funds are limited by the constitutional provision that the total debt shall not exceed five per cent of the assessed valuation. Taxes for such purposes, however, furnish a means for evading the statute limiting taxes for general purposes to 1.2% of the assessed valuation. Not infrequently, cities incur permanent indebtedness for current expenses, and retire the bonds out of other than taxes for general pur- poses. Nearly four per cent of the municipal debt is of this nature. 8 An interest and sinking fund tax may also be levied to pay such school debt as was contracted before the passage of the general school act of 1889. In cities of over 100,000 population the library tax is limited to .06% of the assessed valuation; and in all cities under 1,500 population the library tax is included in the 1.2% tax for general purposes. 9 The tax of .12% to provide for the establishment and maintenance of parks applies to cities having a popu- lation of less than 50,000, 10 a restriction which excludes only the cities of Chicago, Peoria, Springfield and East St. Louis. Within three of these municipalities park taxes are levied by the park districts, which are distinct taxing areas erected without particular reference to municipal boundaries. Such special taxing areas, which may also be created in smaller cities than those mentioned, are See ch. VI. 'Rev. Stat. ch. 81, par. r. "Ibid. ch. 105, par. 290. 14 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [374 of three kinds, sanitary, park and pleasure drive dis- tricts. They are formed by a favorable popular vote called after a petition to the county clerk, the voting being within the boundaries specified, for or against the proposition. The powers of the commissioners controlling these taxing districts have been changed frequently; and the confusion thus created has been added to by the Juul law of 1901 which consolidates and limits all of the tax levies within a city. The combined tax must not exceed the legal limit, which sometimes requires that the tax for one district shall be scaled down below the maximum in order that the aggregate tax for all purposes in another district fall within the legal limit. The taxation of property is the natural result of the theory that all persons should be taxed according to their ability; and ownership of property and particularly of real estate, in communities which have not reached a high industrial development, is considered the most concrete expression of ability to pay and of the measure of benefit received from governmental activities. The situs of real property is permanent, and it is therefore possible to tax such property when owned by non-residents, in the same manner as that of residents. Unoccupied tracts held for increment in value present a special problem. In some jurisdictions agricultural and unimproved property is exempted from taxation in whole or in part, and such exemptions have been sustained ex- cept in contravention of special constitutional provisions. 11 In Illinois no such exemptions are allowed by law, but vacant property in the shape of lands is not an important item in the assessed valuations except in a few cities. In East St. Louis such property stands in the ratio of one to three when compared with the assessment of city lots; in several municipalities the ratio is one to ten, but in the majority it is less than this. The assessment for lands and lots is presented in table No. 2. ^Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, (with exceptions) Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. 375] PROPERTY TAXATION 15 The general rule for the taxation of personal prop- erty in Illinois provides for its assessment at the domicile of the owner; but some classes of tangible personalty are taxed in situs, and goods in transitu are assessed upon the owner at the place where the shipment originated. In- tangible property is also subject to taxation, but credits may be offset by certain debts; and while franchise values are taxable no method of local assessment is prescribed. Illinois corporations, except mercantile and manufactur- ing, are assessed by the state upon the value of their capital stock, less the assessed value of tangible property as made by the local assessors. Capital stock not assessed in this fashion by the state board of equalization should be listed as personal property. Aside from the tax upon the capital stock of railroads incorporated within the state, railroads, must pay taxes upon their personal and real property, assessed principally by the state board of equalization, the valuation being apportioned to the counties to a large extent in proportion to mileage. The value of side tracks and railroad buildings is returned wholly to the district within which they are located; and personal property other than rolling stock is locally assessed. EXEMPTIONS FROM TAXATION. Exemptions from taxation in Illinois are fewer than in most states. The constitution authorizes the exemp- tion by the legislature of real and personal property of states, counties and other municipal corporations, and such other property as may be used exclusively for agri- cultural and horticultural societies, schools, religious or- ganizations, cemeteries, and for charitable purposes, when the exemption is made by general law. 12 By statute the legislature has provided for these exceptions, and also established other specific exemptions as follows, school lands, not leased ; fire apparatus ; public markets ; all state property; and property used by mechanical and phil- a Const. Art. 9, par. 3. 16 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [376 osophical societies without profit. 13 A law exempting fra- ternal insurance funds was held unconstitutional, 14 as have been other acts attempting to exempt other classes of property not embraced in the constitutional provisions. METHOD OF ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION. For the assessment of taxes there is elected an as- sessor in each town, except in those counties not under township government. In these latter localities the county treasurer acts as assessor, the deputies being appointed by the county board. In the spring of the year valuation is made of the property within each taxing district, the owner being required to fill out a schedule of personal property. Once in four years real property must be viewed for assessment. The results both as to real and personal values are certified to the county clerk, who corrects all apparent errors. The county boards of review revise as- sessments upon request of the owner; hear complaints of overvaluation; and may correct any inequality among townships, provided the grand total of assessments is not diminished. The assessments are then certified to the state auditor who transmits them to be passed on by the state board of equalization. This board may equalize total valuations among counties by increasing or reducing the local assessments by not more than ten per cent. The final results are certified back to the county clerks, who estimate and spread the taxes 15 on the tax collectors books. In counties under township government, the county treasurer is ex officio county collector, and receives from the town collector state and county taxes ; and also collects delinquent city taxes and special assessments. In counties not under township government the sheriff is ex-officio collector of taxes. Taxes are due the first of January; personal property taxes must be paid by March first; and "Rev. Stat. ch. 120, par. 2. "Modern American Fraternal Order v. Board of Review, 223 III. 54. "Rev. Stat. ch. 120, par. 128. 377] PROPERTY TAXATION 17 all taxes on real property become delinquent on June first. In cases of unpaid taxes, after certain notice and adver- tisement, application is made to the county court for judg- ment. Upon judgment being given (from which an appeal may be taken to the Supreme Court if bond for costs is given), the property or a necessary portion of it is adver- tised for sale. The property is then sold to the person bidding the delinquent taxes plus the least per cent for penalty. Property so sold may, however, be redeemed at the office of the county clerk within two years, upon payment of the delinquent tax, subsequent taxes and as- sessments, and the penalty, this last being graduated from that bid to four times that sum during the last six months of grace. 10 PROPERTY TAXES. The foregoing is a meager outline of the system of taxation as applied to municipalities in Illinois and may make clearer a review of the workings of the property tax. 17 In tables 30 and 31 is a statement of the amount of property tax received by each of the twenty-four cities in Illinois for which data was secured, and the relation of such sums to the total amount of municipal income for the year 1909. The tax rates are given in table 1, and with them the ratios of taxes to the total city, incomes from which all commercial revenues except those producing a profit have been subtracted. In three instances 18 the net profit from commercial enterprises is included in the total income. The city which receives the least proportion of its revenue from property taxes is Joliet, the return of 40.1% of the whole income. Streator follows with 51.25% ; M Rev. Stat. ch. 120, par. 182-210. "A more complete outline will be found in A Report on the Taxation and Revenue System of Illinois, prepared for the Special Tax Commission of Illinois by John A. Fairlie. A compilation of Tax Laws and Judicial Decisions accompanies the report of the commission. "See Table 19. 18 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [378 while the maximum percentage received is 97.6% in Ur- bana. The average is 68.1%. For comparison it is inter- esting to separate the cities receiving saloon licenses from those which do not. In the seven no-saloon license cities 19 the average of the total revenue received from property taxation is 86.2% while the average for the re- maining cities is 60.5%. A more interesting comparison of the taxes received by cities for general purposes is upon a per capita basis. Though such a relationship is inaccurate inasmuch as population is not a direct creator of taxes, yet population does have a direct influence upon the cost of government. The minimum per capita general tax is in Streator, the amount being $2.33 per person. The next lowest is $2.76 in Joliet ; while the highest rate is $8.34 in East St. Louis. In this comparison the no license cities do not hold so un- favorable a position in the matter of taxation, the average rate for the seven municipalities being $4.62 per capita. The average for the remaining corporations is $4.50 not a considerable difference. A third and more frequent method of considering city finances is a comparison of the tax rates. In table 1 is shown the general rate for each city for each $100 of as- sessment (including administrative, library, sanitary, park, bond and interest taxes) ; the complete school rate; and the total rate. The highest rate for general purposes is in Quincy, $2.37. La Salle follows with $2.15; while the smallest is $1.25 in the "dry" city of Rockford. Cities having no saloons stood highest in the average per capita tax, yet with the exception of Urbana their tax rates are quite normal. This lack of relationship between the tax rate and the per capita tax income, coupled with the fact that cities in which a high tax rate should be anticipated have quite the contrary, may be due to one or both of two causes: variation in the basis of local assessments, or in the per capita wealth of the several cities. "Champaign, Decatur, Evanston, Galesburg, Jacksonville, Rockford and Urbana. 379] PROPERTY TAXATION 19 TABLE i. RELATION OF PROPERTY TAXES TO TOTAL INCOME/ TAX RATES AND PERCAPITA TAX INCOME IN 24 ILLINOIS CITIES IN 1909. Percent of Total income 1 Percapita Tax (general) X ft H u "rt rt 1 B o u rt K "o o y in u rt H "c3 H Percapita Realty Assessment Percapita Personalty ~<n i/) < "c3 H Alton 57.8 $3.42 $1.42 2 $2.00 $3.42 $158 $84 $242 Aurora 70.0 4.80 I. ~O i.5ij 3.2I 4 208 75 283 Belleville 54.7 3.76 i. 60 4S\ 85 3.45 157 52 2OQ Bloomington . . . Champaign Danville 61.5 92.0 56.0 4.26 3-88 3.67 1-53 1-34 i 46 .72 .92 .20 3-25 3-26 2.66 242 216 181 78 86 OI 320 302 272 Decatur 83.7 4.02 1.67 2.76 4.43 169 71 240 E. St. Louis 71.0 8.34 1.48" I.QO 3.38 195 27 222 Elgin 71.4 4 c8 I 77 I OO 7 21 2O2 122 324 Evanston 65 i 5.38 Freeport 62.2 3.80 1.40 1.05 7.44 Galesburg 91.8 5.58 1.57 1.69 3.26 217 72 289 Jacksonville .... Joliet 85.8 40.1 376. 2./6 x:* 1.40 1.40 2.OO 1.85 3-40 3.25 192 155 77 48 209 2O3 LaSalle 52 3 7.4.1 2.15 1.80 3.05 121 41 162 Moline 61.0 AAA 1.03 2.42 4.35 154 81 235 Ottawa 55.7 5.20 1.95 2.OO 3.95 152 98 280 Peoria 65.5 5.18 1.78 1.87 3.65 223 68 291 Quincv . 70.O 6. 50 2.37 1.42 3.79 117 49 166 Rockford 87.7 4.72 I.2S I.O7 2.32 260 116 376 Rock Island . . . Springfield Streator 64.5 64.0 51.3 4-37 5-68 2.33 1.85 1.81 1.30 i-93 1-73 2.IO 3-26 3-54 3.40 183 233 135 57 81 51 240 321 186 Urbana . O7.6 5.02 2.03 2.6 1 4.64 203 50 253 'Excluding commercial revenue, except net profit. '1910. *$i.83 sanitary tax extends over a limited area. 4 Larger proportion. 20 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [380 w PQ j a I Q 2 < O Personal g 1 IO TJ- ON VQ CO 00 o <-> t tx & 2 Tt IO o* o CO 00 vo ^ CO to T}- VO VO tx S N to o\ * vo co CO tx to vo tx i^ ^ OO VO oo O\ tx Ot IO Ol ix*5 10 Ol !! 00* O* to tx vO ^ VO co q> o\ IO TJ- to 00 g^ 01 ON to 1 tX 5" ** of ~ 0) 04 CO "* " 10 M "* H H * in co 8 f n tx to oo co o O\ 01 S o of VO ! CO 80) 00 a s Railways O to O tx, vo ON 0) Tfr tx vo O co ON vo OO M \o tX. M ^ vo to tx. VO vo 00 CO CO oo Ol VO oo ^* tx OO O Ox tx O\ i J? 9> s? 1^ io 0) CO tx O tx \O vo Tj- OO .0 S S tx. ON vo co 00 01 O O to p\ to 01 U* o en o a " "5 H U 8 oo IO to O O tx 1 *? 00 00 00 CO 01 O tx to vo to oo tx. oO tx >-> to o IO CO ON Tf tx ^> tx 00 VO tx >-> O ^ Ol i 0* 00 10 vO to ON to vo O) VO IO O*. tx to ON tx. 00* CO* CO 0*\ J> $ 1-1 IX tx oo O Ol to co CO O oo O* ON fft -i O\ 00 tO Tj- 01 to vo to <N to 01 to M T? * VO" T* T? M IO 1-1 CO M CO 0* T? s ~ ~ V O fc o" o\ O) to 3 5 ** O *O tN. ^ o 01 00 10 tx T 1 oo "?o Tf VO 4J tx CO C VO to tx 60 s ? s* OO O Tf IO to 01 Ol co Of s- ON VO* O* oo co oo >o 01 tx O ?; o" co s? to CO ON vO to O ON Tf tx 00 01 vO tx O Ol O M 00 01 rj- io vo to to to o\ to <-> 01 CM oo tx oo fx ON co Ol o\ \o ^ N IO Tf co 3" O\ oo O <t to o Ix O* 1-1 Ol oo O to O) 00 0> vS Q" 0* v3 -^t O Ol Tf OJ ON oo to oo 00 rl- 00 tx ON oo Tf tx co CO to tx TJ- of tx. 8^^ & tX Tf to Ol fx o o\ NO Ol VO co VO* of Tf 01 "* .... 1 4,250,096 CO O O\ co Tf CO Q to o o 00 * vO 00 00 TT CO vo O ON * to ^ vo Ol OO $1 ts OO CO tx. ON to oo o? ^ tO fx T 3 - |'~ 00* CO* to Tt- Ol tx 8\ 00 10 Tf tx < 800 . ^t 0" CO 5 tx O 00 of to O 00 tx co <8 8 tO - Tp IO Q> Tf O OO fx of Of 01 to co Ol vo O 00 -fr OO co tx. tx 00 CO to 01 ON vo tx to VO 01 Ol Springfield Streator Urbana 5 Aurora . . . Belleville . Bloomingtor Champaign Danville . . Decatur . . . s I "1 W W Galesburg . Jacksonville T3 "rt .a ^ "o ^ 1 1 1 Moline . . Ottawa . I ' -o J5 u <n _, >> O ' ~ O * i t 'C c ^ ^t O "S w o 4> 3 O O cu a cd s 381] PROPERTY TAXATION 21 PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES. It is quite possible that variable standards of real property assessment prevail in different municipalities, but these cannot be ascertained without a more intensive investigation than has here been possible. It is even more probable that there is an inequality of personal property assessments, 20 which may be shown through a comparison with the assessments of the cities. Table 2 is an exhibit of the property assessment of the cities considered giving the assessments in the classes under which they are returned. In table 3 is the ratio of the real and personal assessment to the total assessment in each city, as compared with the ratios in the counties in which these cities are located, 21 as well as the ratio of personal property to the assessed value of city lots. That these ratios would have a considerable range would be anticipated, since sections of the state vary widely in the amount and nature of their wealth. That this variation is greatest within cities is apparent. Of the assessed valuation in counties, the proportion of personal property to real estate is least in Champaign county, being 16.8% of the total, the greatest in Kane county, where it constitutes 27.87% of the total assessment. Thus the variation has a range of 11.07% of the whole. The least proportion oT personal property in cities is in East St. Louis, 13.5% ; while the largest proportion, 39%, is in Ottawa. The var- iation is 25.5% of the whole, or twice the variation as between counties. Large manufacturing or railroad prop- erties situated in a locality would tend to increase the real property ratio, but cannot account for the entire difference. That the method of assessing personal property is to a large extent responsible for this is proven by comparing two corporations of a homegeneous character, as the con- tiguous cities of Champaign and Urbana. In the former, personal property constitutes 28.9% of the total assess- "Fairlie, supra cit, p. 41. "Biennial Report of the Auditor of Public Accounts (1908) p. 154. 22 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [382 ment, while in the latter it is only 19.7%. Similarly, the Rock Island assessment has 23.5% in personalty, while in the adjacent city of Moline 34.5% of the property is per- sonal. Elgin and Aurora are cities of similar size and nature, in the same county; personal property amounts to 38% of the total assessment in one, and to only 26.2% in the other. In order to eliminate any bias which might occur by including vacant lands and railroads in the real property assessment, the personal property of each city has also been compared with the assessed value of city lots. It was, however, impossible to separate telegraph and tele- phone values from the personalty, as was desirable for this comparison. By this method, Ottawa still had the largest proportion of personal property, 41.5% of the total; Urbana had least, 21.6%. The range of variation was 19.9%, or several percent less than in the comparison made with the total real property. The variation in assessments is further emphasized by a review of the per capita assessments of real and per- sonal property in each city. In two cities in which the real property assessment ranges from $202 to $203 per person, the per capita assessment of personal property varies from $122 to $50; and in seven cities in which the real property assessment varies from $155 to $195 per capita, the personalty assessment varies from $27 to $91. These figures indicate the danger of accepting the city tax rate as testimony of the cost of administration. Rockford has the lowest tax rate for general purposes of the cities considered, yet has a per capita assessment al- most double the average for the state. Quincy with the highest tax rate for general purposes is among those having the smallest per capita assessment. Though the amount of personal property varies in each community, the facts indicate that several cities are collecting taxes on much less than the tangible personal property within their jurisdiction. Under such conditions 383] PROPERTY TAXATION 23 an increase of city revenues may be more or less easily secured by action of the township assessor and the county board of review. TABLE 3. RELATION OF THE ASSESSMENTS OF REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY TO THE TOTAL ASSESSMENTS IN CITY AND COUNTY, AND THE RELATION OF THE CITY PERSONALTY ASSESSMENT TO THAT OF CITY LOTS. County 1907 City, 1909 u c o o "c3 Pti Personal "ca Pti Personal Personal to Lots only " 4) CK! Personal Alton Madison . . . Kane 73.44 72.13 80.30 80.12 83.18 79.90 80.94 80.30 72.13 77-20 76.14 76.50 79-44 81.00 82.56 78.07 82.56 80.44 72.20 74-94 78.07 80.63 82.56 83.18 26.56 27.87 19.70 19.88 16.82 20. 10 19.06 19.70 27.87 22.80 23.86 23-50 20.56 19.00 17.44 21.93 17-44 19.56 27.80 25.06 21-93 19-37 17-44 16.82 65.2 73-8 75-2 75-3 71.1 65-3 70.0 86.5 62.0 75-0 71-5 76.5 75-0 65.5 61.0 76.9 70.2 69.0 76.5 74-0 72.6 80.1 34-8 26.2 24.8 24-7 28.9 34-7 30.0 13-5 38.0 25.0 28.5 245 25.0 34-5 39-0 23.1 29.8 31-0 23-5 26.0 27-4 iQ.7 62.2 71.5 73.0 71.5 69.6 66.1 68.0 77-6 60.5 72.0 69.7 75-8 71-5 61.2 58.5 75-7 65-4 74.6 69.0 77-9 78.4 37-8 28.5 27.0 28.5 30-4 33-9 32.0 22.4 39-5 28.0 30.3 24.2 28.5 28.8 41-5 24-3 34-6 25-4 31-0 22.1 21.6 Aurora Belleville St. Clair ... McLean .... Champaign . Vermilion . Macon St. Clair.... Kane Bloomington .... Champaign Danville Decatur E. St. Louis .... Elgin Evanston Freeport Stephenson Knox Morgan Will Galesburg Jacksonville Joliet LaSalle LaSalle Rock Island LaSalle Peoria Adams Winnebago Rock Island Sangamon . LaSalle .... Chamoaien . Moline Ottawa Peoria Quincy . Rock ford Rock Island Springfield Streator Urbana . 24 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [384 LOSSES IN COLLECTION. Another cause of considerable loss to cities is that of interest on delinquent taxes. The average term of mu- nicipal loans made in anticipation of taxes is about five months, or only a trifle longer than that allowed for the collection of taxes. The township collector relinquishes his books on the tenth of March and the duty of collection passes to the county treasurer, thus necessitating duplica- tion of the collection machinery. An idea of the import- ance of this latter officer in the collection of delinquent city taxes may be gained from the following exhibit, which gives the sums received by a number of cities during the fiscal year 1909 from the two collecting agents, and the percentage of the total receipts accredited to each. It has been suggested that one of these agents be eliminated with a view of lessening the expenses of collection. 22 TABLE 4. CITY RECEIPTS FROM TOWN COLLECTORS AND COUNTY TREASURERS, 1909. City Town Coll. Per Cent County Coll. Per Cent Evanston $73-889 53-3% $64,757 46.7% Joliet 61,347 49.6 62,392 50.4 Ottawa 39,390 71.8 15,419 28-2 Peoria 218,022 75.2 71,538 24.8 Rockf ord 66,320 43.6 131,861 66.4 One of the fixed charges in the collection of taxes is the percentage going to the collector for remuneration; to which may be added the fee of the county clerk for extension. In addition to the 2% collection fee, in Free- port the reserve for the loss through unpaid taxes and cost of collection of delinquent taxes was 1.1% of the total levy, or a total of 3.1%. Evanston, in addition to the charges of the collector, paid the county treasurer .03% of the total for the extension of the levy, and .92% of his collections as a commission. Based upon the amount lev- ied, 1.46% was deducted for the cost of collection, .032% for clerk's fees; and 4.78% was uncollectable, making the **Fairlie, Taxation and Revenue System of Illinois, p. 17. 385] PROPERTY TAXATION 25 theoretical net income to the city 93.728% of the levy. Of the losses the largest item of 4.78% was diminished a frac- tion of a percent by the payment of back taxes. Through back taxes and the extension of the levy specified in the ordinance, the city received 94.5% of the sum requested. The same city realized 93.4% of the library taxes levied, 4.18% of the loss being in uncollectable taxes. The amount of back taxes received was only .01375% of the total levy. Thus far no reference has been made to the Road and Bridge tax which by the law of 1883 23 may be assessed in each township. Under this provision one-half of such receipts are returned to the cities in the township for the building and repair of roads. By an act of 1909 24 the statute was changed so that cities over 20,000 were to re- ceive all such taxes levied within their boundaries, which was deemed a more equitable distribution. There has been, however, some question as to the legality of the change. In Danville the city was not allowed to come into posses- sion of the funds ; and Rockford has been sued by the town- ship highway commissioners for $60,000, which was re- ceived by the city. In table 30 i/6> a statement of the shares of the Road and Bridge tax which came to the cities in 1909. Owing to the present legaKsituation, comment would be useless. Rev. Stat. ch. 121, par. 16. "Laws of 1909, p. 332. CHAPTER II LICENSES AND POLICE FINES. LICENSE REVENUE. License charges are legally of two kinds, those relat- ing to occupations and industries which may be absolutely prohibited, and those upon industries which only permit of regulation. A more practical division, however, is made upon the basis of financial return to the municipality, liquor licenses being placed first, followed by general licenses, business licenses and the vehicle tax. It is in this order that they are discussed. Liquor Licenses. The power of the legislature to tax the traffic in intoxi- cating liquors is enumerated in the constitution of the state 1 and was delegated to municipalities by the general act of 1872. 2 This act gave to city councils the right to regulate, license and prohibit the selling of malt, mixed or fermented liquors, any license not to extend be- yond the municipal year in which it was granted. It is further provided that cities must, in licensing, conform with the general state laws in force. There are now a number of state statutes, providing among other things, that the minimum license for a shop where the aforementioned liquors are sold at retail shall be f 500 per year, which sum shall be collected in advance for such periods as the city council may designate. Licenses for the sale of malt liquors may not be granted for less than $150 per year. There are no state laws concerning the wholesale liquor trade. The imposition of a license on these dealers lies in the discretion of the municipal councils. 'Const, of 1870, Art. 9, par. i. 'Kurd's Revised Statutes, (1908), ch. 24, par. 62, item. 46. 26 387] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 27 When a license is required, the penalty for operating with- out one is a fine of from $50 to $150, the possession of a government permit being prima facie evidence of the sale. Any license is subject to revocation should the owner maintain more than one saloon, or permit disorderly con- duct or gambling. The holder of a dramshop license is required to pro- vide a bond of $3,000 to cover any damages which may be sustained by reason of his selling intoxicating liquors; and he may be required to support a person kept in a state of continual intoxication. The rights of an injured person, his heir or employer, may be enforced against the owner of the building in which the offending saloon is located. Certain matters of regulation are left to the local authorities, among which are eligibility for a license, max- imum cost of the license, distribution of the license money, periods of payment, limitation of the license district and restriction of tjhe number of saloons. Table 31, giving the percentage of total city income re- ceived from liquor licenses, ranging (in license cities) from 20.7% ir\ Aurora to 41.3% in Streator, shows the import- ance of such revenues to municipalities. It will be gen- erally admitted that the presence of saloons is not an un- mitigated benefit, yet city revenue systems have been con- structed with a view of large incomes from this source. The problem of saloon licensing is therefore one of securing the maximum revenue with the least harmful results. Table 5 states the number of saloons in each city, pop- ulation per saloon, license rate, license income per inhab- itant, periods of license payment, restrictions upon the saloon district, and upon the number of saloons. It is usually accepted as true that a high license rate reduces the number of saloons and increases the amount of revenue. While this is a reasonable proposition it cannot be proved by a comparison of the per capita license income in high and low license cities. That a city has a high license is indicative that its population is not given to the large sup- 28 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [388 port of saloons, and hence the number is automatically lim- ited. Further, six of the seven cities which charge more than $500 for a license place an arbitrary restriction upon the number of licenses issued. TABLE 5. NUMBER OF SALOONS, POPULATION PER SALOON, LICENSE RATE, AND OTHER DATA RELATIVE TO THE LIQUOR TRAFFIC IN ILLINOIS CITIES, 1909. V vw O o > o . 0*3 c/} 6,, O rt OnC/) License Rate J3 u a c _c "". 3 H^ p. O en C V .2 E u X u .- PUP-. O "G t! .' c 5.9 KG c 11 tn B xz Alton 68 257 $500 1.72 Annual "Usual" None Aurora . . . 42 710 IOOO 1-43 Semi-ann. 3 Fire limits IOOO pop. 4 Belleville . . H3 187 500 2.63 None None Bloomington 76 339 600 1.86 Quart. None None Danville . . . 76 366 800 2.39 Quart. Bus. Section 500 pop. 4 Decatur 1 . . . 48 648 IOOO 1-54 Semi-ann. Bus. Section None E. St. Louis. 343 171 500 2.65 Quart. "Discretion None of Mayor" Elgin 14 764 IOOO 1.31 Semi-ann. Fire limits 33 for 25,000 i per *n |rwa 1,000 add. Freeport . . . Joliet 4 6 136 382 255 500 IOOO 1.30 3.92 Bus. Section "Usual" None 500 pop. 4 LaSalle 57 2O2 500 2.70 Annual 5 250 pop. 4 Moline 63 384 1002 2.60 Semi-ann. None 500 pop. 4 Ottawa 49 194 500 2.65 Quart. None 49 Saloons Peoria 300 223 600 2.05 Quart. None 400 pop. 4 Quincy 145 252 500 1.98 Rockford 1 .. 50 908 IOOO 1.14 Semi-ann. Bus. Section looo pop. 4 Rock Island. 06 253 500' 1.97 Semi-ann. None None Springfield . 200 258 500 2.10 Annual "Usual" None Streator 65 219 500 1.87 Quart. 66 Saloons '1910 "Dry" during period studied. 'Now $600. 'Bond given for last installment. 4 Limit will become operative only when population increases. No saloons in residence district except those already there. 389] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 29 Ten of eighteen cities so restrict the number of licenses issued, eight of these limiting upon the basis of population. In most cases, however, the number of saloons exceeds the number the restriction would normally allow, and there must be a large increase in population before there can be an increase in liquor shops. In Elgin and Decatur an arbitrary minimum of saloons was fixed, any increase to follow an increase in population. In each instance of re- striction of number, the licenses already issued assume a monopoly value. Since the municipality has limited its own income incidental to this, it appears reasonable that such increment should be turned to the city treasury. An example of such loss accompanying the limiting of the number of saloons is found in LaSalle, where the number was decreased from 66 to 57, involving a shrinkage in license fees of $4500. A similar decrease in income was ex- perienced in Rockford, which city actually restricted the number of saloons to one for each 900 inhabitants; while Decatur, a city with a similar class of citizens and a similar attitude toward the liquor question, supports one saloon for each 600 people. 3 On this basis the former city was los- ing by restriction of the number of licenses the revenue of twenty saloons, or $20,000. As the saloons established were approximately transacting the business which might be done by twenty more, they should bear the loss incurred by the city by reason of the monopoly allowed. This would raise the license rate in Rockford to $1400 per year. 4 More than one-half of the cities studied restrict the license district to the fire limits or to the business district. In the others the only check upon location is the usual leg- islative provision concerning frontage signatures. Saloons in the residence districts naturally increase the license reve- nues, but have many objectional features in addition to necessitating a direct increase in the police force. 'Both cities went "no license" in 1908; have since gone "wet" and enacted stringent laws regarding the sale of liquor. Rockford in 1912 again reversed its position. 4 Similarily an equitable license rate in Elgin would be $1175; and in Aurora $1100. 30 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [390 Of fifteen cities two require that the license fee be paid annually; six, semi-annually ; and the remainder, quarterly. Under a system by which cities do not receive interest upon their funds on deposit, there is little object in requiring that the license payment be made at the be- ginning of the year. However, the interest upon the con- siderable sums of license money would amount to several hundred dollars per year for each city, were licenses paid at the beginning of the year and interest collectable. It has been mentioned that the law requires licenses to be paid for in advance. In Chicago, thru neglect to enforce this provision, losses were formerly large. 5 Sa- loons neglected prompt payment, and if going out of busi- ness paid only a prorata for the time open. In the smaller cities of the state this is never the case. Of nineteen cities, sixteen require that the fee be paid strictly in advance; two, (Ottawa and Rock Island) allow from a few days to a week of grace, and in only one city (Springfield) were payments reported seriously in arrears. Nor do refunds make any considerable inroads into the sums collected. Five cities reported refunds of saloon licenses: Rockford, to the amount of $478; Rock Island, $250; and Peoria, $1083. 6 This last city refunds only in case of unavoidable accidents, "an act of God". Spring- field refunds for the same reason; Decatur also refunds; but in these last two cities the refunded amounts could not be obtained. General Licenses. The authority to require other licenses as a means of revenue is also derived from the constitution. The legislature is granted the power to tax by general law, peddlers, auctioneers, brokers, hawkers, merchants, com- mission merchants, show men, jugglers, inn keepers, and grocery keepers; toll bridges and ferries; insurance brok- ers; telegraph and express interests; vendors of patent Merriam, Municipal Revenues of Chicago, p. 115. 'Includes refunds of taxes. 391] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 31 medicines; and persons owning and using franchises and privileges. 7 Such taxation is definitely authorized by law for purposes of revenue, and hence is not dependent for its legality upon police powers. By a series of acts, the legislature has authorized mu- nicipal licensing of nearly every occupation which par- takes of a public or quasi-public character, enjoys special privileges, or requires police supervision. 8 It is imprac- tical to make an accurate calculation of the value of a privilege which an occupation may enjoy, but such occu- pations are the object of an easily imposed and collected tax. Expediency in taxation is frequently paramount to absolute justice. In any event the incidence of license taxes is often shifted to some extent, and in all probability works no greater injustice than other frequent forms of taxation. By statute cities have acquired the right to license, regulate and suppress the following occupations and busi- nesses, 9 wharf boats and tugs used about harbors or within the jurisdiction of the same; hawkers, peddlers and pawnbrokers; keepers of ordinaries, theatrical and other exhibitions, shows and amusements, billiard and pool tables; bowling alleys; and transient vendors of merchan- dise. 10 The privilege of peddling merchandise is given to ex-union soldiers free of charge upon demand and after presentation of proof of army service; 11 and every farmer, fruit and vine grower has the right to sell his own pro- duce where such articles are usually sold without a city 'Const. Art. 9, par. i. *"Altho a constitution grants to a legislature the power to impose certain classes of occupational taxes which are enumerated, it may dele- gate to municipal bodies the power to impose for municipal purposes, taxes which are not included in the constitutional enumeration." Wiggins v. Chicago, 6 III. 372. *The courts have held that the legislature may delegate its power to the local authorities by general law. See Braun v. Chicago, no III. 190. Rei>. Stat. ch. 24, par. 62, items 35, 41 et seq. a lbid ch. 24, par. 651. 32 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [392 license, any ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding. 12 The streets, however, must not be obstructed nor the liquor laws violated. The licensing of houses of prostitution or the medical inspection of the same is expressly forbidden. Municipalities are granted the right to license and to regulate, but not to suppress, in the following instances, runners for stages, cars and public houses; wagons and other vehicles conveying loads within the city, or any par- ticular class of such wagons and other vehicles, and to prescribe the width of tire for the same; 13 hackmen, dray- men, omnibus owners, carters, cabmen, porters, express- men, and all others employed in like occupations, and to prescribe their compensation; second-hand 14 and junk stores, and to forbid them from purchasing and receiving from minors; auctioneers; distillers and brewers; lumber- yards, livery stables, public scales, blacksmith shops, foundries, and brokerage shops. Dogs may be taxed and restrained. Elevator operators and plumbers may also be examined and licensed, and an additional license may be imposed upon plumbing establishments. 15 The license fee on vehicles when collected must be kept in a separate fund and used only for paying the cost and expense of street and alley improvement and repair. 16 Foreign insurance companies are required "upon de- mand to pay into the treasuries of the cities in which they have agents, not more than two percent of the gross re- ceipts upon the insurance in force within the boundaries of the municipality. 17 Not all of the license income received is turned into the general treasury of the city collecting it. In municipalities having more than 50,000 inhabitants the firemen's relief fund is the recipient of one-half of the fire insurance "Rev. Stat. ch. 5, par. 23. "Ibid ch. 24, par. 62, items 43, 96. "Does not include book stores. Eastman v. Chicago. 79 ///. 178. "Rev. Stat. ch. 24, par. 62, item 42 et seq. M For constitutionality see Harder's Fire Proof Storage and Van Co. v. Chicago. 235 III. 58. "Rev. Stat. ch. 24, par. 423. 393] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 33 tax. 18 Also the police pension fund in such cities is made up in part of three-fourths of the dog tax, three percent of all other city licenses up to $2500, and the fines from the violation of the police ordinances. In cities of smaller size the police pension fund consists in part of three- fourths of the dog tax, two percent of the saloon licenses (upon vote of the citizens), ten percent of the city ordin- ance fines and ten percent of all other licenses, the total not to amount to more than $2500 in a year. 19 Table 6 is a statement of the total income from all licenses (except wheel and insurance taxes) for the year 1909 in the cities under consideration ; of this income classi- fied according to the more important sources; and of the per capita income excepting that from saloons. Where the income is not separated into its several sources the informa- tion was not available. The division of "other licenses" consists of scattering miscellaneous licenses and the more important business taxes which are considered later. The most striking feature of the table is the wide variation in the percapita income from general licenses which ranges from as low as four cents per person in Ottawa, to thirty-five cents in East St. Louis. The largest of these variations is accounted for by the collection of business taxes in certain cities, but the vari- ation among others is sufficient to demonstrate the desira- bility of systematic licensing and collection. It is evident that general licenses can be depended upon to contribute annually from $1000 to $5000 of the municipal income providing there is a proper system of levy and collection. Unfortunately no plan has been advanced to insure payment, other than that of tagging, which can be employed only in special cases. In frequent instances the enforcement of certain licenses has been allowed to lapse entirely. An example of this is the tax on dogs, which if effectively applied will produce $1000 a year in cities of even moderate size. In Rockford the tax is author- "Rev. Stat. ch. 24, par. 382. "Rez>. Stat. ch. 24, par. 391. 34 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [394 TABLE 6 TOTAL AND PER CAPITA INCOME FROM LICENSE TAXES, ILLINOIS CITIES, 1909 t) "c bo en O '-H u en J3 t) 1 Eg 8.S 1 (J c 1 1 V en 3 l| rt u rt ffi en c ,_! in < 3 bo T3 |r "O in c "O o.S G l*-4 C C rt E B C S rt V u, C. u, rt +H O o 3 en 'Sb bo 3 IH heatre a ij in bo O eddlers inerant aymen u o ew rt H 3 Q H rt Q OH a M Q 6 Alton $.31 $36,173 $30,684 $ 37 $ 370 $ 265 $1,106 $ 75 None 1 $3,634 Aurora . . .10 45,974 42,824 935 None 400 $ 230 1,585 Belleville . .18 60,442 55,691 120 246 718 804 240 None 1 2,621 Bloom'n .. .17 52,549 47,900 1 80 5i8 1,130 None 705 455 1,659 Champ'n . .16 1,994 None None 583 1,040 None 161 2OI None Danville . .11 70,645 66,600 None 900 306 None 755 1 10 904 Decatur ... .10 3,191 None None 762 410 375 1,361 263 1,483 E. St. Lo's 35 179,809 I55,4io 798 861 1 20 2,081 4,295 None 1 16,243 Elgin .12 37,H4 34,000 870 Evanston . .22 5,510 None 2,187 Freeport .. .11 25,160 None 4.87 542 Galesburg .IO 2,529 None 238 Jack'ville... 05 876 None None 250 520 None None 106 Joliet .07 139,045 136,000 160 550 919 666 320 101 i,075 LaSalle ... 13 34,400 33,iio None 265 None 260 370 87 308 Moline .... .14 66,226 63,126 370 3,130 Ottawa .... .04 25,680 25,250 90 no Peoria .18 149,300 137,307 1,144 1,587 925 1,940 1,674 538 3,141 Quincy .21 80,091 72,500 1,928 Rockford . .09 4,056 None Rock Isl'd .14 51,697 48,025 00 965 560 176 868 243 770 Springf'd .14 115,604 108,435 613 851 96 None 609 317 4,682 Streator ... .06 27,764 26,750 None 225 340 103 00 256 Urbana ... 05 405 None None loo 'Included in wheel tax. Absence of data does not necessarily signify that no such tax is required, but may mean that the amount collected was so small as to be reported under "other licenses." 395] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 35 ized, but the ordinance is a "dead letter". Such a condi- tion is better, however, than the unequal enforcement of the law in Ottawa, Galesburg, Streator, and more strik- ingly in Rock Island. Each of these cities except Streator has a larger population than Freeport, yet no one of them received an amount from dog taxes equal to half that collected in the last named city. On the other hand, an example of a license which is almost uncollectable is that on hotel "runners" or porters. Peoria, with its numerous hotels, received three dollars in 1909 from this source. In Rockford no attempt is made to enforce the licensing ordinance. A license tax of this na- ture may be classed with those frequently intricate ord- inances taxing peddlers, hawkers and auctioneers. In Urbana an ordinance of this kind by a complicated classi- fication of the goods sold, method of transporting them and the length of time the permission is to continue, invites non-enforcement by its complexity. Table 7 is a compilation of the principal licenses and the rates imposed in the twenty-four cities under consider- ation. The field is very wide ; yet from the point of view of revenue only a few occupations furnish any considerable income. The most important sources are baggage and ex- press wagons, billiard and pool halls, druggists, pawn- brokers, junk and second hand stores, and theatres of all types. These industries have been long subject to license taxation, and a review of the city reports shows that licenses of this kind form the backbone of the license income. The businesses are permanent; the burden of the tax can be shifted in most cases only upon the well-to-do ; and, what is more important, the taxes are easily collect- able. The remainder of the occupations subject to licensing are of less permanent character, or of such a nature that a heavy license would be oppressive. Under such condi- tions license taxation is most successful if concentrated on a few occupations where the returns will be productive, rather than scattered over a varietv of trades at low rates. 36 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [396 1HW io * asnojj sjBog c S80Q sjsUJSJnjQ JIIUJ^J ft 8 8 c-~ - e* cxexx u s. & W 8 8 c 10 O to to O to OiO TN w tOlOtOtOO'OtOO OO Qto - - toO QtOOtO put suopony SJ33UOIJDn- v - OOtOiOOfiO O r- O OOOr-tO c ~ : : ' ~Z c : : s : * ^-s u^ ~ 5 w u rt --^ *s a.--^ 3 u > C c' ^ <-i 5pmXn>fac/2. . .*& g-e o J2 3 w. .c <u .>uca CQCQUQQWWWfcO 397] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 37 J38U3AE3S O O fO O O lr > 10 N O 10 O jjun jo cc o (ssp is i jonbi 8 8 " (aid JJuiAoui) S3-UBOIU >tuu O O O IO spueis -o N s.) 1-1. guijooqs c. X. I g, c c S31BOS SJ.HIUll}] B ' tooj IO _ rt O XO >O 10 10 1 10 O to O tO"-i WWM^SN >* M fi 1 1 -N -i O tO __ lOCO l/5 '7 l OtOO>O ~ O 1- - MM w J 2: < h (JOOJ) "WIPP'd -o-o -o-o T3 E E C C C ">0 N B - "5 O C ^ (U03EM) E 5 : : c -o 38 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [398 Whether a heavy license should be imposed upon the baggage and express business is questionable. The in- dustry makes special use of the city streets, for which payment may be expected; at the same time it serves as a refuge for a class of broken down men who frequently earn only a bare livelihood. A heavy license tax on billiard and pool tables and upon bowling alleys is a profitable source of revenue. A number of cities charge only $5 per table, while in Danville the tax falls as low as $2.50 per table, the annual income being only a trifle over $300. Evanston, Joliet and Peoria charge large sums for the privilege of conducting these businesses, a practice, which, while it gives a monopoly to a few places, makes collection easy. Only a quarter of the cities charge more than $5.00 per table which sum with a view to revenue is too small. On bowling alleys the prevailing licenses are $10 and $15 per alley, altho in Freeport the charge is as low as $5 per year. Where a charge is made for the business rather than by the alley, the rates are much lower. In Evanston such charge is $200, but the next highest rate is $25, which prevails in three cities. In two other munici- palities the business rate falls as low as $10. The druggist license is usually a small fee for permis- sion to sell liquor, presumably for medicinal purposes, al- tho this restriction is notoriously violated. The predom- inating license rates are $15 and $25 dollars per year. In two instances, however, it is $5.00 and in one case only one dollar. In Bloomington there is an occupational tax of FOOTNOTES TO TABLE 7. f Sale forbidden, but 'Circus bill posters $5.00 per day. ordinance not enforced. *not now enforced, n no data. T Fee only. x taxed under other classification. 'Occupational tax on all pharmacists. a larger sum for first table, 'Not enforced. smaller for each add. 10 Any place where milk is sold, y year. "$2.50 per 100 scale tickets, which d day. sell for $10. w week. M Per wagon, m month. M An initial franchise tax. J A blank means not taxed. "Grade one. 2 By other than auctioneer. "On city property. Total business. "$10.00 per wagon additional. 4 Per table unless otherwise designated. 399] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 39 flO.OO per year upon all pharmacists. On the whole the drug license is widely used and generally collected, but is not as large as the nature of the drug business justifies. Pawn shops, junk and second hand stores form a class by themselves, the licensing of which is largely a police measure. Pawn shops require an amount of police super- vision and the rate of taxation is necessarily high in order to limit the number. Junk shops are licensed with a view to police regulation, but the object would perhaps be better secured by extending the licensing to the wagons used in collection rather than upon the warehouses, and there would result an increase of revenue. Theatres are perhaps the most unevenly taxed busi- ness of the group, the license rate in cities of the same size ranging from $25 to $150. The predominant rate is from $50 to $100, altho six cities charge more than this latter figure. The moving picture show is highly taxed in most localities, the business being supposedly profitable and re- quiring increased fire protection. Brewers, brewery agents and wholesale liquor dealers are not as extensively or as heavily levied upon as the nature of their business would seem to justify. Since retail liquor dealers are taxed from $500 to $1200, it ap- pears but reasonable that wholesale dealers should con- tribute more than $25, as" is the case in Rock Island and Quincy. Also if a business is of such a nature that it is taxed $300 per year in one city, it is questionable if it should be exempt from taxation in others. Itinerant merchants, licensed, in some cities, from $25 to $100 per month, are in other cities escaping with less than a reasonable charge. It cannot be said that their presence promotes a healthy growth of home industries; or is entirely lacking in the need of police supervision; nor are they subject to the general property tax. Perhaps in this instance a much higher license than that which the municipalities are assessing would be expedient upon the grounds both of revenue and of public policy. Milk wagons in all but seven of the cities pay a nom- 40 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [400 inal fee to facilitate inspection. In two instances, Peoria and Rock Island, the licenses apply to all places where milk is sold. The usual rate is $5 per year, tho it is as high as $15 in Alton, and falls to $1 in Freeport and Rockford. The total revenue is not large, but should be sufficient to cover the costs of inspections and testing. The high cigarette license tax is normally imposed with a view to decreasing the sales. It usually results in giving a single merchant a cigarette monopoly, as was originally true in Rockford ; or for several dealers to take out licenses at a loss, in which case the tax is really one upon the retail tobacco business. Or a large tax may prevent any dealer taking a license, in which case the ordinance is widely violated. This situation was found in both Ottawa and Rockford. A more reasonable license than that now imposed in the five cities licensing the sale of cigarettes, possibly $50 per year, would prevent the indiscriminate sale by small dealers and grocers, and would materially re- duce or eliminate evasions of the law by tobacco dealers. The result would be a $50 tax on the retail tobacco business, tho it would have the appearance of an optional payment. In addition to the licenses enumerated in table 7 there are numerous others which are operative in only a few cities. A complete list would include striking machines at $1 and $10 a day in Aurora and Urbana respectively; ice cream wagons, $5 in Belleville; street cars in several cities; 20 solicitors for merchants, at $50 in East St. Louis; mechanical clocks at $2.50 in Aurora ; distilled water deal- ers, $5 in Evanston; awning manufacturers, $25 in Joliet and Peoria, or at $10 when more than one person shall be engaged in the business; keepers of gunpowder, $3 in Galesburg; and the penny arcades in several municipalities, either by specific designation or under the classification of general amusements. Cities are also permitted to examine and license plumbers, the fee being $50 for master plumbers, and $1 "See Public Service Privileges, ch. IV. 401] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 41 for journeymen; and to renew the same annually for $10 and $2 respectively. 21 In Rockford examination and re- newals returned $481, or $449 net, which "as has always been the custom was divided equally among the three members of the board". 22 Electricians pay an annual license of $5 in Peoria, the total income from this tax being $501. Aside from these mentioned, and single instances of a tax on bakers and pharmacists, occupational licensing has made little progress in the cities of Illinois. The business of plumbing pays $10 license in Decatur, Ottawa, LaSalle, Bloornington, and $20 in Moline. Drain layers are licensed at $10 in Kockford and Peoria. Business Taxes. It is not always easy to distinguish between the ob- jects of business taxation and general licensing tho it is desirable to discuss them separately. Certain trades, as druggists, pawnbrokers, second hand dealers, junk shops, etc., have been long subject to licensing and by nature seem to invite public supervision. On the other hand, other businesses have no special characteristics which justify licensing and taxation unless such taxes are imposed on all. Licensing within this group is justified only by the requirement of revenue, and the desirability of an easily assessed and collected tax. The statutes are sufficiently broad to permit the licens- ing of almost any business which the city authorities may think necessary, 23 yet the practice of business taxation has been extended in only a limited radius from East St. Louis. This city apparently borrowed the practice from its Missouri namesake. Table 8 is an exhibit of the rates of business taxes and the total amounts received by each city from this source for the year 1909. East St. Louis, Springfield, Belleville, and Alton are the only municipali- ties receiving a considerable revenue from this source, "Laws of 1909, p. 132. "Annual Report of Rockford, 1909, p. 88. *Rev. Stat. ch. 24, par. 62, item 95 el seg. 42 MUNICIPAL SEVENTIES IN ILLINOIS [402 although several other cities license an occasional trade. The most productive license is that on butcher shops, which in Alton paid $1988 during 1909. In the same city, livery stables and lumber yards contributed $125 for each class, and restaurants $282. In Belleville the most important of the business taxes was that upon vendors of provisions, the return being $720. Vendors of bread, fruit, etc., paid $355 ; real estate brokers paid $337; and livery stables, $100. In East St. Louis TABLE 8. BUSINESS TAXES, RATES AND TOTAL INCOME, 1909. | < JU ~ pa 9 O nJ c/) w Evanston t> "o *c o o c J2 "en t i O & T3 "3 1C bo C o. in Awning man'f'g $ 25 $ 25 Bakeries $10 $ 25 5 1 Brokers, general Brokers, real estate . . Coal dealers 25 200 25 25 $ 25 25 10 Fire works, retail.... Fire works, wholesale Groceries 10 25 3 IS Hay and grain 25 Ice dealers $5* IO J to*" 10 Hotels 15 Livery stables $ 25 25 50 2.50* 25 Lumber yards $ 25 50 25 50 Meats, retail TOO IO SO 4 5 25 Meats, wholesale Restaurants IO 15 2 IOO 15 Storegoods IO 25 Undertakers IO IO Total income $2^2O $2368 $14611 No $ 185 $ 176 $ 135 $77157 Data 'Per person. "Per wagon. 'Per rig. 4 Now $25. 'Not enforced. 403] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 43 butcher shops paid $5100 ; grocery stores, $4408 ; "vendors of store goods", $1387; coal and ice dealers, $895; real estate brokers, $719 ; and hay and grain dealers, $268. The remaining business licenses in the city produce less than $250 each. Meat dealers are the most important contrib- utors to the business tax fund in Springfield, retail dealers paying $1417, and wholesale dealers $908. Lumber yards are next in rank, contributing $305 ; restaurants pay $250 ; lunch rooms, $248; and real estate brokers, $168. The re- maining businesses pay less than $100 each. The other cities enumerated in Table 8 cannot be said to practice business licensing for revenue purposes. In Evanston only lumber yards are taxed sufficiently to pro- duce a reasonable revenue, the other business taxes ap- pearing to be of a regulatory nature. The license of awn- ing manufacturers in Joliet and Peoria is unimportant, and the tax on ice wagons is apparently regulatory. In this connection attention may be called to the $2 tax on restaurants in Evanston ; and a similar license pro- posed in Urbana. Both of these cities forbid the licensing of saloons and consequently have found it necessary to extend police supervision to restaurants to prevent the illicit sale of liquor. The four cities which have extensively adopted busi- ness taxation find it a profitable source of revenue. Its general introduction, however, would probably meet with such opposition as to make wide adoption impossible. Vehicle Licenses. A recent amendment to the general incorporation act for cities provides that municipalities may "direct, license and control all wagons and other vehicles conveying loads within the city, or any particular class of such wagons and other vehicles, and prescribe the width of tires of the same, the license fee when collected to be kept in a separate fund and used only for paying the costs and expense of street and alley repair". 24 "Rev. Stat. (1908), ch. 24, par. 62, item 96. 44 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [404 Eight out of the twenty-four cities under discussion have placed upon vehicle owners part of the cost of repair- ing streets which are built entirely by the property owners. Ordinances establishing vehicle licenses meet with con- siderable opposition and have been considered unfavorably in at least three cities, Decatur, Rockford and Springfield. TABLE 9. VEHICLE LICENSES, RATES AND TOTAL INCOME, 1909. 4> in N <V m LI orses in D in sn JH IS H O 1 tt O <-] O o <O o o O .c r*] O M &> * J .n C ~ <L> I u g o o L C *-*4 o ^ B ^ 2 O C O H 43 H O 3 S S I 3 < "0 3 c Alton $2 $ 2-5 $5 $ S $ 5 $10 $ 10 $ 10 $ $ 516 Aurora I Belleville .. 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 483 Decatur .... 5 5 5 E. St. Louis' 7-50 IO 12.50 15 7169 Evanston . . 3 5 10 IS 20 I2 1 20 30 3 8065 Jacks'nville 2-3* 4-10 10 10 IO 10 IO IO 2368 Moline 5 I 2* 3 4 5 10 15 2 800' Quincy I 2 7-50 IO-I5 4 2 3401 1 Driver also licensed. 2 Based upon number of horses and weight of wagon. "Delivery wagons, $7.50. 4 Six or more passengers. "1911. "Furniture, baggage, and express wagons, $25. The ordinances which have been passed indicate no uniform- ity as to what is regarded as a reasonable tax on vehicles. The minimum is in Moline where the charges are $1 per horse, with a uniform charge of $7.50 for delivery wagons. In East St. Louis the minimum charge is $7.50 for one horse vehicles with an increase of $2.50 for each additional horse. In Jacksonville the tax is based upon a combina- tion of the number of horses and weight of the vehicle. The intention was to charge light delivery wagons $4, and the maximum weight of vehicles at $3 a year was placed at 405] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 45 750 pounds. The result was to place most delivery wagons in the three dollar class. Perhaps such a scheme of gradu- ating the tax by the weight of the vehicle is commendable if proportionate depreciation on pavements is to be con- sidered, but it lacks much in simplicity of collection. It has been impossible to separate the revenue returns from the licensing of automobiles from that of other ve- hicles, tho doubtless the former contribute the larger share. It is conceded that automobiles cause a considerable destruction of streets and they have been taxed accord- ingly. The minimum charge is $5 per car, and the tendency is to increase the rate to ten dollars for other than runa- bouts, and one city adds the class of six-passenger cars. The result of the high charges in Evanston is seen in the large amount of revenue derived from the vehicle tax. Perhaps $20 per car would be considered large in the aver- age city, but it should be remembered that the ownership of an automobile is, or should be, indicative of an ability to bear taxation. In addition to the charge on machines, Evanston examines and licenses automobile drivers, the examination being made by the commissioner of public works. The initial charge is $3, the license being renew- able annually for $1. The motorcycle license has been adopted by four cities and is more of a police than a revenue measure, justified by the large increase in the number of machines and the public danger arising from their use. FOREIGN FIRE INSURANCE TAX. Fire insurance companies which are not incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois are required to pay into the treasuries of the municipalities in which they operate, not to exceed two percent of the gross receipts from insurance in force within the city limits. The disposal of this fund has already been mentioned, and comment concerning it will be confined to the manner of collection. 46 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [406 Table 10 is a statement of the income of each city from this source. In this instance, where one would antici- pate almost uniformity in the percapita collections, there is a large variation in the income, the lowest being $.017 per person in East St. Louis, and the highest $.11 or six times that amount, in Peoria. TABLE 10. TOTAL AND PER CAPITA INCOME FROM THE FOREIGN FIRE INSURANCE TAX., 1909. City Total Per City Total Per Amt. Cap. Amt. Cap. Alton $1488 $.085 Jacksonville ... $1348 $.088 Aurora 1636 .055 Joliet 1984 .057 Belleville 662 .025 LaSalle 739 .064 Bloomington . . 1093 .041 Moline 1415 .58 Champaign 1124 .09 Ottawa 912 .095 Danville 1672 .06 Peoria 7369 .11 Decatur 3102 .10 Quincy 1 E. St. Louis . . . 1200 .017 Rockford 2248 .049 Elgin 1 1 21 .043 Rock Island . . . 1838 .074 Evanston ..... 1472 .059 Springfield 1729 .034 Freeport 1061 .06 Streator 1 159 .081 Galesburg 1579 .069 Urbana 327 .04 *Annual reports for 1907 and 1909 make no mention of this tax. May be included in "general licenses". In some instances, as in East St. Louis, city officials frankly admitted that the collection of the tax had not been pressed. By special action of the city council in Ot- tawa in 1909 suit was commenced in the justice court against fifty-six delinquent companies, resulting in a pay- ment of $863. Rockford, to facilitate the collection of this tax, requires that each insurance broker take out an annual license, the charge being $1. At the time of issuing this license, an affidavit may be required of the foreign insur- ance business which the firm has written during the past year. From the figures it appears that the normal collection in each city should fall between four and eight cents per person, and nearer the latter figure than the former. Yet 407] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 47 five cities fall below the minimum figure suggested and seventeen below the maximum. The insurance tax will furnish one of the largest incidental revenues to which the cities have access, if means are found to compel its pay- ment. POLICE FINES. The police and local courts are not important for their contribution to city revenues since the maximum in any city amounts to only 4,12% of the whole, while the average is about 1%. ( See Table 31) . In Freeport the contribution of the police department is 4.72% of the whole city income, while in Moline it falls to .236%. It is rather for its wide variation of return that this branch of the municipal reve- nue deserves attention. The public safety is the one de- partment of city activity where administration is fashioned after that of a quarter of a century ago and is still beset with fees, charges, perquisites, and not infrequently ignor- ance. A prisoner from the moment of his arrest is in the grasp of a system of charges, a fee for the officer who makes the detention, a fee for the prosecuting attorney, costs for the judge and jury, and a fine for the city. And the more important of these charges are dependent upon the option of those whose function it is to assess them. In one municipality a city warrant cannot be secured after nine o'clock in the morning, if the case is one in which either a state or city warrant may be issued. A city war- rant would give the fine to the city ; a state warrant gives nothing to the city and permits a larger fee to the magis- trate. If there have been a series of state cases where no cash fines have accrued, these will be made up by means of a heavy fine assessed against the next offender who can pay. 25 The minimum charge assessed in a city case would "State cases may suffer by the State's attorney receiving fines in the cases he prosecutes. For example the statutes provide that game wardens shall receive one-half of the fines in cases apprehended by them. One State's attorney refused to sanction such a loss to his income with the result that game law enforcement was at a stand still. 48 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [408 be a $1.00 fine, plus f 1.80 costs. In a state case this would be $3.05 plus in many cases a minimum attorney's fee of $5.00. In simpler words, in one city of the state the penalty of a crime may be magnified four times if the arrest is made after nine o'clock in the morning. Under such a system the possibilities of connivance between the magis- trate and the prosecuting attorney is apparent. In Quincy, state cases amount to only 7.5% of those tried; in Rockford they are 20% ; Bloomington 27% ; Rock Island 37.5% and Moline 45%. It is impossible to believe that serious crime is six times more prevalent in this latter city than in Quincy. In one municipality the chief of po- lice in his attempt to obtain equity for the city by having as many prisoners as possible fined in the municipal court, brought upon himself the wrath of the politicians in such a measure that he gave up the task. To quote his own words, "I had to come off second best". There are at least several solutions for this problem, the most practical being to place the prosecuting attorney upon a salary basis. 26 Tho the fines under this system are still lost to the city, the surplus over the salary will be turned in to the county school fund. In Rock Island, in 1908, over $2,000 was se- cured for education in this fashion. Another remedy in- volves the more difficult task of taking the police out of politics. Justices of the peace have long been notorious as dispensers of justice of a sort which in Chicago brought upon them the approbrium of "justice shops". These of- ficers in that city have now been abolished in favor of the municipal court. The evils of political justices need no recital, yet one city, East St. Louis, with over ten thousand arrests per year, retains the system. Each morning the culprits of the last twenty-four hours are religiously di- vided among the city magistrate and a half a dozen jus- tices of the peace. In other cities the city cases tried be- fore the justices of the peace are almost none, 15 of 1019 in Quincy, 1 of 1507 in Rockford. "Rev. Stat. Ch. 53, par. 8a. 409] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 49 A reference to Table 31 in the chapter on Conclusions will show the proportion of each city's revenues which is contributed by the police department. This, however, is scarcely a just method of comparison, since the importance of smaller sums is lost in the larger ones arising from other sources. Also, both the opportunities for, and the policy of, arresting is different in each locality. In "dry" com- munities persons intoxicated are usually apprehended on sight, while in others, not until they become decidedly offensive. That the number of saloons directly influences the number of arrests, and hence the police income, is shown both by the size of the police forces and the population per arrest in the different cities. In the five no-license cities the average number of persons per police officer is 1566 ; for the remaining cities there is an average popula- tion of 1168 for each officer. Table 13 also indicates that there is some correlation between the population per sa- loon and the population per police officer. This relation holds true in all but a few instances. While the presence or absence of saloons affects de- cidedly the number of men required to maintain order, and may increase the number of arrests in an individual city, on the whole the influence of the liquor traffic is not as marked as might be expected, for the reasons already stated. In cities having one annual arrest to twenty or more inhabitants, there is a saloon for an average of 413 persons; while in cities making one arrest for less than twenty inhabitants, there is a saloon for each 350 persons. While the former group contains five no-license cities, it also includes LaSalle, which has the largest pro rata of saloons of any city studied. Frequency of arrest is hardly a mark of good order in a city, or a criterion of an efficient police force. A large income from police sources may indi- cate that undesirable and unlawful businesses are allowed to play their trades thru the payment of fines as tribute. Perhaps a more satisfactory method of judging police revenue would be a comparison of the income per arrest 50 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [410 in the several cities. This sum ranges from nothing in Joliet and twelve cents in East St. Louis, to $5.51 in Free- port. The method of collection in East St. Louis has been commented upon, and furnishes some explanation for so small a return. On the other hand, Alton, Aurora and Jacksonville must be excluded for purposes of actual com- parison since their magistrates are recompensed by salaries rather than by fees. Aside from the factors of number of arrests, and pay- ment of police judges, there remain two others which influ- ence municipal incomes from police departments, the dis- position of the cases presented to the magistrates and of the fees and fines assessed. Owing to the meagerness of city reports and the lack of accessible records in the police departments there is a limited amount of information upon both of these subjects. It has been impossible to obtain even the number of arrests in LaSalle and Springfield, and in this latter city the desk sergeant professed complete ignorance of the number of merchant's police, with whom his department presumably co-operates. The disposal of persons arrested as reported in five cities may be sufficient to show the general tendency and is as follows : TABLE n. DISPOSAL OF ARRESTS IN FIVE ILLINOIS CITIES, 1909. Evanston. Ottawa. Peoria. Quincy. Rockford. Total No. arrests 734 425 4383 1019 1507 Fines paid in court 410 64 1218 399 338 Cases continued 8 9 1218 9 135 Held to other courts or grand jury 28 1 1 277 92 106 Settled out of court 22 40 3 155 Discharged on payment of costs 79 25 Served in jail 22 66 531 173 266 Discharged 158 273 2103 145 542 Otherwise disposed of 7 2 109 173 5 Expressed in relation to the total number of arrests this table becomes: 411] LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 51 TABLE 12. DISPOSAL OF ARRESTS IN ILLINOIS CITIES, BY PERCENTAGES. Evanston. Ottawa. Peoria. Quincy. Rockford. City Income per arrest $4.84 $1.40 $1.36 $4.03 $ .82 Total no. of arrests 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% Fines paid in court 55. 15. 27.8 39.2 22.2 Cases continued .09 2.1 .018 .884 8.95 Held to other courts or grand jury 3.87 2.6 6.34 9.1 6.7 Settled out of court 3.8 ... .92 .294 10.25 Discharged on payment of costs 10.8 ... ... 2.45 Served in jail 3.8 15.5 12.1 17. 17.2 Discharged 21. 64.4 48. 14.2 35.8 Otherwise disposed of 955 .02 2.5 17. .035 In Evanston and Quincy the income per arrest is af- fected in one instance by the presence of a salaried judge and in the other by heavy automobile speeding fines; but from the remaining cases it appears that there is no causal relation between the disposal of cases and income. Ottawa, which fines only 15% of those arrested receives a per arrest income of $1.40, while Peoria with almost double the percentage of fines receives a few cents less. The most striking feature of the table is the small per- centage of the cases which yield a return to the municipali- ties. On an average less than one-third of the arrests are fined in court, while considerably more than this are dis- charged, dismissed, have fines suspended, or are disposed of in a fashion which would indicate that the charges are not serious or are unsubstantiated. Yet another third remains within the grasp of the law, but the prosecution does not bring an income to the city. Concerning the relation of costs to fines imposed, only five cities report other than the final amount turned into the city treasury. No two of these municipalities report in a fashion sufficiently similar that their reports may be tabulated. In Aurora the total amount of fines and costs assessed was |3,732.70 for the year 1909. Of this sum, |288 or 6% 52 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [412 was paid out as witness fees; $1251 or 33% was accounted for by labor, confinement, suspension of fines, etc., leaving $2273.30 or 61% to be paid to the city attorney. Reports of both clerk and treasurer, however, show that only $1976.45 was received by the city during the year, or 53% of the amount assessed. Against this the city appropriated $1124.50 to the police magistrate and $1250 as salary to the judge of the city court, which sums are about $400 in excess of the income from police sources. The amount of fines assessed in Bloomington, for the year 1909 was $7214.20, of which $3538.50 or 49% was fines, $2766.70 or 38% was magistrates' costs, and $913 or 13% was police costs. Of the total amount asssessed, $2805.83 or 39% was not collected or was offset by con- finement ; $2762.70 or 38% went to the magistrate as fees, leaving $1645.67 or 23% to the city treasury. The Eockford report is for a period of six months only, and shows $3907.30 assessed, of which $2859.50 or 73% was as fines and $1047.80 or 27% was as costs. This may be compared with 49% and 51% for these respective items in Bloomington. Of the total amount assessed in Rockford, $2713.85 or 69.5% went uncollected; $410.40 or 10.5% was collected as costs, while the share of the city was $783.05 or 20%. The total amount of fines and costs in Peoria for the year 1909 was $19,545.40, of which $10,933 or 57% was accounted for by imprisonment, appeals, outstanding or suspended fines. The magistrate collected $8612.40 of which he turned $5052.10 or 26% of the total amount im- posed into the city treasury. In Streator $2,580.94 was imposed as fines, of which $1258.46 or 48% was served, worked out, or dismissed; while $1280.94, or 52% was collected. It is of interest to note, that with the exception of the last named city and Aurora, the share of the munici- palities in the amount imposed did not have a variation of more than 6% of the total, being 20% in Rockford, 23% in Bloomington and 26% in Peoria. Yet the sum which 413] . LICENSES AND POLICE FINES 53 was uncollected was extremely variable, 33% in Aurora, 39% in Bloomington, 48% in Streator, 57% in Peoria, and 70% in Rockford. Thus to the causes already given for the smallness of city returns from fines, may be added those of laxity in fining and in the collection of fines by magistrates; in some cases the rather large stipends which go to the magistrates in the form of fees; and finally the large amount of arrests which fail to come within the jurisdic- tion of the city courts. While the police are for protection and not for revenue, at the same time cities are entitled to intelligent annual reports from chiefs of police and magistrates which will show the disposal of cases, and the amount of fines and costs, assessed and collected. 54 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [414 TABLE 13. STATISTICS ON STRENGTH OF POLICE FORCE, NUMBER OF ARRESTS, ETC., 1909. \ Amount to Treasury Number of Arrests Number on Police Force V a v O <U W, < u ;- <LI U Q. No. of Arrests per Officer Population per Arrest Is ! o- . &l % of Force re- quired by law Alton $ 1657 35 17 $4-73 20 5o IO"?O IOO Aurora 1976 849 22 2.32 38 14. 1355 76 Belleville 560 4^8 i? I. OS 20 50 140^ 71 Bloomington Champaign 1,702 no data I3SI no data 36 8 1.26 37 19 715 1550 144 66* Danville 7.041 3655 45 1 .92 81 7 6. 19 166 Decatur 5,391 2601 27 2.07 96 12 1160 87 E St. Louis I.2IQ 10,000 75 .12 m 7 780 128 Elgin 683 642 19 1. 06 w 40 1365 73 Evanston ^.2OV 714 20 4.48 25 25 860 116* Freeport 4.43T 804 12 5-51 67 22 1465 70 Galesburg *,IO2 837 12 3.70 69 27 1840 55* Jacksonville 1,836 4TI 8 4.26 54 35 1910 53* Joliet None* 1836 39 None 47 19 895 115 LaSalle 412* 1OO 5 o i. 40* 30 8 33* 1280 122 Moline 4l6 022 10 45 7 48 26 1273 79 Ottawa 40 $ 425 5 1.40 85 26 1907 45 Peoria eo8? 4"?8^ 05 1.36 46 1C 7OT T/J/l Quincv . 4,io6 3 IOIQ 14. 4. 02 TO 35 107"? 94 Rockford 1,249 1515 36 .82 'I 2 29 I26o 80 Rock Island 1.^64 IOW 2O 3.18 52 24 1216 77 Springfield ?,8oo 4 56 92O no Streator 041 206 M 3.18 22 5"? IIOO 03 Urbana . 328 ifo 4 2.OI 4O 50 2o6l 50* '$1832 of this is auto fines. Average return from these $22.58. 2 So stated by the Clerk in answer to direct question. No such item in report of clerk or treasurer. No explanation offered. 8 Salary to Judge. 'See Text, p. 50. "Estimated from trial cases. "Estimated. 'Salary limited to $600. *No license. CHAPTER III GIFTS, GRANTS AND SUBVENTIONS. SCHOOL REVENUES. The most important item of revenue within the group of gifts, grants and subventions is the state grants to schools. For purposes of convenience the data in relation to school revenues will be considered together. Table 14 is an exhibit of the sums received by the school district or districts in which the cities named are located. The cities and the school districts are seldom exactly coextensive; but the consequent lack of correspondence in the statistics is neither large nor important. State Grants. Each county is paid its proportionate share of the state school tax, upon the basis of inhabitants under twenty-one years of age. To this is added a share of the in- come from the sale of public lands within the state, plus a portion of the interest on the surplus of national revenue distributed to the states in 1837. Warrants for the share of each county in this fund are issued to the county super- intendents of schools who present them to the county treas- urers for payment. These warrants are turned over to the state and apply as cash on the county share of the state school taxes. The county superintendents distribute the funds to the superintendents of the school districts. It is quite possible that the amounts returned to the cities are not as large as the sums collected in state taxes for these purposes; but the exact situation could only be shown by a detailed comparison of city and country wealth and population. 55 56 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [416 TABLE 14. REVENUES OF SPECIFIED CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS.* c C O Si rt C/3 Tuition tO <u X rt H Endowment Income Other Income Total Income Amount of Endowment Alton $3391 $ 1837 $ 82,27 5 $ 200 $ 87, =503 $4000 Aurora 4870 1622 113,198 119,690 Belleville 2277 396 78,740 53 81,467 Bloomington .... Champaign 4406 923 1037 ii 123,319 69,346 320 1810 130,572 70,600 6400 E. St. Louis Elgin 6942 2872 763 497 255,029 147,852 506 4 2 263,241 151,263 Freeport 1592 979 86,318 1307 90,133 Galesburg , 3I3 5 ; 2010 77,OOO 200 82,345 no data Jacksonville Joliet 2403 7310 1361 223 82,OOO IQ7.OOO 85,764 204,132 Moline 2885 584 135,000 202 138,670 Ottawa 1796 "M 40,403 95 42,339 Peoria IO.9IO 608 6939 2752 400,600 no data Rockford 6118 3243 182,908 541 192,811 Rock Island Springfield 3402 7562 973 1739 114,803 275,OOO 1329 56 129,106 2 84,357 Urbana . I70O 800 54,000 56,590 *No data for Danville, Decatur, Evanston, LaSalle, Quincy, and Streator. 2 Amount extended. Endowment Income. Income from endowments are found in only four of the cities considered, and is an inconsiderable sum in all but one of these. Peoria has such an income of nearly $7000. The source of these endowments are funds distributed by the state to the local districts. Only in exceptional in- stances are these monies preserved intact, the income to be paid annually to the district entitled to it. \Tuition. Tuition is in its nature a commercial revenue but is mentioned here since it is desirable to consider school reve- 417] GIFTS, GRANTS AND SUBVENTIONS 57 niies as an entity. The sums received from this source range from almost nothing to over $3000 per year, in Rock- ford. Several school districts receive more than $1000 a year. The returns are naturally influenced by the presence or absence of a township high school, altho the tuition re- ceived from the grammar schools is not unimportant. Miscellaneous Income. The miscellaneous fund of the school districts needs no comment since it consists of practically the same revenues as does the similar fund in municipal budgets, rebated insurance premiums, receipts in error, etc. In addition, the school districts receive the fines imposed in the county for violations of other than city ordinances. GIFTS BY INDIVIDUALS. Nearly every city receives occasional donations of money or property of considerable value, usually for some designated purpose. The gifts for libraries and the reve- nue from library endowments are noted in chapter V. During the fiscal year 1909 several municipalities received gifts for other purposes, or the revenues from gifts of an earlier date. To Evanston was donated property for park purposes valued at $20,000, and a play ground valued at $12,000. Prior to this the city had received a park and museum valued at $40,000. Jacksonville was given $100 as a special memorial fund; while Aurora received the income on $6500, to be used towards the establishment of an orphanage. CHAPTER IV REVENUES FOB SERVICES RENDERED. DEPARTMENTAL RECEIPTS. Table 15 is an exhibit of the collections of the several cities in 1909 from miscellaneous sources. The first col- umns state the receipts from fees and inspections, tho the returns lack absolute accuracy owing to frequent con- TABLE 15. RECEIPTS FROM FEES, INSPECTIONS, DEPARTMENT RECEIPTS, CHARGES AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS SOURCES, 1909. <n <u <u b Inspections <S1 *rt O H Charges Sale of Public Property Miscellaneous Alton none none none none none 232 Aurora none none none 4 32Q none 398 Belleville 1037 none 1037 413 none none Bloomington 1 022 1300 2412 22 =i6 476 3169 Champaign 117 104 221 none none none Danville 363 none 363 none none 46 Decatur 166 1707 1063 853 238 none E. St. Louis 2087 1406 3403 266 none none Elgin 50 128 178 90 'H 1 87 Evanston 2370 1205 3 : >7 c ; 7583 inclu'd 2377 Freeport none none none 1223 3817 383 Galesburg none no no 13 400 602 Jacksonville 4=; none 4; 115 none 2115 Joliet 186 107=5 1261 338 1307 none La Salle none none none 2vt 28 none Moline none 788 788 none none none Ottawa none 343 343 none none 1324 Peoria . . . , 272S 1285 4010 3135 1/4 6=to Quincy none none none 1 08 1 37 1 62 Rock ford none 1510 1510 389 2O7 15,172* Rock Island 340 1074 1414 none none 5/1 Streator none none none none 114 774 Springfield TV14 1 478 2022 388 72 no data Urbana none none none none none none 'Partially included in licenses. "Services other than for water rendered by water work dept. 58 419] REVENUES FROM SERVICES RENDERED 59 fusion with departmental receipts, or inclusion in the mis- cellaneous fund. The table will, however, indicate the rela- tively large amounts which may be secured by a systematic collection of fees, impositions which incur small com- plaint, yet materially assist in the adequate enforcement of building ordinances, water charges, etc. Bloomington, East St. Louis, Evanston, Peoria and Springfield derive an income from fees which very nearly equals in amount that secured from general licenses. On the other hand seven cities fail to avail themselves of this means of income. 1 Of the cities using fees extensively, Evanston may be cited as presenting the most effective system. 2 'Some revenue from this source may be included in "miscellaneous returns" but if so it is of small amount. 'Sewer permits $5.00 Reconstruction and alterations 50 Sidewalk permits Water permits One-half inch taps 5.00 Five-eighths inch tap 6.00 Three-fourths inch tap 8.00 One inch taps 10.00 Alterations $1.00 to 4.00 Street permits Electrical construction permits New wiring Electric signs Line construction Building permits Brick residences Frame residences Alterations Commercial buildings Depots Sheds and barns Miscellaneous House movers permits One and one-half story frame 10.00 Two story frame 20.00 Moving in same block 2.00 Electrical inspections 60 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [420 There is a tendency to make the stipend of certain offices the amount of fees collected. In such cases, the total amounts collected are seldom included in the financial statements of the cities; and these are to that extent in- complete. Usually in compliance with an ordinance, the holders of fee offices render an annual report to the city clerk, stat- ing the amount of the collections, and surplus over the amount retained as remuneration. Barely, however, do these reports comply with the constitutional requirement that they be made semi-annually, and state the amounts received. 3 Table 16 is a partial list of the fee offices in some of the larger cities, indicating the extent to which fees are employed in the payment of officers, and the man- ner in which reports are made. TABLE 16. FEE OFFICES AND METHOD OF REPORTING. City. Office Income. Payments. Salary. Aurora Boiler Inspector No report for these officers in the Plumbing Inspector annual report. Statement of in- Oil Inspector spections but not of cash received. Bloomington . . . Oil Inspector Weigher No report for these officers in the Poundmaster annual report of the city. Ottawa Plumbing Board No report of cash taken in. Peoria City Collector No report published. Oil Inspector No report published. Boiler Inspector $1039 $103 $935 Weights and Measures Inspector No report published. Exam. Electrician $ 501 $410 $ 90 Exam. Elevator Operators $ 117 $ 51 $ 66 Quincy Weights and Measures Inspector No report. Joliet City Collector } Extensive report published but no re- Oil Inspector fport of income. Rockford Plumbing Board $481 $ 39 $449 'Const, of 1870. Art. 10, par. 13. 421] REVENUES FROM SERVICES RENDERED 61 Income from departmental charges and the sale of public property is offset by the cost of the services rendered or by the value of the property disposed of, and does not directly increase the spending power of the city. Among the most important charges made are those for openings in pavements, sale of crushed stone, meters, etc., altering water and sewer pipes, caring for prisoners of other dis- tricts; and the sale of junk and obsolete machinery. Miscellaneous receipts include in some instances fees, charges, and income from the sale of property, or portions of these funds. The major proportion of the receipts, however, consists of the odds and ends of city revenues, refunded insurance premiums, over-charges returned, cor- rected errors in the pay rolls, etc. None of these funds are open to increase except that which might arise from a more thoro reckoning of accounts receivable. SERVICE PRIVILEGES. Fourteen of the twenty-four cities here discussed re- ceive remuneration in some measure for public service franchises granted. No municipality taxes all of the fran- chises in force within it; and in all, only twenty-six fran- chises out of over one hundred and fifty, or about seventeen percent, yield payments to the grantors. Of this number, five are street railway privileges on which the tax is only from $5.00 to $25.00 per car in continuous operation, amounting with one exception to only a few hundred dol- lars per year. East St. Louis, however, receives $1600 from this source. Nine of the franchise payments are based upon a per- centage of income, the lowest being one percent of the net city telephone receipts in Quincy, and the highest, five per- cent of the gross interurban receipts in Belleville. The predominant figure, which prevails in seven cases, is two percent of the gross receipts. In two of these instances it will become four percent after ten years of operation. Sim- ilarily, two of the telephone franchises pay on a revenue 62 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [422 basis, that is, one dollar per telephone, which amounts roughly to five per cent of the gross income. Some of the utility companies pay a fixed sum ranging from $500 to $2000 per year. Such payments do not allow for the growth in value of the franchise and probably are not as large as would be realized by a percentage tax. For example, Bloomington (26,000 pop.) receives by a two percent tax upon the gross receipts of the street railway, $3400 ; Joliet (35,000 pop.) receives a cash payment of only $1000. Peoria (67,000 pop.), the largest city of the group, receives a fixed amount of $500 a year from the telephone company, a sum which is exceeded in all other cases except in one city, Alton. Three municipalities, Aurora, Joliet, and Rockford, have recognized the importance of franchises as a source of revenue by each assessing three or more utilities, with a resulting income of over $3000 to each city. Springfield receives a similar sum as two percent of the street railway receipts. The remaining cities have provided for fran- chise payments in a desultory fashion. Having no knowledge of what constitutes a reasonable rate and guided by a desire to increase property values and build up the city, the greater part of the franchises have been given away for long terms and almost without payment. A marked exception to the above statement is Aurora, which in addition to the annual charges noted in table 17 made the following initial charges for franchises granted : street railway $30,000 plus $3641 as damages and attor- ney's fees; gas and electric, $25,000 to a fund for the erec- tion of a new bridge; and interurban, $25,000. That pub- lic service corporations can afford to pay as large sums as these in addition to a proportion of their annual receipts, for the privilege of operation, is evidence of the reason- ableness of any franchise payments noted in the following table : Under an effective system of legislative regulation, by which the price of a public utility commodity would be such as to pay only the cost of production and a reasonable 423] REVENUES FROM SERVICES RENDERED 63 TABLE 17. RATES, AND INCOME FROM FRANCHISES, 1909. Utility Basis of Payment Income 01 ai ! Alton Telephone . . . Gas St. Railway . . Telephone . . . Interurban . . . St. Railway . . Interurban . . . St. Railway . . St Railway .. St Railway . . Telephone . . . St. Railway .. Telephone . . . Gas . ... i% net city receipts |> 221 $ 221 4037 1158 3400 ISO 1600 Aurora Belleville $1000 per year IOOO 1000 1537 500 $1000 per year $i per phone $500 per year $=; per car. . 55 1103 Bloomington . . Decatur 5% gross receipts 2% gross receipts for 10 years, minimum amount to be next ten years at 4% . . $10 per car 3400 150 E. St. Louis . . Elgin $25 per car 1600 $i per phone 612 no data Joliet . $10 per car $i per phone 3317 2OOO 500 1283 3320 1317 IOOO IOOO Ottawa $1000 per year St. Railway . . St. Railway . . Telephone . . . Interurban . . . Telephone . . . St. Railway .. Electric Co... Telephone ... Interurban ... [Heat $1000 per year $2000 per year 200O Peoria ... . $500 per year 500 Quincy . Five cents per car entering terminal 1 2% gross receipts 963 320 Rockford $20 per car 2% gross receipts 1 (900) 760 2OOO 560 2% gross receipts [$2OOO per year \2% cross receints 'Not enforced in 1009. 64 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [424 TABLE 17. Continued. RATES, AND INCOME FROM FRANCHISES. Utility Basis of Payment Income u SI H * Streator .... Electric 2% gross 172 172 Springfield .... St. Railway . . $10 per car... loo 2% gross receipts for ten years ; 4% for second ten years ; for sewers and bonded indebtedness 3319 3619 return upon the actual capital invested, any payment for the privilege of operation would only increase prices to the consumer. Under the present system in Illinois, except for a very limited and unscientific control by city councils, the price of a utility commodity is "all that traffic will bear" : that is, where the units consumed multiplied by the margin of profit will give the greatest return; and if the price is lowered it is because an increased consumption will more than offset the lower price. Under such methods of price fixing, anypayment required fojLlhe franchise will be upon the profits of the company and cannot cause an mcrease^in-jCflst^a-thfi consumer. In addition to the payments mentioned, some public service corporations are required to furnish limited free service to the cities in which they operate. Electric light companies usually give free light to the city hall, and oc- casionally to the fire stations. Telephone companies fur- nish from six to eighteen free instruments and charge for any number over that stipulated in the franchise. In addition to paving within their tracks and sprinkling the right of way, street car companies usually extend free transportation to numerous city officials. It is difficult to estimate the value of such services, but they exist in every municipality, and are perhaps worth from flOO to $500 per year, but have a much greater apparent value. 425] REVENUES FROM SERVICES RENDERED 65 Table 18 is a statement of the dates of grant and ex- piration of the larger proportion of the franchises in force in the cities under consideration, and from it may be estimated the possibilities of franchise revenue being se- cured. Cities renewing franchises are likely to give more attention to this than when making the original grants. The inclination to encourage new enterprises by liberal TABLE 18. DATES OF GRANT AND EXPIRATION OF FRANCHISES. Gas Water Electric St. Railway i (/i c '5. X W c g o en 'a. X W CO 6 H B *S X H uj <n 9 "B> X W Alton 1908 1868 1889 1868 1870 1806 1868 1868 1898 1910 1868 1008 1 002 1909 1910 1907 1868 1890 1910 1868 I9U 1958 Perp. Perp. -Perp. Perp. 1995 Perp. 1909 1928 I930 1 Perp. 1958 1932 1929 1960* 1947 Perp. 1910 1960 Pero. 1907 Mun 1907 Muni 1909 1907 Mun 1885 Muni Muni 1882 Muni Muni Muni Muni Muni Muni 1889 1904 Muni Muni Muni 1886 1957 cipal 1932 cipal 1939 1932 cipal 1915 cipal cipal 1912 cipal cipal cipal cipal cipal cipal 1919 1934 cipal cipal cipal 1916 IOI* 1908 1889 1909 w 1884 1893 1895 1907 1890 1897 1902 1910 1910 1906 1882 1882 1889 1008 1913 1958 Perp. 1929 thout 1913 1920 1937 1910 1947 1932 1930 1930 1926 Perp(?) Perp(?) 1924 1028 1909 1893 1909 1898 1901 1894 1893 1907 1890 1868 1898 1904 1910 1910 1906 1898 1899 1907 1889 1929 1919 1929 1928 1921 1914 1913 1937 1910 Perp. 1948 I9S4 1930 1930 1926 1923 1924 1927 1924 Aurora Belleville Bloomington . . Champaign . . . Danville Decatur E. St. Louis Elgin Evanston Freeport Galesburg Jacksonville . . . Joliet La Salle Moline Ottawa Peoria Quincy Rockford Rock Island . . . Springfield Streator Urbana . 'Price regulated every 5 years. 'Price regulated every ten years. 'Cancelled franchises for 25 years (1902). 66 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [426 TABLE 18. Continued. DATES OF GRANT AND EXPIRATION OF FRANCHISES. Interurban Bell Telephone Ind. Telephone Heat e a E o V C 'S, X W M i i/> 4> '5. X W O 1/3 V 'a. X W c O tn V C "a. X W Alton 1909 1893 1905 1902 Wit Wit 1929 1918 1955 1922 lOUt lOUt Wi 1882 1892 thout Perp. Perp. 1912 1899 1899 1896 1902 1893 1901 1905 1899 1919 1924 1921 1932 1913 1921 1924 Belleville Bloomington . . Champaign .... 1900 Wit 1895 1903 I92O lOUt 1945 1933 Decatur 1892 1897 1894 1910 1882 1897 1901 Wi 1893 1898 1891 1910 1912 1917 1924 1930 Perp. 1947 1921 thout Perp(?) 1918 Perp. 1933 E. St. Louis Elgin 1900 1925 Evanston Galesburg 1903 Perp. Jacksonville . . . Joliet 1906 1904 1910 1906 1956 1954 1930 1926 La Salle 1902 1932 Without Ottawa Peoria 1902 1904 1901 1908 1900 IQO3 1922 1929 1921 1933 1921 I (m 1907 1902 1947 1927 Ouinrv Rock ford Rock Island . . Springfield Streator 1907 1957 1910 1008 1935 1028 Urbana , Pero. terms is instanced by the large number of interurban fran- chises which have been issued in the last few years, the majority of which extend for fifty years and are not sub- ject to any special franchise payment. Of 178 public utilities operating in 24 cities, data was secured on the length of franchise in 111 cases. In addi- tion, 14 plants were municipal ; seven were operating with- out a franchise, either normally, or pending settlement with the city; and in five cases only, the date of expiration was 427] REVENUES FROM SERVICES RENDERED 67 not ascertained. Of the 111 franchises, 19 are perpetual, one is for ninety-nine years; 15 are for fifty years; three, for forty years ; two are for thirty-five years ; 16 for thirty years ; 19, for twenty-five years ; one for twenty-three years ; and 35 are for twenty years. The statement that nineteen of a possible 111 fran- chises are perpetual must not go unqualified. In several instances the franchises do not state the date of termina- tion and will probably sooner or later be brought into the courts for interpretation. In at least one instance a gas franchise granted in perpetuity by the state legislature, has been challenged by the city in which the plant is oper- ating. The legal department of the municipality maintains that the state grant applied only to gas for lighting pur- poses, and that its transmission for heating is without legal authority. In consequence an ordinance was passed regulating the sale of all gas, giving the company the choice of acceptance or of ceasing to sell for the purpose of heat- ing and for power. The decision of the case will have an important bearing upon the remaining legislative fran- chises. It is in relation to gas franchises that the interests of the municipalities have suffered most. Of 24 cases, eight franchises are perpetual ; one is for 99 years, four for fifty years, and two others are for forty years. Five franchises are for a reasonable term, and in four instances data is missing. The telephone industry is a close second in this way, for out of fifteen "trust" franchises, five are perpetual. Also, in certain cities there is an inclination to grant franchises for long terms. In Joliet, five out of six utilities may operate for fifty years, for which permission is paid $2000 annually, plus a percentage of receipts, which last year amounted to $1317. Aurora has two fifty year fran- chises granted as recently as 1908. Several cities have fifty year franchises granted since 1904, one of them (in Ottawa) cancelling a franchise for a shorter term to give the longer one. 68 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [428 The cities which have not qualified their franchises with provisions for payments will have an opportunity to do so within the reasonably near future. Out of 96 fran- chises to expire, 24 will end before 1921; during the next decade 38 of the remainder will terminate; from 1930 to 1940, 15 will be terminated; from 1940 to 1950, six. The 13 remaining franchises in operation, extend beyond the middle of the century. This number, considered with the nineteen perpetual franchises, places fifteen percent be- yond the reasonable control of the municipalities. Items of revenue from minor public privileges, bay- windows, sub-sidewalks, etc., are absent from the budgets of the smaller cities. The revenue from the use of city streets and alleys has been spoken of in the consideration of the income from the use of public property. SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS. Special assessments are not in the usual sense city revenues since they are raised for a specific purpose and are kept separate from the general fund in the city treasury. They do, however, form an important part of the aggre- gate financial transactions of the municipalities ; and their extent and significance should be noted. A thoro consideration of special assessments would require an extensive study both of amounts expended and purchases, as well as the amounts delinquent, methods of assessment, interest, cost of collection, etc., matters which can only be mentioned here. Pursuant to the constitution 4 the assembly has passed a series of acts permitting improvements by special assess- ment or special taxation to comprehend the following sub- jects: bridges, viaducts, water reservoirs and works, hydrants, water mains, drains, pumping stations, parks, boulevards, streets, alleys, and other public places. All or part of the cost is assessed upon the property benefitted in proportion to the benefit received, the residue of the cost *Const. of 1870. Art. 9, par. 9. 429] REVENUES PROM SERVICES RENDERED 69 being raised by uniform taxation. 5 The further restric- tions are that the purpose be public; that the apportion- ment be in accordance with some general rule; and that no assessment be levied for repairs, since they contain no element of permanency, with the exception that repair assessments are permitted on drains, ditches, and levees. 6 The determination of the basis for apportioning the cost of such improvements is left to the city, and the courts are reluctant to inquire into the equity of the decision. The more usual schemes of assessment are based upon superficial area, actual value of the property, and frontage, the preference being with the latter method. In street pav- ing if the corner lots face the paved street the narrow way, no assessments is made upon the lots fronting upon the side streets; otherwise the first three lots on the side street usually are assessed sixty percent, forty percent, and twenty percent of what would be the normal cost of paving in front of them. These percentages vary slightly in different localities. The proportion of the cost borne by the municipality I differs widely in the construction of sewers and other I works, the determination of the public benefit being left tolf the boards of local improvement. In the building of streets* it is customary for the city to assume the cost of the inter- sections. The percentages of the total cost borne in sev- eral cities ranges from 11.3% to 20%, depending upon the nature of the improvements. The intersection rule re- garding streets places about 14.3% of the cost upon the city corporation. In the process of local assessment the most prominent part is played by the board of local improvement, a board whose technical officers are always the superintendent of streets and the city engineer. The ordinances to improve by special assessment or taxation originate in this body, either by petition or upon their own initiative. Public 'Chicago v. Larried, 34 111. 203, 282. 'Crane v. West Chicago Park Commissioners, 153 III. 348. 70 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [430 hearings are held upon any contemplated action, except the laying of house drains, sewer service pipes and side- walks, which hearings consider the necessity, character, and cost of the improvement. Except in cities of over 100,000 population remonstrance petitions may be filed within thirty days suspending action for one year. The ordinance of improvement with estimated cost is then passed. Apportionment of the cost is made and the as- sessment roll drawn up, the latter being open to court re- views and revision. Supplementary assessments may be levied if the original sum is insufficient, provided that if the increase is more than ten percent the entire process of assessment must be repeated. The collection of assessments is in the hands of the city collector until March 10th. He has no power to en- force payment; and the collection of delinquent sums is assumed by the county treasurer. After preliminary no- tices, these delinquencies are collected in substantially the same manner as delinquent property taxes, already de- scribed. Contrary to what might be anticipated with taxes of this nature, the amount returned to County Collector for collection is considerably less proportionately than is the case with property taxes. For example in LaSalle only 12.4% of the total was returned to the county collector; in Peoria, 19.6%; Bloomington, 28.8%; and in Evanston, 42.5%. The difficulties met in correlating the assessment to the actual cost of the improvement is apparent, and in con- sequence in practically every instance rebates are paid or new assessments are levied. The matter of rebating is of easy solution since the actual cost of the construction is known before even a few installments are paid, and any rebate may be prorated on future installments. 7 This naturally involves increased clerical cost. Deficits in the 'In Evanston the rebates on thirteen assessment funds were 3.5% ; 2.8%; 6%; 11%; 11.5%; 10% ; 25%; 30%; 14%; 14%; 24% and 20%. The largest percentages were upon sewer constructions. 431] REVENUES FROM SERVICES RENDERED 71 fund are more serious and may be either the result of underestimates or of uncollected payments. In Freeport the liabilities are $38,552 in excess of the special assess- ment assets, or 13.3% of the total. The Mayor of Peoria in an annual address to the city council 8 remarked that the "amount of improvement bonds outstanding is many thousands of dollars in excess of special assessments re- maining uncollected". The extensive precautions taken to protect the rights of the property owner have been mentioned, and these safe- guards add a considerable cost to the assessment work. In Urbana, newspaper advertisements costs $75 for each job, in addition to the printed notices sent to each person con- cerned. By statute the preliminary expense is limited to six percent of the total, and this allowance is entirely con- sumed in the smaller constructions. In cases involving larger amounts these preliminary expenses fall to three or four percent. An example of the costs involved in extend- ing assessments may be taken from the collection returns in Evanston. Of $126,144 expended, bonds, coupons, war- rants, and miscellaneous funds took $122,446, or 97%. Re- bates amounted to $1,061, or .08%, while the expenses in- cidental to collection, etc., took $2,618, or 2.2%. The surest criteria of the extent to which special as- sessments are used would be the amounts of improved streets, sewers and other public constructions in each city. Unfortunately not all city engineers are familiar with the total amounts of these works in their municipalities so a complete comparison is impossible. Of eight cities, how- ever, the largest proportion of paved streets was in Free- port, being 45.3% of the total; Springfield followed with 45% ; and Rockford with 44%. The smallest percent is in Galesburg which has only 21.4% improved; the next lowest being Decatur with 28.7% improved. Regarding sewer construction, Danville has one mile for every 490 inhabitants, Bloomington and Freeport fol- "E. N. Woodruff, in the City Comptroller's Report, 1909. 72 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [432 lowing with 500 and 515 persons per mile. The largest population per mile is in East St. Louis, which city has 1310 persons for each mile of sewer. In the larger cities, however, there is a tendency to have fewer sewers in pro- portion to the population, as the per mile population in Springfield is 850, in Rockford is 835, and in Gales- burg 720. The contractor for special assessment work receives as payment bonds payable in five or ten annual install- ments (thirty in the case of water works), bearing interest at 5%. Such bonds are not a lien upon the city, but upon the property of the individual, altho the municipality undertakes and guarantees the collection. The amount of bonds outstanding in the cities, would, however, fail to indicate the extent to which assessments are used since the amount is decreased by one-tenth each year, and the constructions doubtless have a longer life than this period. This statements is supported by a comparison of the per capita special assessment bond indebtedness in a few cities. Aurora has such per capita indebtedness of $5.35 ; Decatur of $3.00; Elgin, $6.40; Freeport, $14.70; LaSalle, $4.00; and Peoria, $6.30, a considerable variation compared with the paved streets to total streets, which range from 20% to 40%. For the same reason the amount of cash collected each year to retire bonds, or the amount of bonds issued, is a false indication of the importance of assessments in mu- nicipal finance, the latter sum even more so than the former, since the amount of construction work fluctuates, widely from season to season. CHAPTER V MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY. Judged by the gross revenue received, municipal in- dustries rank third in importance as sources of municipal income. But the gross income from such sources is largely if not wholly absorbed by the expenses, and in most of the cities under review municipal industries are conducted at a loss. The net income from such sources and its per- centage of the total revenue for general purposes, as shown in the concluding chapter, is of small importance. By municipal industries are meant those undertak- ings which involve the distribution of economic goods for a price, thus excluding such functions as police, fire protection, and schools, all of which are contemplated if not distinctly recognized in the present state constitution. There is no distinct constitutional provision authorizing municipal industries; and most undertakings are of later origin than the present state constitution, resting on legis- lative grants under the residual powers of government. The municipal industries conducted by the cities studied are of three main classes: water works, electric light plants and cemeteries. Water works and cemeteries may produce a net revenue. Electric light plants in the cities studied have no income, as they are used only for public lighting. But they are considered here because of their close relation with the operation of municipal water works, of which they are usually a part. Some incidental income is also derived from libraries, hospitals, sewers, real estate and other property. WATER PLANTS. Legislative enactments of 1873 and 1879 1 authorized the establishment of municipal sewers and water works, tho both of these might have been constructed under the Curd's Revised Statutes (1908), ch. 24, pars. 254 and 323. 73 74 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [434 police powers of the cities. 2 Earlier legislation relative to waterworks provided for the lease of plants, and for mak- ing contracts for a supply of water from private firms for a period of not more than thirty years. In case of leasing any surplus over the cost of operation might be applied to the erection and extension of a municipal plant. An act of 1905 3 provides that plants may be bought or erected upon a favorable three-fourths vote of the citizens, a direct tax of not more than one percent defraying the cost. Bonds may be issued against these taxes bearing interest at six percent. The water rates must be sufficient to provide for payment of the bonds, interest, maintenance and opera- tion of the works, extensions and repairs. Thus Illinois has gone far in the protection of the taxpayer from impositions in the interest of the water consumer. There are no good reasons for, and many against paying for extensions from the water rates. These should be charged to capital ac- count, and made neither a burden upon the tax payer, nor upon the present consumer. Should the preceding provisions prove inadequate to public need, there are other provisions which authorize a one mill tax for the extension of mains, maintenance of plant, or for refunding debt. 4 By a two-thirds vote, this tax may be advanced to three mills. Cities when buying plants may also pledge the revenues as security for the bonds issued, and may execute a mortgage or trust deed for the property. 5 In case of reversion to the original owner, any franchise rights pre-existing become operative. Of the twenty-four cities which were investigated, fourteen have availed themselves of the privilege of estab- lishing water plants; and data concerning the operation has been secured from thirteen of these. In table 22 is shown the amount of money derived an- nually from water rents in the several cities; but such *Goodnow, "City Government in the United States", p. 165. *Rev. Stat. ch. 24, par. 27oh-q. *Ibid. ch. 24, par. 281. 'Ibid. ch. 24, par. 2;od. 435] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 75 revenue should be offset by the operating expenses, interest on the value of the plant and depreciation allowances. When this has been done the revenue usually becomes a deficit, which sooner or later, must be made up from the general fund of the city, by the,issue of bonds or by taxes. This deficit may be considered the amount which the municipality contributes in payment for the water pumped for public buildings, and as rental for fire hydrants. Such accounting contemplates the city water plant operated as a separate and distinct institution, earning its own way in- dependently of the city treasury, charging the water con- sumer for his benefits, and the tax payer for the benefits rendered to the city at large. It is sometimes assumed that the water consumer and the taxpayer are identical, and that the separation of the two for a study of water revenues is unnecessary. Such is not the case, nor can a practice followed uniformly by public utility commissions be renounced by such argument. There is ample evidence that not all urban inhabitants are direct water consumers. Not only are there sparsely set- tled sections which are not reached by the water mains, but limited sections of the more densely parts are not served. If we may estimate that five persons ( the ordinary family) are served by each water service, then in Rockford, 35,000 out of a population of 42,000 are water consumers; in Bloomington, 10,000 of 26,000, etc. Roughly, twenty percent of the people receive benefit from water works, who do not contribute to their support by domestic con- sumption. But should it appear that the tax payer and the water consumer become largely the same persons, this fact does not justify an unbusiness like management of waterworks. The Wisconsin Railroad Commission has a system for the separation of the cost of the public from the domestic service which is preferable to one based on the above men- tioned distinction. 6 Each water plant has an investment 'Wisconsin Railroad Commission. Pub. U. 52. (City of Ashland v. Ashland Water Company.) 295. 76 ' MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [436 above that required for domestic purposes, which is occas- ioned by the necessity of fire protection and other public needs. The commission therefore divides the investment for these two purposes, and upon this basis estimates the cost of depreciation, interest and maintenance chargeable to each. While this is of course the correct method its use is only possible by means of a detailed engineering valu- ation. However, it is not here the purpose to determine the equitable charges for the taxpayers and water con- sumers of Illinois cities, but rather to compare the different- costs of operation, and to point out in certain cases mat- ters which are worthy of explanation or investigation by the individual superintendents. It may be necessary to defend the view that a munici- pal water plant should earn a reasonable rate of interest upon the amount invested. If, however, we are willing to divorce the personality of the water consumer from the taxpayer, the justice of such a demand is apparent. While the value of the plant is represented by bonds, the necessity of the plant earning interest upon these bonds will hardly be questioned. When such bonds have been refunded, or have been retired through the exercise of the taxing power, it would seem that a sum equal to the original interest should still be turned into the city treasury, in one case to pay the interest on the new bonds ; in the other to recom- pense the tax payers for the use of the funds. It may be argued that the state law already mentioned requires that the erection bonds be retired from the earnings of the plant. One looks in vain, how r ever, either for any author- ity to put such a requirement into effect, or for evidence of its enforcement, as exhibited by a statement of municipal indebtedness. The major proportion of municipal bonds are out- standing at from four percent to four and one-half percent interest. 7 Four percent has been taken as reasonable for a plant to earn, without regard to the rate in any particular T See Table 29. 437] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 77 city. Such a rate is conservative, and makes some allow- ance for the uniformly excessive valuation of the proper- ties. The necessity of charging depreciation against a plant is more apparent, and only one instance will be presented as evidence. Springfield found itself at the beginning of 1909 with a badly delapidated plant, capable of maintain- ing at times only twenty pounds of pressure. Repairs and renewals were badly needed, but since the city had reached the debt limit no bonds could be issued; and since no de- preciation fund had been maintained the money must first be earned by the plant itself. The results of such methods are wasteful operation, high charges and poor service. The estimated life of four municipal water plants in Wisconsin was 65.25 years or a depreciation of something less than two percent per year. 8 This latter rate might be assumed *The calculations of the lives of the various units of utility equipment, upon which this estimate was based, were kindly furnished by Mr. Edwin F. Gruhl, Statistician for the Railroad Commission of Wisconsin, and are as follows : Wells, driven or drilled roo years. Wells, large open, stone or brick walled 50-100 " Suction pipes and intakes 50-100 " Stand pipes 50- 75 " Reservoirs 75-100 " Filter beds 100 Cast iron mains, fittings, valves 100 " Hydrants 50 " Wrought iron mains, services galvanized 50 " black 35-40 " Services, lead 100 " Fittings and valves in service given a life as in pipe lines in which located. Meters 25 " Using lives similar to these, the average rates of depreciation for entire waterworks systems were computed as follows : Antigo Water Works 60.03 years. Manitowoc Water Works 66.16 " Superior Water, Light and Power Co 67.29 " Chippewa Falls Water Works and Light Co 67.60 " Average 65.25 " 78 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [438 were the depreciation fund to lie idle and earn no interest. In private plants depreciation funds may be reckoned as earning 4% compound interest. In the case of public plants the funds will possibly be idle, or even more prob- ably spent. In this latter case we may assume that the fund becomes a debt of the city and is worth at least four percent simple interest. The rate of depreciation may then be said to lie between one-half percent and two percent of the depreciable value, and by depreciable value is meant the cash value, less real estate, paving, services where paid for by the consumer, and extensions made during the cur- rent year. The mean figure of one percent is usually al- lowed by engineers as a reasonable depreciation upon this value. Tho this latter amount cannot be known for the plants here in question, we will assume that this depre- ciation applies to the total value. In the following table is shown for thirteen cities, the estimated value of the plant, interest, depreciation and cost of operation, making a total of all costs; and the ex- cess of this sum over the revenue received, which may be taken as the amount paid by the city for the public service of the plant. In the last column this deficit is shown as cost per hydrant. In the second table is presented the average daily pumpage of each city ; the total cost (interest, depreciation and operation) for pumping each million gallons; the actual cash income from water rents for each million gallons ; and the actual cost of operation per million gallons. These tables are self-explantory and carry in some de- gree their own criticism. While it is unfair to criticise the administration of any particular city because of high cost of operation, since the conditions of operation in different cities are decidedly different, yet taken as a whole the tables may indicate the general tendencies of municipal management. It will be noticed that three of the thirteen cities, Decatur, Evanston and Springfield, are operating water works with a distinct surplus above a liberal estimate for 439] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 79 all expenses. In such instances the consumer is not only paying for his own water, and for the service to the city, but is turning considerable profit into the city treasury. In Springfield the conditions make such results necessary, for reasons already stated; but in the two other munici- palities, it appears that the water rates might reasonably be lowered. On the other hand, two cities, Joliet and LaSalle, are evidently operating their plants at a loss. The public TABLE 19. STATISTICS OF MUNICIPAL WATER PLANTS AND COST PER HYDRANT IN ILLINOIS CITIES, 1909. Estimated Value of Plant U Depreciation at i% c _o rt 4,, Ui in 4> o a U O H | "a U "o H < Income from Water Rents Deficit over Income in "c C T3 ffi O Cost per Hydrant Aurora .... Bloomington Decatur . . . Elgin $500,000 350,000 450,000 585,000 $20,000 14,000 18,000 23,400 $5,000 3,500 4,5oo 5,850 $26,000 25,268 28,000 19,488 $51,000 42,768 50,500 48,738 $45,032 34,307 60,000 42,000 $5,968 8,461 6,738 517 506 540 4 -JO $11.50 16.72 Profit 15.67 Evanston . . . Galesburg . . Jacksonville Joliet 600,000 285,000 225,000' 600,000 24,000 11,400 9,OOO 24,OOO 6,000 2,850 2,250 6,000 27,873 19,530 I I,OO2 4 34,985 57,873 33,780 22,252 64,985 93,697 24,614 16,554 32,000 35,824" 9,066 5,698 32,985 578 386 205 Profit 23-49 27,79 06.7^ LaSalle .... Ottawa Rock ford . . Rock Island Springfield . 250,000 235.000 849,094 900,000 707,811" IO.OOO 9,400 33,963 36,000 29,750' 2,500 2,350 8,490 9,000 7,078 15,297 8.OOO 31,833 28,000 54,258 27,797 19,750 74,286 73,000 91,086 15,694 14,266 64,449 64,700 123,083 12,103 5,484 9,837 8,300 31,997" 105 167' 519 254 906 115.26 32.83 i8.95 32.68 Profit 'Actually used by water plant. 'Estimated. *It is estimated that $850,000 of the banded debt of the city is chargeable to the water works. The interest is at 3 l /2%. 4 8 mo. -f- pay roll for 4 mo. To be accurate an estimate of the taxes should be included in this cost. Owing to the different rates of assessment and taxation, the item of taxes is omitted. "Surplus of income over all costs. 80 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [440 TABLE 20. STATISTICS RELATIVE TO COST OF OPERATION PER MILLION GALLONS PUMPED BY MUNICIPAL WATER PLANTS. Average Daily Pumpage, Gals. Total Cost per Million Gallons Income per Million Gallons Cost of Operation per Million Gals. tn O to Jii I u 9 A "c rt -O v is Average per Cap. Daily Consumption w "> C/3 O Aurora 1,789,000 $78.30 $69.00 $40.00 61 85 60 Metered Bloomington .... Decatur 1,750,000 3,000,000 67.00 46.00 53-75 92.00 39-6o 46.75 10.8 108 67 06 Metered Metered Elgin 2,292,000 =58.00 22.1=5 56 7.6 88 53%' Evanston 6,056,000 26.00 42.20 12.60 7=5.067 7.7 148" Partly ? Galesburg 2,000,000 46 20 2680 Metered Jacksonville Joliet 800,000 4,500,000 77.10 39.4O 56.75 37.65 21.12 30 39.38 6.8 8.6 52 129 Metered LaSalle 2,500,000 32.OO 17 20 l68o 16 6=; 216 None^ Ottawa 600,000 00 20 65 oo 27 62 =54 Metered Rock ford 3,612,000 48.90 24.2O =5 7 85 Rock Island .... Springfield 3,500,000 4,678,000 55-80 53-50 48.50 72.00 2I.4O 31.80 37 97 6.8 8-3 134 00 lw *Of the water revenue is from metered services. 2 Of the services are metered. 3 Supplies a suburb at a flat rate. cost of maintaining hydrants in these corporations is esti- mated at $96.73 and $115.26 respectively, which based upon the rates charged by private plants is excessive. The aver- age rate charged by water companies in seven cities of the state (without reference to the number of hydrants in each city) is $47.66, 9 the range being from $25 in Peoria to "Alton 276 hydrants @ $50.00 Champaign 172 @ 40.00 Danville 440 " @ 40.00 Freeport 190 " @ 50.00 E. St. Louis 125 " @ 80.00 150 " @ 70.00 Peoria 1000 " @ 41.60 113 " @ 25.00 Streator 1 12 " @ 45.00 161 @ 50.00 441] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 81 in East St. Louis. The normal rate is between and $50 per hydrant. The unweighted average cost per hydrant in the ten municipal plants not operating at a profit is $44.97, while in most of the cities the cost is between $15 and $33. A more exact statement would be to say that the whole public service, cost this much per hydrant, since no allowance has been made for water con- sumed for other public purposes. If two cities are operating municipal plants to their direct financial detriment, to what causes may this loss be ascribed? In both Joliet and LaSalle the amount of water pumped is large for the amount of capital invested, so ex- cessive interest and depreciation charges may not be ad- vanced as reasons. The two remaining factors which influence the charge to the municipality are the cost of operation and amount of income from water rents. In both cases under consideration the former charges are low, being $21.12 per million gallons in Joliet, and $16.80 per million gallons in LaSalle. At the same time, the amounts received for water in these cities are relatively small com- pared with the sums received in neighboring municipalities, being under $20.00 per million gallons in both instances. Since the loss can neither be ascribed to the fixed charges nor extravagant operation, it follows that the rates charged in these cities are too small for successful operation of the plants. In these two instances the water consumer is profiting decidedly at the expense of the tax payer. In other instances the reverse is true. For example, Aurora receives $69.00 per million gallons pumped; De- catur, $92.00; Ottawa, $65.00; an Springfield, $72.00; while the incomes of several other cities ranges above $50.00 per million gallons. In all of the above mentioned cities except one (Ottawa), the cities are receiving fire protection free, or at a cost of less than $17.00 per hydrant ; and this in spite of the fact that two of the municipalities (Aurora and Bloomington) have high operating costs. Under such conditions the taxpayer profits at the expense of the water consumer. 82 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [442 It has been mentioned that in two cities the cost of operation was high compared with the other plants of the state. Conditions of operation vary widely in different localities, and it is unfair to make a hurried judgment concerning the efficiency of management in any particular city. We may, however, compare the cost of operation in the municipal plants of the state with similar items of typical private plants. The operating expenses per mil- lion gallons for nine private plants in Wisconsin, were during recent years, as follows : Appleton, $36.73 ; Beloit, $23.35; Eau Claire, $18.24; Fond du Lac, $20.31; Green Bay, $48.79; and Sheboygan, $24.74. An average for the nine plants is $29.78 or allowing for pump slip (which was done in the figures for municipal plants) is $33.08. 10 The average cost of operation per million gallons for thirteen municipal plants in Illinois is $27.38 per million, and eight of the number fall considerably below this figure. This would seem to indicate that municipally operated plants compare successfully with those in private hands. It must be remembered, however, that municipal plants pump large quantities of free water, and frequently have unmetered service, in which events the favorable showing of public plants might be accounted for by the law of decreasing costs, with cheapened increased production, rather than thru any retrenchment or economical adminis- tration by public officials. Caution would commend this latter view. The situation may be further analyzed by comparing the ratio of operating expenses to revenues in public and private plants. In Wisconsin private plants are allowed to earn operating expenses, plus a reasonable profit, and depreciation. The "total of all costs" shown in table 21 represents the same earnings for municipal plants. For ten private plants the percentages in 1908 were: 11 M R. R. Com. of Wis., supra cit., 283. "Supra cit. p. 282. 443] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 83 TABLE 21. RATIO OF OPERATING COSTS TO RECEIPTS IN PRIVATE WATER PLANTS. Appleton Water Works Co 63.04% Beloit Water, Gas & Electric Co 41.01 Eau Claire Water Co 38.04 Fond du Lac Water Co 33.69 Green Bay Water Co 42.73 Janesville Water Co 47.40 Manitowoc Water Co 46.99 Marinette City Water Co 34.57 Sheboygan City Water Co 27.34 Average 39.34 For thirteen municipal plants in Illinois the ratio of operating costs to revenue and to "total of all costs" is : TABLE 22. RATIO OF OPERATING COSTS TO RECEIPTS AND "TOTAL OF ALL COSTS" IN MUNICIPAL WATER PLANTS. City. Revenue "Total of all Costs." Aurora 57-8% 52.1% Bloomington 740 59.2 Decatur 46.7 55.4 Elgin 46.4 40.0 Evanston 29.7 48.3 Galesburg 79.1 58.0 Jacksonville 66.5 49.4 Joliet 109.2 54.0 LaSalle 97.5 53.0 Ottawa 56.0 40.5 Rockford 49.5 43.0 Rock Island 41.7 38.4 Springfield 44,1 59.6 Average 61.3 50.2 From these two tables it appears that one city is operating its water works at a net loss, another within 2.5% of its income, and seven spend more than one-half of their income for operating expenses. Either the oper- ating expenses of municipal plants are too high or the charges for water are too low. The second column of the second table shows operating expenses in relation to the "total of all costs". A liberal allowance has been made 84 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [444 for interest and depreciation, yet the percent for operation, with one exception, is higher than the average for private plants. On the average the ratio is ten percent higher. While these figures are not favorable to, they are not an arraignment of municipal ownership. As counter argument it may be advanced that low rates are accompanied by lib- eral use of water, which is a matter of city policy and not of plant management. Meter or fixture rates have a decided influence upon the net revenues of a water plant. A metered plant may operate at a loss thru extravagance or low rates; a fix- ture plant has the handicap of wasted water in every case. In table 20 is stated the per capita daily water consump- tion of the cities under consideration. The metered plants have an average daily consumption of 69 gallons per per- son, while the average for the remainder is almost double or 132 gallons. The purpose of the meter is not to require excessive payment, but to regulate the consumption of water. In fact, in Springfield, the consumer saved from 25% to 50% by the adoption of meters. 12 The sudden adoption of meters, because of the large decrease in con- sumption means a temporary dimunition of the city in- come until the saved water is purchased by new users. The saving in the cost of operation, however, is noticeable from the beginning. In Elgin with only one-half of the taps metered, the saving in one year (1907-08) was $6,000, the annual pumpage being reduced 50,000,000 gallons. The wasted water is paid for, not in proportion to what is wasted by the individual, but in proportion to what is wasted on the average. It is only equitable that each con- sumer should pay upon a graduated scale for the water which he consumes, plus a fixed charge for booking, re- pairing, cost of meters, meter reading, and other inci- dental expenses. "Springfield, 111. Annual Report of Water Works, 1910, p. 7. In this excellent report upon a rather inadequate plant, Mr. Willis J. Spauld- ing presents some very reasonable arguments for metered service and for the payment of extensions by the property frontage owner. 445] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 85 A further immense loss to commercial revenues is due to the loss of water by leakage. An investigation of the municipal plant at Madison, Wis., showed that only 45 % of the water pumped reached the consumer. A very conservative estimate for the city of Springfield was that 22% of the pumpage was being lost. The estimated life of water pipes is one hundred years. In heavy soils mains may last longer than this; but in light or stony ground, or where there is action by electrolysis, the duration cannot be estimated. Perhaps several municipalities which are contemplating new wells and enlarged plants to supply the demand for water, might find it cheaper to rent a pitometer and investigate the conditions of mains lying parallel to street car tracks, or which have been long in the ground. In connection with water mains a word may be added concerning the extension of the distributing system. It has been urged that the cost of laying new pipes be charged to frontage by special assessment rather than paying it from the water fund or from general taxes. Nearly one- half the cities mentioned here have adopted this method in whole or in part, altho many miles of mains have been pre- viously laid out of the water fund. Under the water fund plan of extensions there is a con- stant rivalry of different sections of the city to secure water services. Since the funds are limited, favoritism and ill feeling may be expected, combined with an absolute restriction upon the growth of the city. Moreover, when pipes are laid in sparsely settled districts, there is a distinct rise in property values to which the owner has contributed nothing, the water consumer bearing the cost. Under the old system the consumer, in the end, not only paid for his own frontage, but also for the frontage of the vacant property owner. The change to the special assessment method would mean that the consumer would pay for his own frontage in a lump sum, and be relieved from paying the cost of his neighbor's improvement. 86 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [446 LIGHTING PLANTS. Municipal lighting plants in Illinois yield no direct revenue to the city treasury, since they are not permitted to undertake commercial lighting; yet they should be con- sidered owing to their close relation to municipal water plants. In all the cases of public lighting systems con- sidered the lighting plants are a part of the water works, and are charged a fixed proportion of the costs of operation. An act of the legislature of 1883 13 permits cities to levy a three mill tax to be used exclusively for the purpose of lighting streets. Under this act, six cities do their own public lighting, a statement of their costs being pre- sented in table 23. TABLE 23. STATISTICS RELATIVE TO COST OF OPERATION IN MUNICIPAL LIGHTING PLANTS. en en <u tn 0. 3 13 * c U J O, I ^ ^W o ~ 4H C] n rt ' _ o *< O *J + J C B 'G O -4- o U 3 U W u rt a. SI .- u V * "I t/) ... 8* "^ 0, o 3 o w ^ C 13 u o H U Aurora $40,000 $1,600 $1,200 $IO.OI4 l $12,814 $4l8 $^06=; Bloomington T- > *"* 100,000 4,000 ^.ooo v > ^ I7.2OI 24,201 T 7 " ^^ 442 *fO^-" v 'J Decatur 85,000 J.4OO o**-'*- * / >**;#* I4.OOO * - *T>*';y * IQ QS.Q *T*T** 3O0 2 66.50 Galesburg 4=1,000 *Jt*T^" 1 ,800 1 .35^ "t^*"" IO,OOO :fryj^ f 13,150 776 TO.! 1 ! Jacksonville T^*^^ 25,OOO 1,000 750 8,OOO jj x ' 226 jy j 4^.14 LaSalle 5O,OOO 2,000 / <J V 1,500 O.OOO 114 "J* "T 70.82 ^,vw ^ / y-"* '$5842 for seven months. 2 Is rapidly increasing number to a maximum of 700. The matter of interest on the value of public plants has been previously discussed, the rate taken being four percent. The rate of depreciation is much higher in elec- tric plants than in water works. From data furnished by the Railroad Commission of Wisconsin the average life of "Rev. Stat. (1908), ch. 24, par. 281. 447] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 87 a complete electric light plant has been estimated at 17.46 years. 14 In municipal plants, maintaining only an arc system, the average life would be a trifle longer. The Wis- consin Commission estimate, in the case of the Menominee and Marinette Light and Water Co., was 19.72 years. This would require a simple depreciation charge of five per cent per annum ; or allowing four percent compound inter- est upon the depreciation fund, the necessary rate would be 2.42%. At three percent interest, the rate would be 2.85%. Between these limits three percent may be con- sidered as a fair rate of depreciation. In Table 23 is shown the estimated value of the public lighting plants; the interest on these sums at four percent; depreciation at three percent; cost of operation for the "The unit lives involved in municipal lighting are : Generators and rotaries 20 years Static transformers 20 " Steam turbo-generators 20 " Switchboard and wiring complete 20 " Lightning arresters 10 " Weather proof copper wire installation 16 " Underground cable 25 " Aerial cables 15 " Manholes 50 " Conduits 12-18 " Cedar poles in earth 20 " Cedar poles in concrete 40 " Pole anchors and guys 12-15 " Service transformers 15 " Arc lamps and span equipment 15 " With unit lives similar to these, the composite life of complete electric systems was computed as follows : Madison Gas & Electric Co 17.2 years Ripon Light and Water Co 18.24 " Superior Light & Power Plant 17.91 " Chippewa Falls Water Works & Light Co 15.60 " Green Bay Traction Co 16.73 " Ashland Light, Power & Traction Co 17.04 " Wisconsin Traction, Light and Power Co 20.59 " Menominee Light & Traction Co 17.54 " Average 17.46 " 88 MUNICIPAL EEVENUES IN ILLINOIS [448, last fiscal year ; "total of all costs" ; number of lamps and the estimated cost per lamp. The figures for the total cost per lamp may be com- pared with the prices paid to private plants in the cities not having municipal plants. In table 24 these are given with the number of lights and the schedule upon which they are run. TABLE 24. CHARGES BY PRIVATE ELECTRIC LIGHT PLANTS FOR ARC SERVICE. City No. of Lights Charge per Year Schedule Alton 250 $6g Philadelphia Belleville 351 70 Complete Danville cc 60 Complete Elgin 425 24.7 40 58 Philadelphia Complete Evanston 1 103 43 386 48 42 60 Limited Limited Philadelphia Freeport 1 10 70 Rockford 2 W ^2 Complete Rock Island 287 60 Streator . 161 6< Philadelohia *New schedule now in force, $62.50 for overhead service; $72.50 for- conduit services, all complete. 2 City owns the means of distribution. Such a comparison is, however, of limited value. In the first place municipal plants do not adopt a steady schedule, but burn their lights as the circumstances require. Further, no great dependence can be placed upon the valu- ation of the plants or upon the costs of operation which are given. In most cases the estimated values are percentages of the total figures for the municipal water plants. The lighting plants could probably be duplicated in every case for the amount stated; but the operating costs cannot be accurately checked against them since these are frequently given as one-third of the combined costs of operating the light and water plants. 449] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 89 Remembering these limitations upon the accuracy of our figures, it appears that three cities, Aurora, Gales- burg and Jacksonville, are securing light at a less cost than could be done by private contract. In the other three cities the cost of municipal lighting appears to be more than the lowest charge made by private plants, but in two cities the circumstances point to an actual cost which is lower than that shown here. Galesburg is rapidly extending to a 700 light system; while the figures from Bloomington appear to be purely guess work rather than a careful esti- mate. When lighting plants are operated in combination with municipal water works, using boilers which otherwise would stand idle at night, the result should be lighting at a small cost. Some superintendents complain that since they are not allowed to sell commercial power and light, the plants are at a disadvantage. Such permission would put into usefulness valuable machinery which is now idle during the day time. In small cities where municipal light- ing is the principal item of light, the erection of a private plant in addition to a municipal plant is a useless duplica- tion of works ; or the introduction of modern lighting is de- layed until the private industry can be supported without the public contracts. CEMETERIES. Public cemeteries are authorized by an act of the legislature of 1874, which permits cities and villages to acquire property, sell lots, and provide a board of control for burial grounds. 15 Burial grounds are owned by seven of the municipalities visited and in an eighth (Moline) they become public in 1912. These undertakings, however, are of small importance, as sources of revenue. The charges are not such that public operation can be compared with that of privately owned grounds. From the point of revenue the possession of these grounds is a decided loss. Omitting from consideration, both the interest on the "Rev. Stat. (1908) ch. 21, par. 5. 90 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [450 original investment, and the constant depreciation from the sale of lots, the cost of operation and maintenance exceeds the income in three of the five cases in which the costs were obtainable. The sums involved, however, are incon- siderable. The following table shows the revenues as well as the cost of operation where this item could be secured. TABLE 25. INCOME AND COST OF OPERATION OF MUNICIPAL BURIAL GROUNDS. cn V *-, E - 3 n s o *i rt* ^ t/3 V) 03 ^ w *^ u " "rt O - 5 O <U 11 42 fe C/3 J S Pi H OH u o Aurora . . $2646 $1296 Belleville $2266 $1455 3721 3500 Bloomington "^04 4 638 841 Elgin 1420 4177 1141 6738 7220 Freeport 2^0 238 497 1697 Galesburg 1487 Jacksonville 2160 PUBLIC LIBRARIES. The income accruing to libraries might be tabulated with other city revenues, according to its source, as fines, rents, etc. For purposes of comparison, however, and since these sums seldom reach the city treasury, it is preferable to treat library revenues as distinct from those of the city. In Table 26 is shown the miscellaneous income from twenty-two public libraries. The latter part of this table refers to book circulation which more or less influences the amount of income. Two libraries, in Alton and Ottawa, are dependent upon endowment for practically their entire support, the latter receiving a city appropriation of only $500 per year; Champaign is partially independent of municipal support. Evanston has two small funds, the interest of which is ap- plied to the purchase of books upon medicine and music. 451] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 91 Quincy has for general purposes the income on a very small amount of money. Even aside from the gift of library buildings by one individual, public libraries are the most favored of city institutions by private benefactors. In Alton, Champaign and Ottawa, the libraries are housed in buildings furnished by the donor of an endowment; while in Alton and Ottawa, the endowment is sufficient to place the management independent of city control. TABLE 26. STATISTICS OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES. ILLINOIS CITIES, 1909. V c Renting Collection tn e Endowment Income Other Misc. Revenue Total Misc. Revenue Endowment Av. Daily Circulation u u a U Alton $ 253 none none $2,400 none $2,6 51 $50,000 284 61 Aurora 396 none none none none 306 none 112 95 Belleville 97 T en none none none jen 128 none ISO 140 80 Champaign . . . 243 none 10 none 753 10,000 160 77 Danville Decatur 239 358 none none none none none none none none 239 358 none none 270 162 103 86 E. St. Louis . Elgin 1 238 220 none none none none none none 30 none 268 220 none none 352 681 166 t 5&T Freeport 79 2 35 18 none none 252 none .730 97 0,925 none 353 214 82 Galesburg Joliet 370 34i none none none 179 670 890 I 042 none 505 186 43 80 Ottawa 89 none 75 4,718 e 4,887 75,000 71 114 Peoria 1,017 none 188 none none 1,205 none 679 9 Quincv . 24 none 2? 65 none 114 none 110 no Rockford 398 220 430 none none 1,048 none 537 84 Springfield . . . Streator 476 181 none none none none none none 41 25 517 2O6 none none 337 173 153 82 Urbana 40 none none none none 40 none 108 76 ^Township library. Fines, which are first in importance of the incidental revenues, bear some rough relation to the number of books in circulation. This relationship is, however, far from exact, indicating probably, not a difference in the prompt- 92 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [452 ness of book borrowers, but rather a variation in the en- forcement of library regulations. Six libraries rent portions of their buildings, gaining in two instances a considerable income by this means. Carnegie-built libraries are frequently larger than is now needed for library purposes, affording space which may be rental to clubs, or occasionally is occupied by the per- manent offices of the school board. It is somewhat surprising to find that only six libraries have introduced the "renting collection". 16 While this field is limited to the newest and most popular fiction, the books are put in circulation as soon as paid for by the rent se- cured, permitting the general revenues to be applied in a more profitable direction. The figures on the relation of circulation to population indicate the wide range of library effectiveness in the several cities. This may be due in part to the variation of types of population; but the library management cannot be entirely exonerated. CITY HOSPITALS. Public hospitals may be established upon a majority vote of the citizens, on a proposal initiated by one hundred petitioners. Except for paupers reasonable compensation must be exacted for services rendered. 17 An examination of the city reports shows no returns from this source paid directly to the city treasury, altho in Ottawa the sum of the collections was reported to the city council. The public hospitals in Illinois are quasi-private institutions, to which appropriations are made by the city, or financial provision is made for the care of cases for which the city is responsible. Recent legislation has also provided for the establish- ment of tuberculosis sanitariums and legalized a four mill tax for their support. 18 Services are to be free except for "Books rented at norninal charges. "Laws of 1909, p. 308. "Rev. Stat. ch. 24, par. 685. 453] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 93 medical attendance and similar charges. Several cities have authorized such institutions but their erection is de- layed until financial difficulties can be cleared up. STREET RAILWAYS. There are no municipal traction systems in operation within the state, tho such are authorized under certain conditions. 19 Cities may organize and own street railways upon approval by a majority of the voters voting on such a proposition and may operate such railways when ap- proved by three-fifths of those voting; or the city may include in a franchise granted, the right to take over the system upon specified terms. A municipality may also transfer privileges acquired in one company to another, tho any lease of public property for longer than five years must be sanctioned by popular vote. In the case of municipal operation the charges must be sufficient to cover the cost of maintenance, interest charges, and to create a sinking fund. By a two-thirds vote, a city may issue bonds for the purchase, or the construction and equipment of street rail- ways; or may acquire the same by condemnation. In the latter case, compensation must be allowed for the value of existing franchises. If the system is owned by the city and leased to a private corporation, the rental must include at least interest upon the investment and a return for the franchise value. By a majority vote, the municipality may in lieu of bonds, issue street railway certificates running for not to exceed twenty years, payable only from the net income of the railway, and bearing interest at a rate not specified. These certificates may be secured by the issue of mort- gage or trust bonds, which can be foreclosed after default of interest for one year. Foreclosure carries the privilege of operation by the private company for not exceeding twenty years. Under the Mueller Law, it was provided that "Rev. Stat. (1908) ch. 24, par. 655 et seq.; Laws of 1903, p. 285. 94 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [454 loans secured by mortgage certificates could be issued out- side of the debt limit ; but the supreme court has beld that this may not be done under the present constitution. Should the city operate a street railway system, there must be kept separate accounts showing the actual cost to the city, cost of maintenance, extensions and improvements, operating expenses of every description, sinking fund, free water, and free services rendered by the railway, interest, depreciation, insurance and exemption of taxes, of which an annual printed account, examined by an expert account- ant, is required to be made to the city council. The ac- counting of these various items presages the time when city utilities will be conducted separately and distinctly from one another, and independently of the city treasury; and when any surplus created will be devoted to the use of the consumers who have produced it. The rule which forbids cities engaging in private business for a profit, should enjoin their engaging in public enterprises for the same purpose. 20 SEWERS. Sewer systems may be constructed under an act of 1883 permitting the levying of a three mill tax for that purpose, 21 or they may be created under the local improve- ment law which permits them to be paid for by special assessments or general taxation. 22 There is no city in which a revenue is derived from the operation of sewers; and the method of extending the systems has been con- sidered under the subject of "Special Assessments". 23 REAL ESTATE. Cities owning landings on navigable rivers may lease portions for wharfage for a period not exceeding twenty- "See ch. IV for tax on franchises. *Rev. Stat. (1908) ch. 24, par. 280. "Ibid. ch. 24, par. 507 et seq. "See chap. IV. 455] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 95 five years. 24 Quincy has four such leases, one terminable by either party upon sixty days notice; one to expire in 1912; and two to expire in 1934. The income from the entire number is $320 per year. Rock Island also has f 200 per year income of a similar nature. Several other cities receive a small revenue from the lease for space in municipal buildings, pasturage on land used for garbage disposal, etc. A list of these with the source of the income is given below: TABLE 27. RECEIPTS FROM CITY REAL ESTATE. Alton $167. Ground rent. Aurora 375. Office rent and use of polling places. Champaign 265. Building rent. Elgin 189. "Rents, etc." Freeport 184. "Use of polling places." Galesburg 231. Alley, land, and pasture rent. Moline 250. "Use of city real estate". Rock Island 1530. Rents and ground leased to railway. Springfield 540. "Use of city real estate". Urbana 52. Pasturage. Such small returns from city property might be con- trasted with the large revenues from the public domains of some European cities where the management of real estate is often an important corporate function. ! OTHER CITY PROPERTY. Aside from the interest on city funds, a small income is derived from the occasional use of other city property. Cities may own and operate bridges and ferries, 25 charging a sufficient toll to cover interest, repairs, sinking fund and operating expenses. In Ottawa the ferry tolls amount to $3248 per year, while the city of Rock Island received until 1908 about |4000 per annum from bridge tolls. The bridge is now free. An obsolete provision of the statutes M Rev. Stat. (1908) ch. 24, par. 247. "Ibid. ch. 24, par. 194. 96 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [456 permits cities coming into the possession of toll roads to continue to collect a reasonable toll, tho no new toll roads may be created. More frequent sources of revenue of this sort are from public markets (scale fees), use of ambulances and of city machinery. The following cities report incomes of this nature: Alton, |810, city scales; Aurora, $204, use of ambulance ; Belleville, $480, use of city machinery ; Bloom- ington, $300, from McLean County for tramp house ; Joliet, $84, use of steam roller; LaSalle, $112, "use of city prop- erty" ; Moline, $112, use of city scales ; and Streator, $18, for ambulance hire. Doubtless most cities have items of this nature, but have reported them as miscellaneous re- ceipts. Those given are sufficient to show the amounts and nature of this income. INTEREST ON CITY FUNDS. Interest on city funds is an almost unutilized source of city income, as a rule such revenue being considered as a perquisite of the city treasurer. The few cities having permanent funds usually receive interest at some rate, but the amount lost thru failure to receive interest upon cur- rent funds is large. Such funds, however, vary in amount, and their size is reduced by the gradual payments of tax warrants and floating indebtedness. In Chicago, bids are made upon the city funds and the council awards to the highest and best bidders in sufficient numbers to insure safety, bonds being given by the banks as security. 26 A special scheme is adopted by which each bank is checked against for only two months in the year thus permitting an uninterrupted use of city funds for at least five months. But by this plan only one and one-half percent per annum is secured. Any law relative to the smaller cities of the state should be sufficiently compre- hensive to permit the cities to borrow money for corporate purposes from such permanent funds as may be available, "Merriam, Municipal Revenues of Chicago, p. 103 et seq. 457] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 97 from sinking funds, water funds, permanent improvement funds, etc. 27 Such a move would secure five or six percent upon these permanent funds, the present rate being about three percent. Or if only the varying current funds are available, arrangements might be made with banks, by al- lowing the free use of city funds during the early part of the calendar year, the municipality might borrow without in- terest when the treasury is depleted. In Elgin, by such a plan an average of $25,000 is borrowed each year. Of the twenty-four cities, only seven receive interest upon funds of any kind, the largest amount being $16,306, which is returned to Quincy upon sinking funds aggregat- ing $354,789. This is at a rate of about four and one-half percent. Five percent is received upon the larger part of this fund. All the interest accruing is reapplied to the sinking funds. On May 1st, 1909, there was a general bal- ance of $71,037 upon which no interest was noted. Evans- ton received $3063 as "interest on city funds" the same being applied to the salary fund. Freeport received $1916 as "interest on bank balances." On April 1st, 1910, such balances were $67,534 for special assessments, plus $13,270 for general cash on hand. As "interest on sinking funds", Galesburg received $1667 per year. As interest upon a "spe- cial bridge fund" balance of $57,101, Peoria added to that fund $1,001 during 1909; the interest upon a "bridge bond sinking fund" of $8750 was $417. As the total income of the city for the year is nearly a million dollars the interest return is inconsiderable. In Alton the city finances are in such excellent shape that the city was able to loan $30,000 of the general fund at three percent interest. In the above list, however, it will be noted that the return from interest on current funds is inconspicuous. The following table represents an estimate of the nor- mal amount of funds which lie idle in the city treasuries. There is shown the entire amount received during the year for all purposes, as well as the balance on hand at the beginning and at the end of the fiscal years. "Cf. Laws of 1911, p. 150. 98 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [458 TABLE 28. BALANCES AND RECEIPTS FOR GENERAL FUNDS, SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS AND SPECIAL FUNDS FOR THE YEAR 1909. General Funds. 1 Balance at beginning Receipts, Balance at end of fiscal year. 1909. of year. Alton $14,286 $214,377 $69,39i 2 Aurora 23,750 220,334 18,870 Belleville 1,764 137,824 4J33 2 Bloomington 21,461 265,723 19,440 Danville 75,843 21 1,193 68,190" Evanston 115,412 461,875 96,576 Freeport 6,368 111,696 13,270 Joliet 55,062 451,238 80,090 Ottawa 43,395 134,754 1,365 Peoria 14,024 576,694 21,942 Quincy 71,604 217,292 67,346 Rockford | 17,223 494,475 21,125* Rock Island 6,775 "8,673 io,668 3 Urbana 5,718 85,059 276' Special Assessments. 1 Aurora see above $146,000 see above Bloomington $38,072 1 15,397 $69,333 Evanston see above 126,180 7,288 Freeport 82,230 98,414 67,534 Ottawa 13,644 43,269 23,920 Peoria 2,006 315,693 385 Quincy 1,632 27,009 6,597 Rock Island 4,520 14,491 7,097 Special Funds- 1 Aurora see above $69,273 see above Bloomington $7,392 722 $i,35o Joliet 78 25,574 15,552 Peoria 66,431 12,1 13 20,603 Quincy 354,789 16,304 37LO93 Rock Island 24,831 63,922 24,51 1 Grand Totals. 1 Alton $14,286 $214,337 $69,391 Aurora 23,750 435,607 18,870 Belleville 1,764 137,824 4,133 Amounts of less than one dollar not considered. 'Includes all funds. *Fiscal year, 1907. 459] MUNICIPAL INDUSTRIES AND PROPERTY 99 TABLE 28. Continued. BALANCES AND RECEIPTS FOR GENERAL FUNDS, SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS AND SPECIAL FUNDS FOR THE YEAR 1909. Balance at beginning Receipts, Balance at end of fiscal year. 1909. of year. Bloomington 66,925 381,842 90,223 Danville 75,843 211,193 68,540 Evanston 115412 588,055 103,854 Freeport 88,598 210,1 10 80,804 Joliet 55, 140 476,812 95,642 Ottawa 57,059 178,023 25,285 Peoria 82461 904,500 42,930 Quincy 425,826 260,605 445,036 Rockford 17,223 494,474 21,125 Rock Island 36,106 197,086 42,276 Urbana 5,718 85,059 276 These figures do not show the maximum or minimum amounts in the treasuries, and no general rule concerning the average amounts can be formulated, since the conditions in each of the instances are radically different. In the sixteen cities 28 issuing tax warrants it must be assumed that the treasuries are practically empty for a part of the year, and it is safe to conclude that a share of the sums paid in as special assessments are almost immediately used to retire assessment bonds. Delinquent assessments would be an exception to this rule. Of taxes and licenses, which form the working balances of the cities, the former come in over a period of the five months from January to June, while the latter are paid quarterly or semi-annually. Under the recent commission government law for cities, treasurers in such cities are compelled to return in- terest at three percent on city funds. A review of the workings of these cities at the end of the first fiscal year will give a more certain clue to the interest loss of the other cities of Illinois. Judging from the facts at hand, such loss is not less than $500 in the smaller towns; increases to f 1000 in cities of very moderate size ; and probably rises to $5000 or more in the larger cities of the state. "See Table 29. 100 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [460 fO to O4 to T <r> Q OJ <! CO 10 PO M *t -i to 01 -t l> to 1^5 CO pf i-T o* O\ to \O to to 0) TJ- to 00 T to O of o? of UO JS9J3JU] to * 2 C - ^ - 5 4 of W V c c o o c c o CO C pf spuog O CO VO O\ ^O^gOiOO^OOOl > JN, TJ- to fo O 01 CO f) >0 O\ >- N o M ^o Of ro ;qag papuog JO f to vo to to ^ 9 N. tooo'^d o " to - 00 IN, \0 X yj ssaupaiqapuj CO O VC " *O T o o ?5 oo oj H OJ i_ TT -I n c *o o o c c - '- OS ^ ^o oo t q_ o of of 6" to "O to C OJ 10 >-> IN, _ OJ 00 VO W <l) to f> C C * Tf 04 o Q to papuog o f*2 1-iTt- ojvp H VI ioofroi- O "-< OJOO OO OS'S *! i- 2 D C J2 O (A <S> -o .2 ^3 ^* ^ rt S TO -S S t/5 -r V B JB m m u CHAPTER VI LOANS. Municipal indebtedness is of four kinds, (1) city bonds, for the payment of which are pledged the faith and credit of the city; (2) interest bearing certificates issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes; (3) floating debt in the nature of unpaid bills, cash paid by individuals in advance for city services yet unrendered, such as water rents, advances on pavement construction, etc., and lastly, (4) public improvement bonds issued to contractors as payment for special assessment work in which the respon- sibility of the city extends only to the collection. This last item is discussed briefly in another place. 1 BONDED INDEBTEDNESS. By the state constitution the bonded indebtedness of cities is restricted to five percent of the assessed valua- tion, 2 which since 1909 has been one-third of the "fair cash value." 3 The constitution also provides that suf- ficient direct taxes must be raised to liquidate any bonded indebtedness within twenty years from the date of incur- 'See Chapter IV. "Constitution of 1870, art. 9, par. 12. 'Laws of 1909, p. 308. FOOTNOTES TO TABLE 29. '$12,681 not in the form of tax warrants. 'Includes $200,000 school tax warrants. 'Includes $78,800 school tax warrants. 'See Text, page 108. 'Itemized in year's expenditure as "bills payable". 'Predominating interest rates are italicised. 'Warrants carried for use of city funds. 'Estimated. 102 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [462 rence, and to pay the prescribed rate of interest. 4 It is further provided that bonds may be registered with the state auditor, 5 in which instance sufficient taxes to pay in- terest and provide a sinking fund are certified by the auditor to the several county clerks, such rates being col- lected as if a part of the state tax. The necessity for the bonded debt limit may be seen by referring to Table 29. Fonr cities, Bloomington, East St. Louis, Ottawa, and Springfield, had slightly exceeded the maximum indebtedness allowed, 6 while Quincy was in- debted to over ten percent of the equalized valuation and devotes twenty-seven percent of the total taxation to the payment of interest and the retirement of bonds. Four other cities had a debt of three percent, while the remainder were indebted to about one-half of their allowance. The average was three and four-tenths percent of the assessed valuation. Such a comparison of indebtedness, based upon the property assessment, is the most equitable one, yet it is cus- tomary to consider the per capita indebtedness as some criterion of the financial condition of a city. According to the census bureau, 7 there is considerable irregularity in the per capita indebtedness of American cities of over 30,000 population, the tendency being to increase the in- debtedness with the size of the city. This tendency is also shown in the smaller cities of Illinois, but not to a marked degree. In the municipalities of over 20,000 population the average per capita debt was $11.005, while in those of a less size the average per capita debt was $9.66. Or stated in another fashion, the average population of the cities of Illinois having a per capita debt of over $7.40 was 30,163; of those having such a debt under $7.40 it was 18,919. In the cities of between 30,000 and 50,000 popula- 4 Constitution of 1870, Art. 9, par. 12. "Act of Feb. 13, 1865; amended April 27, 1877, and June 4, 1879. That there is an excess in these cases is probably due to school dis- tricts which are not exactly coextensive with the cities. 'Special Report, Statistics of Cities; 1907, p. 75. 463] LOANS 103 tion in the United States, the average per capita net debt is a trifle over $40.00. 8 Bonds should, of course, be retired during the life time of the utility for which they are issued; and in the absence of exact data, the desirability of a fixed limit is easily demonstrated. Peoria is still paying interest on $42,000 of bonds representing bounties paid during the Civil War. The interest has amounted to double this sum, yet as estimated by the comptroller, a sinking fund tax of $2,800 per year collected for ten or twelve years would pay these bonds when due. 9 That the amount of taxation necessary to retire city bonded indebtedness may not be excessive in any one year, the city of Quincy (which in 1881 was burdened with a debt of nearly $2,000,000 and still has a debt of over $600,000 ) 10 makes use of a plan which insures a bond and interest tax varying little in amount from year to year. An ordinance passed in 1899, a certified copy of which is on file in the office of the state auditor, outlines the amount to be collected each year, and provides that any surplus shall counteract later deficits. By this method, while the amount paid for bonds and interest each year varies as much as $35,000, the taxation decreases regularly by about $3,0.00. This is a rather crude use of a complicated scheme of debt retirement. The perfected plan would permit of an equal annual tax devoted in the early years to the paying of a large amount of interest and a small amount of prin- cipal, changing gradually to the larger retirement of principal as the amount of interest required declines. For example, $20,000 indebtedness at 5% interest is incurred by a city, and a $1,500 annual tax provided for liquidation. The principal for the second year is $19,500 upon which *Supra. cit. p. 307. This statement, however, represents only about 84% of the municipal indebtedness of the cities concerned. The re- mainder, except less than one percent of floating indebtedness, consists of tax warrants or short time loan certificates in anticipation of taxes. 'Annual report, 1009, p. 12. "Annual report, 1910, p. 25. 104 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [464 the interest is $975. Therefore, $523 of the bonds may be retired as compared with $500 the previous year. If the total of bonds may be retired only at the end of a stated period careful actuarial work is necessary to determine the proper tax levy. Although this plan insures absolute jus- tice to the taxpayers, the difficulty of its administration has prompted cities to turn to other methods of liquidating indebtedness, one of which is the sinking fund. A sinking fund provides that sufficient sums shall be set aside from year to year, so that at the end of a pre- arranged period a sufficient sum shall be in the treasury to retire the bond issue outstanding. The fixed amounts to be set aside each year, dependent upon the rate of inter- est received upon the sinking fund, and the life of the bonds to be retired, have been carefully calculated, and the tables should be available for the use of the city comptroller. 11 The sinking fund method of debt retirement equalizes the burden of the taxpayer, but is open to very decided dangers. Unless compound interest is paid upon the sinking fund the method is an extravagant one; the taxpayer not only pays the interest upon the bonds outstanding, but also loses the interest upon the cash contributed to the retire- ment fund. Also, owing frequently to the lack of publicity for municipal accounts, sinking funds are used for general municipal purposes. It is not uncommon for cities to invest sinking funds in their own securities. From this arises a danger, espe- cially in larger cities or in other communities dependent upon local capital for funds. If a city is required to throw a large quantity of sinking fund securities into the market in order to retire bonds of an earlier maturing date, the disturbance to the financial market may be serious. New York City, in the decade from 1950 to 1960, will be com- pelled to put approximately $200,000,000 of such sinking "An excellent set of tables will be found in Sprague's Tables of Com- pound Interest, Discount, Annuities, Sinking Funds and other Computa- tions for use in the Accountancy of Investment, published by the author for the New York University School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance. 465] LOANS 105 fund securities before New York bankers. This is perhaps a "far cry" to be urged for consideration in the smaller cities of the nation. The difficulties suggested have prompted municipal- ities to resort to the use of the simpler, but less equitable, plan of bonds retiring serially over a series of years. The bulk of the interest is borne by the tax payers in the earlier years; but they have the compensating advantage of using the utility created while it is new. Practically all of the Illinois municipal bonds are of this serial type. TAX WARRANTS. Tax warrant indebtedness is incurred entirely for cur- rent expenses, and represents how far the expenditures have at some time exceeded the income of the city. Table 29 shows that the cities which are already heavily bonded are, with few exceptions, also issuing a large amount of tax warrants, though the less indebted cities are by no- means free. Such indebtedness is bad, not only because it repre- sents municipal extravagance, but owing to the excessive rate of interest which it bears. The funds for the most part are furnished by banks, the preponderating rate of interest being five percent, though as low as 4.74% was charged in Jacksonville, and as high as six percent in Springfield and Peoria. Elgin, by allowing the free use of city funds to banks, has been allowed to borrow $25,000 annually from them practically free of interest. The rates charged are from one to two percent higher than those on municipal bonds, of which 46.6% are floated at 4% ; 27.1% at 4.5% ; 14.2% at 5% ; 8.2% at 3.5% ; and .075% at the high rate of 6%. About 82% of the bonds outstand- ing are floated at 4.5% or below; while only $11,000 in warrants are drawing less than 5%, and these are at 4.75%. Before 1911 there was no statute which allowed a city to invest the money of its special funds in warrants or cer- tificates drawn against the general fund. Such a law secures to the municipal corporations the high rate of in- 106 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [466 terest paid on temporary indebtedness, and is desirable, even though affecting only a limited number of the smaller cities of the state. Under the circumstances mentioned, the question nat- urally arises, would it not be expedient to relieve the necessity for the annual issue of tax warrants by the float- ing of a bond issue at a lower rate of interest? There are at least three reasonable arguments against such a process. In some cities the maximum debt limit has already been reached, so these new bonds could not be legally issued. Again, the presence of a large indebtedness of a temporary nature is a guarantee against further marked extrava- gance on the part of the city officials. That the total in- debtedness must be kept within such bounds that loans may be easily made prevents its growth out of the pro- portion to the wealth of the city. Finally, the discrep- ancy between the rates of interest on bonds and warrants is more apparent than real. Tax warrants represent the need of an amount of money for a short time, since they are usually issued in the winter and are retired as soon as the taxes are paid in the spring or early summer. Though the average life of a war- rant is seven months, there are reasons for believing that the greater amounts of money are used for a less time than this. For example, Bloomington, Galesburg, and Spring- field, all of which are heavy users of tax warrants, pay interest for five months or less. In order to have a suf- ficient sum on hand it would be necessary to issue bonds to approximate the amounts of warrants out, sums which, ac- cording to the most conservative estimates, would lie in the city treasuries for five months in the year. On such a basis, the cities would not be the losers, if they pay five- twelfths more for warrants than bonds. If four and four and one-half percent be taken as the typical bond rate of interest, then it would be profitable to float warrants at 5.6% or 6.3%. Of course, in cases where the warrants are running for year terms, as are $200,000 of Rockford school warrants, funding would be expedient. 467] LOANS 107 In Galesburg, while school tax warrants are not issued, the salary warrants of the fiscal year, are drawn upon an empty treasury and bear interest at six percent. FLOATING DEBT. No defense can be offered for floating indebtedness. It is in all cases but one (see table 29) connected with large bonded and warrant indebtedness ; and one is entitled to assume that there has been at some time mismanagement in the conduct of the business of the cities so burdened. Such indebtedness emphasizes most strongly the need for scientific budget making in municipal business. Every departmental head should be required to estimate in ad- vance and in detail the needs for the year's adminis- tration. Such executives should then be required to spend the sums appropriated according, to the advance estimate, or return any unexpended balances into the general fund of the municipality. Any city working without a classified budget is as liable to suffer from unexpended departmental balances as from floating indebtedness. The two are products of the same cause, a poorly drawn budget. To the ordinary voter and taxpayer a deficit becomes known through the newspaper; the use of unexpended balances is not so easy to discover. The curious citizen may be prompted to in- quire of his city clerk for a statement of monthly expendi- tures of the several departments for the past fiscal year. He will be interested to note if there is a marked increase in departmental expenditures in October and March, more especially for salaries. If services were unnecessary ten months in the year, there should be some explanation if the payrolls are excessively large in the two months which immediately precede elections. And, if this expla- nation is honest, it will frequently demonstrate why de- partmental heads have not sufficient funds to complete the fiscal year. The indirect effect of a floating debt is even greater than the loss of the cash which at some time has been 108 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [468 wasted. When dealers are compelled to wait an undue period for the payment of bills, the city business drifts into the hands of middlemen. These make all proper allowance in their prices for long waits, and the city treasury suffers proportionately. In Champaign, the f 20,000 of floating debt represented an unpaid light bill of nearly six months standing; while $20,000 of Urbana bonds in 1909 were a judgment for floating debt on current expenses. It may be advanced that owing to unexpected decreases in revenues, debts of this kind must occasionally be incurred. This is perhaps some- times true; but such losses could be anticipated and more adequately met if city finances were put upon the same sound basis that is demanded in the best private business. The elimination of unsecured indebtedness by this means, as well as the promotion of efficiency in public ex- penditures, would be secured if the more elementary steps necessary to scientific public budget making were followed : 1. The finance committee of the city council should require every department head to submit an estimate of pro- posed expenditures for the coming fiscal year. 2. This estimate should show all suggested expendi- tures classified by salaries, wages, services other than per- sonal, materials, supplies, equipment, structure and parts, land, capital outlays, fixed charges, pensions and contin- gencies. 12 Such a division would enable city officials to know the cost of a single service or supply for the entire city, or to compare costs as between departments. 3. The departmental estimate should also show the de- partmental expenditure for the same services, etc., for the year previous, the expenditure of the past six months of the current year, the expenditure of some typical month of the current year, and any increase asked for next year. "The complete classification as suggested for the United States gov- ernment by the President's Commission on Economy and Efficiency may be seen on page 4 of their circular No. 19, to be obtained through any con- gressman, or the similar classification of New York and Philadelphia can be secured by corresponding with the comptroller of these cities. 469] LOANS 109 4. Such estimates should be printed in a tentative budget, and public hearings held where both officials and citizens could appear to defend or protest against suggested appropriations. 5. The final revised budget having been passed, every departmental head should be required to regulate his ex- penditures as outlined, all salaries and wages to be ex- pended at the rate of one-twelfth or one-fiftysecond per month or week, except for temporary employes. 6. Any change in the segregation of the budget should be made only after a vote of the city council. 7. All unexpended balances at the end of the fiscal year should be returned to the treasury of the city. Such an outlined plan is not experimental but is in operation in the largest cities of the country. Not only are appropriations more efficiently expended, but they are considerably reduced when granted after public hearings. In a single year in New York City, surplus appropriations of 13,000,000 were returned to the municipal treasury, which, under the system in vogue in Illinois municipalities, would perhaps have gone to salary increases and work not contemplated or advertised at budget time. CHAPTER VII SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS. In the preceding text repeated comparisons have been drawn between the important items of revenue income of the several cities, especially upon a per capita basis. It is unnecessary to review these here, aside from stating the conclusions which they substantiate. The total gen- eral revenue, however, should be considered. This general revenue account will exclude the more uncertain and un- stable items of school revenue, road and bridge taxes, spe- cial assessments, and commercial revenue which is not net profit. The deduction of these items, all of which faiL to affect directly the general administration of municipal government, leaves a balance devoted entirely to the sup- port of the cities. This residual general fund for each city is given in table 30, with the principal component parts. In table 31 is shown the data in percentages. The minimum per capita income is $4.23. This is found in Champaign, one of the smallest of the cities studied. Similarly low per capita revenue of $4.53 and $4.40 prevails in Streator and Jacksonville, both small cities; while the largest per capita revenue, $11.74, is in East St. Louis, the largest municipality considered. Such figures indicate that there is a relationship between the size of the city and the necessity for increased income per inhabitant. This fact, with its causes, has been commented upon in the introduction to this study. It is not to be expected, however, that this rise in per capita income will be regularly progressive as population increases. Two of the smallest municipalities, LaSalle and Ottawa, have a per capita revenue only equaled by five of the largest cities of the group; while Kockford and Decatur, both among the larger communities studied, have about the minimum cost of government per resident. Setting aside 471] SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 111 the possibility of mismanagement of city funds, this may mean that these smaller cities have assumed costly civic functions, which the larger municipalities have not as yet seen fit to undertake. Considering the twenty-four cities as a group, the earlier contention that with increasing population the municipalities must undertake activities formerly left to individuals, is amply borne out. Of the six largest cities in the list, five have a large per capita revenue, and only four municipalities of between seventeen and seventy-five thousand population have an income of less than f 6.00 per person. The summary table No. 32 shows graphically the relative rank of all the cities as regards population and per capita general income. A summary of the conclusions which have been dis- cussed in the text indicates the defects in the system of property taxation and the nature of other undeveloped sources of income, which it has been in part the purpose of this thesis to consider : 1. There is a wide diversity among the municipalities of the state in the rate of assessments of both real and per- sonal property. In few communities is real estate taxed at its full cash value, while personal property escapes with from one-fifth to one-third of its legal burden. Undoubt- edly this latter discrepancy is only an unofficial recognition of the unfair double taxation inherent in the assessment of most personal property. Without entering into a dis- cussion of justice in taxation, it may be said that a careful readjustment of personalty values would add as much as 30% to municipal incomes. 2. The continuation of two officials for the collection of municipal taxes, one before and one after taxes become delinquent, involves an unnecessary duplication of ad- ministrative machinery and results in loss of efficiency and increased costs. If the functions of the town collector were transferred to the county treasurer, taxes could be collected more expeditiously, more completely and at a di- minished expense. 112 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [472 3. Practically every city is collecting the maximum legal tax allowed for general purposes, yet there is an in- creasing demand that the municipalities assume new and expensive duties. The maximum total tax rate of three percent on the assessed valuation (one percent on the sup- posed full value) is inadequate to meet the needs of the modern city. 4. The percentage of total income received by Illinois cities from other sources than the general property tax ranges from 60% in Joliet to 3% in Urbana. The large proportion of municipal funds derived from these mis- cellaneous sources in certain cities indicates the inade- quacy of the present system of taxation. 5. The amount of municipal income derived from liquor licenses, does not depend upon the number of licenses issued, but with considerable uniformity varies directly with the cost of the license. An increase in the minimum cost of saloon licenses from f 500 to f 1,000 per year would not only result in the issue of fewer licenses, but would be accompanied by a decided increase in revenues. Also, of no inconsiderable importance is the reduction in police force which may follow a limitation in the number of saloons and their segregation into a restricted district. 6. In cities where there is a real restriction in the number of saloons in proportion to the population, the licenses normally acquire a monopoly value. The amount of this monopoly value has been estimated for several cities under consideration. Since the municipalities have reduced the number of existing licenses they should pro- portionately increase the charge to cover any loss in reve- nue. A premium on saloon licenses is a criterion of such a loss. 7. Municipal revenues from general license taxation would be increased by assessing high licenses against a few industries and occupations which are accustomed to license taxation. In numerous instances the present rates are un- profitably low, -and the energy necessary for a complete col- lection of the tax is dissipated over a wide field. It is 473] SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 113 not infrequent that licenses fail to yield revenue because the licensing ordinances are too intricate to be easily ap- plied by the crude machinery provided for that purpose. 8. Cities which largely utilize special business taxes find in them a remunerative source of revenue. In view of the usual under-assessment of stocks-in-trade, doubtless some tax of this nature is justified. Such taxes, however, are difficult to administer with any degree of equality, and there is usually local prejudice against their impo- sition. A trend in this direction must be gradual, begin- ning with those occupations which require some measure of sanitary or police control. 9. One of the most profitable and equitable of tax returns is that from the licensing of vehicles. This tax, going into a special fund for the repair of streets and al- leys, relieves to some extent, the unequal burden imposed by the special assessment laws upon the property owner. The rates upon horse drawn vehicles are by no means uniform throughout the state and where the minimum tax is imposed, the return is not large. The tax upon auto- mobiles, however, can be made to return a very considera- ble income. 10. Insurance brokers frequently avoid the payment of the tax upon the business of foreign fire insurance com- panies and in some municipalities the law is not enforced at all. This would be avoided if a nominal license fee were imposed upon all insurance dealers and they were compelled to render an annual report, under oath, of all business transacted. 11. Revenues from fines and costs are restricted by the frequent non-assessment of fines if costs are paid, by failure to assess high fines, inclination to allow cases to be prosecuted by the state's attorney, rather than by the city officials, and finally the limited number of arrests which find their way into the police courts. 12. Fees and departmental charges are neglected sources of municipal revenue, which, were they adequately imposed and collected, would produce an income equal to 114 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [474 that obtained from general license taxes. A complete fee system, however, would involve not only the abolition of the practice of allowing fees as salaries, but the introduc- tion of an adequate system of accounting and control which would insure cities receiving payments made. 13. Under the present prevailing system in Illinois by which public service corporations are usually allowed to fix their charges at the point of maximum profit, fran- chise taxes are a tax upon the profits of the corporation rather than upon the consumer. However, only a few utili- ties pay for the privileges they enjoy, and these only small sums. A considerable number of franchises will expire in the near future permitting cities to make provision for franchise payments. These costs may be imposed either as a percentage of the net or gross annual receipts or as an initial charge for the right to continue in business, or both. However, the number of perpetual franchises, espe- cially in the gas and telephone industries argue in favor of some form of legislative control over the prices de- manded for these services. Should this regulation of com- modity charges be brought about, any tax imposed by the city upon public service corporations would probably be- come a burden upon the consumer. The conditions require the careful and honest consideration of city councils and of the state legislature. 14. In the operation of municipal water plants, three cities apparently show a distinct surplus over all charges and three other cities make a satisfactory financial record ; while seven cities have a high percentage of operating expenses, in two of them the operating expenses exceeding the total revenue. In a few cities the water rates are too high; but in most they are too low to meet operating ex- penses, thus burdening the tax payer at the expense of the water consumer. Estimates for six municipal lighting plants indicate that three have furnished street lighting at a cost less than the charges of private corporations. Were the municipalities authorized to do commercial as 475] SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 115 well as public lighting, the costs would probably be further reduced. 15. Publicly owned cemeteries have been conducted at a financial loss, but the sums involved are so small as not to demand serious consideration. 16.i The income from real property owned by the municipalities is an inconsiderable part of the budgets, and is not an adequate return upon the value of the property involved. 17. None of the cities investigated received a sufficient return in the form of interest upon the cash balances in. their treasuries; most of the cities received no interest whatsoever upon these funds. The annual loss is very con- siderable, and should be prevented by a statute requiring city treasurers to account for a return upon public funds in their possession. 18. Considerable sums are spent by municipalities as interest upon short time loans made in anticipation of taxes. The rates of interest are higher than those upon bonds but since the funds are needed for only a few months, it is more expedient to pay a higher price for short time loans than to issue bonds. In some in- stances, however, debts of this nature might well be funded. A yet more profitable plan would be for cities to borrow from their special funds, which will insure a much higher rate of interest on these than is at present received. 19. The keeping of city accounts upon a receipt and expense basis rather than by revenues and liabilities works to the continual detriment of administrative ef- ficiency. Budgets are made up on crude estimates of city receipts, and not upon the more correct basis of amounts legally accruing to the municipality over a designated period. This system of accounting not only prevents inter- ested citizens or officials from learning the exact financial status of the corporation, but enables executives to thrust the burden of extravagance or dishonesty upon following administrations. 116 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [476 20. Less than one-half of the cities included in this study publish annual reports of their financial affairs, and in those published there is a marked lack of unformity as regards date of appearance, matter contained, method of presentation and value to the public. There is urgent need of some private or public body which will cooperate with municipal officials in applying tests of efficiency to city government, and making the results known through uniform city reports. 477] SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 117 M o ft w j - < H 6o6l 31UODUJ JBJ3U3Q S33J XB J, 3DUB 3JI.J sasuaoiq JBJ3U3Q \O N rxVO -00 ION -too N -. 10 f5 CM T ix i^ O f ?O P? C w" C rf C - Cf C (^ M M _, M V V} V V V V Ok V Ifl V V QQ V V V V V M V V V t> V O" ci 10 rx C VO" C ^F C <*) C C PO^iriTf \J5 i/)f*5 N 09- i- \O" N "I q q o c? 08 rOO O\ 118 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [478 TABLE 31. SOURCES OF GENERAL REVENUE, 1909, IN PERCENTAGES. General Property Tax i- t/j & _0 Other Licenses Wheel Tax Foreign Insurance Tax Police Fines N <U Franchise Taxes Interest C a c .0 Other Revenues Alton 57-8 29.4 5-3 .5 1.45 1.6 none .21 .86 2.54 .22 Aurora Jl ' * 70.0 20.7 1.63 none 79 .96 none 1-9 none " *J^ .19 4-6 Belleville . . 54-7 38.7 3-2 33 43 39 72 77 none .09 .81 Blooming'n 61.5 27.8 2.6 none .61 95 1-35 1-9 none .81 3-3 Champaign . 92. none 3-79 none 2.12 .42 none none 1.46 none Danville ... 56. 36.4 2.21 none 91 3-85 .2 none none 44 .04 Decatur . . . 83-7 none 2.1 none 2.08 3-6 .III none none .24 8.1 E. St. Louis 71- 22.5 3.56 1.04 175 .178 51 23 none 039 .485 Elgin 71.4 21 .7 1.98 none .71 .4^8 .117 . V) none 3.38 Evanston . . / " * *T 6 S .I / none * w** 2.67 3-9 " / * -7 *TJ V -' 1-59 **/ 1-73 * *jy none 1.48 .843 +j J V 21.9 Freeport . . . 62.2 22. 1.37 none 99 4.12 none none 1.78 .09 7.25 Galesburg . 91.8 none 1.88 none 1.17 2-3 .082 none 1.24 .66 .895 Jacksonville. 85.8 none 1.32 3-51 2.1 2.73 .607 none none .648 3-86 Joliet 4O I =U.6 I .21, none 813 - 1 - I 36 none 42=; 07^ LaSalle .... T.V * 52.3 *J*T * ** 44. **o I.7I none *- /i O 97 573 none * j v none none <-t** j y/ o 4 Moline 61. 35-8 1-75 none .803 .236 447 none none none Ottawa 55-7 31-3 533 none I.I3 .738 .425 2.48 none 6.05 1.64 Peoria 65-5 26.3 2.3 none 1.41 i. IS .771 -0957 273 23 1. 12 Quincy 70. 21.4 I-I45 1.03 1. 21 none 378 4.81 .0336 .027 Rock ford . . 87.7 none 1.63 none 9 5 .66 1-34 none 42 8-75 Rock Island 64-5 29. 2.22 none I. II 2.03 .855 none none .346 Springfield . 64- 23-7 1-35 none .378 1.28 44 0655 none .113 8.7 Streator . . . 51.25 41-3 1-57 none 1.8 1-45 none -575 none .312 1-37 Urbana 97-6 none 95 none 77 77 none none none -0935 none 479] SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 119 TABLE 32. RANKING OF TWENTY-FOUR ILLINOIS CITIES, 1909. c *3 O. O CM Total Percapita Assessment Percapita Realty Assessment Percapita Person- [ alty Assessment General Tax Rate Percent of General Income from Taxes Percapita General Tax Income Percapita Total General Income Percapita Income Liquor Licenses Population per Saloon Peoria I 6 4 14 8 ii 7 6 o 14 E. St. Louis . . Springfield . . Rockford Quincy . . Joliet 2 3 4 5 6 4 I 21 19 10 3 i 22 17 21 7 2 19 2O 15 7 23 i 19 8 14 4 9 24 I 3 IO 2 23 i 3 19 2 8 3 8 19 IO i 19 9 I 13 II Decatur 7 14 14 10 6 15 21 15 4 Aurora 8 8 7 II 9 10 9 IO 16 3 Danville o o n 4 16 10 20 18 7 7 Elgin 10 2 o I 21 7 II 15 17 2 Bloomington . Evanston Rock Island . Moline II 12 13 14 3 15 16 2 12 18 9 IS 8 13 6 5 16 12 13 17 14 s 13 12 9 5 12 7 13 ii 6 8 12 5 Galesburg Belleville .... Freeport Alton 15 16 17 18 7 18 5 16 12 16 6 12 II 14 17 3 21 IS 18 4 18 17 21 17 ii 14 16 5 18 14 18 6 IO Jacksonville . Streator Champaign . . LaSalle 19 20 21 22 10 20 5 22 ii 20 6 21 10 17 S 21 20 22 19 2 5 23 2 22 19 24 16 22 23 22 24 13 12 2 15 16 Ottawa Urbana 23 24 12 II 19 8 3 18 4 7 2O I 6 8 4 20 4 17 BIBLIOGRAPHY Constitution of Illinois. Kurd's Revised Statutes of Illinois (1908). Session Laws of Illinois, 1907, 1909. Kales and Liessmann : Compilation of Illinois Tax Laws and Decisions* (1910). Report of the Auditor of Public Accounts (1008). Reports of the Wisconsin Railroad Commission. United States Bureau of the Census : Special Report, Statistics of Cities, 1907. President's Commission on Economy and Efficiency, Circular No. 19. C. E. Merriam : Report on the Municipal Revenues of Chicago, City Club of Chicago, Pub. No. 2 (1906). John A. Fairlie : Report on the Taxation and Revenue System of Illi- nois (1910). Frank J. Goodnow : City Government in the United States. Sprague's Tables of Compound Interest, Discount, Annuities, Sinking Funds and other Computations for use in the Accountancy of Invest- ment. Alton : Annual Reports, 1009. Aurora : Municipal Officers' Annual Report, 1909. Bloomington : Annual Reports, 1909. Evanston : Annual Reports, 1909. Elgin : Annual Reports, 1909. Freeport : Annual Reports, 1909. Galesburg: Annual Reports, 1909. Joliet : Annual Reports of City Officers, 1009. LaSalle : Annual Reports, 1009. Peoria : City Comptroller's Report, 1909. Quincy : Annual Reports of City Officers, 1909. Rockford: Annual Reports, 1909. Rock Island : Annual Reports, 1907. Springfield: Annual Report of Water Works, 1910. Streator : Annual Reports, 1009. 120 INDEX Accounting methods, municipal, 8, 115. Agricultural property exempt from tax, 14. Alton, 40, 41, 42, 50, 62, 90, 91, 96, 97. Amusement licenses, see licenses. Appleton, Wis., 82. Arrests, 49, 50, 51, 54. Assessments, 16, 19, 20, 23; rate of, 1 1 1 ; rank of cities, 119. Aurora. 22, 27, 40, 50, 51, 53, 57, 62, 67, 72, 81, 89, 96. Automobile licenses, see vehicle tax. Back taxes, 25. Bakery tax, 42. Beloit, Wis., 82. Belleville, 40, 41, 42, 61, 96. Billiard licenses, see licenses. Bloomington, 38, 41, 48, 52, 53, 59, 62, 70, 71, 81, 89, 96, 102, 106. Bonded debt, see debt. Brewer licenses, see licenses. Bridge tolls, 95. Broker's tax, see licenses. Budget making, 107, 108, 109. Bureau of the Census, 8. Business taxes, 10, 41, 42. Cab license, see licenses. Capital stock, taxation of, 15. Cemeteries, public, 89, 90, 115. j-*8, ?* 89, 9*7 108-, -nor Champaign County, 21. Charges, departmental, see departmental charges. Chicago, 8, 12, 13, 30, 48, 96. Cigarette license, 40. City funds, 96-99; see also interest. City hospitals, 92. City property, 95, 115; see also real estate. Clearing house, municipal, need for, 10, 116. Coal dealer tax, 42, 43. Collection of taxes, losses in, 24. Commercial revenues, 58. County treasurers, collections by, 24. Cyclone tax, 13. 121 122 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [482 Danville, 25, 38, 56, 71. Debt, 101-107. Decatur, 18, 29, 30, 41, 56, 71, 72, 78, 81, no. Delinquent taxes, see taxes. Departmental fees and charges, 10, 58, 61, 113. Dog tax, 32, 33. East St. Louis, 13, 18, 21, 33, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 59, 61, 72, 81, 1 02, no. Eau Claire, Wis., 82. Electric light, see Franchises and Lighting Plants. Elgin, 22, 29, 72, 84, 97, 106. Endowments, 56, 91. Evanston, 10, 18, 24, 38, 40, 43, 45, 51, 56, 57, 59, 70, 71, 78, 89. Exemptions from taxes, 14, 15. Expenditures, classified, need of, 108. Fees, 58, 59, 60, 113, 117, 118. Ferries, 95. Fines, police, see police fines ; library, see library fines. Fire insurance tax, 32, 45, 46, 113, 117, 118. Firemen's relief fund, 32. Fireworks tax, 42. Floating debt, see debt. Fond du Lac, Wis., 82. Foreign fire insurance license, see fire insurance tax. Foundry license, see licenses. Franchises, 9, 10, 15, 62-68, 114. Franchise taxes, 61, 63, 117, 118. Freeport, 24, 38, 40, 47, 50, 71, 72, 97. Galesburg, 18, 35, 40, 71, 72, 89, 97, 106, 107. Gas Works, see franchise taxes. General funds, 98. General licenses, 117, 118; see also licenses. Gifts, grants and subventions, 55. Gifts by individuals, 57. Green Bay, Wis., 82. Grocery tax, 42, 43. Hay and grain dealer tax, 42, 43. Hospitals, see city hospitals. Hotel tax, 42. Hydrants, 79, 80, 81. 483] INDEX 123 Ice dealer tax, 42, 43. Income, city, no, 117, 119. Inspections, income from, 58. Insurance funds, taxation of, 16. Insurance license, see fire insurance tax. Interest on public funds, 10, 13, 96, 97, 98, 99, 115, 117, 118. Interest on debt, rate of, 100. Interurban railways, see franchise taxes. Jacksonville, 18, 44, 50, 57, 89, 105, no. Joliet, 8, 9, 17, 18, 38, 40, 43, 50, 62, 79, 81, 96, 112. Juul law, 12, 14. Kane County, 21. LaSalle, 18, 29, 41, 49, 50, 56, 70, 72, 79, 81, 96, no. Libraries, 13, 18, 91, 117, 118. License cities, taxes in, 18. License districts, limitation of, 27, 28, 29. License revenue, 26. Licenses, general, 9, 30-42; legality of, 26; liquor, 9, 26-30, 34, 49, 112, 117, 118, 119. Lighting plants, 9, 10, 86, 87, 114. , Liquor license, see licenses. Livery stable tax, 42. Loans, 101, 115. Losses in collection of taxes, 24. Lots, assessment of, 20. Lumber yard tax, 42, 43. Madison, Wis., 85. Mains, miles of, 80. McLean County, 96. Meat dealers' tax, 42, 43. Meters, water, use of, 84. Method of investigation, 7. Milk dealers' license, 39. Miscellaneous income, 57, 58, 61. Moline, 22, 41, 44, 48, 96. Motorcycle license, see vehicle tax. Municipal industries, 73 ; see also water plants, lighting plants, etc. Mueller law, 93. New York City, 104, 109. "No-license" cities, 18. 124 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [484 Omnibus license, see licenses. Ottawa, 21, 30, 33, 35, 40, 41, 51, 67, 81, go, 91, 92, 95, 102, no. Park districts, 13, 18. Paving, free, 64. Pawnbroker licenses, see licenses. Peoria, 13, 30, 38, 40, 41, 43, 46, Si, 52, S3, 56, 59, 62, 70, 71, 72, 80, 103, 105. Peddler licenses, see licenses. Personal property, 9, 15, 20-22. Pleasure drive districts, 14. Police costs, 52. Police fines, 9, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 54, 113, 117, 118. Pool license, see licenses. Prostitution, licensing of, forbidden, 32. Property tax, theory of, 14. Public libraries, see Libraries. Public property, sale of, 58. Quincy, 8, 18, 22, 39, 48, 51, 56, 61, 91, 95, 97, 102, 103. Railroads, taxation of, 15, 20. Railroad Commission of Wisconsin, 77, 86. Real estate, taxation of, 20, 94, 95, 115. Real estate broker tax, 42, 43. Reports, lack of city, 116. Restaurant tax, 42, 43. Road and bridge tax, 24. Rockford, 18, 25, 29, 30, 33, 35, 40, 41, 44, 46, 48, 52, 53, 57, 62, 71, 72, 75, 106, no. Rock Island, 22, 30, 35, 39, 40, 48, 95. Sale of public property, 61. Saloons, see licenses, liquor. Sanitary districts, 14, 18. School debt, see debt. School tax, 13, 56. Services, water, kind of, 80. Service privileges, 61. Sewers, 71, 94; see also special assessments. Sheboygan, Wis., 82. Sinking funds, 13, 103, 104. Special assessments, 68-72, 98. Special funds, 98. Springfield, 13, 30, 41, 43, 44, 50, 59, 62, 71, 72, 78, 79, 81, 84, 85, IO2, 105, 106. 485] INDEX 125 State grants, 55, 56. Store goods dealers' tax, 42, 43. Streator, 17, 18, 27, 35, 52, 53, 56, 96, no. Streets, see special assessments. Street car license, see licenses. Street lighting, see Lighting Plants. Street railways, municipal, 93. 94; see also franchises. Subvention, see gifts. Taxes, assessment of, 12, 16; business, see business taxes ; collection of, n, 16, in; delinquent, 16; exemption from, 14, 15; personal property, 21 ; powers of municipalities, li; school, see school tax ; when due, 16; see also property, business, vehicle, etc. Tax income, 17-19, 24, 112, 117, 119. Tax rates, 9, 13, 18, 19, 112, 119. Tax warrants, 105, 106, 115; see also debt. Telephones, 64; see also franchises. Telephone and telegraph, assessment of, 20. Town collectors, collections by, 24. Transportation, free, 64. Tuberculosis sanitariums, 92. Tuition, 56. Undertaker's tax, 42. Unimproved property, exemption from taxation, 14. Urbana, 9, 18, 21, 35, 40, 43, 71, 108, 112. Vehicle tax, 10, 32, 43, 44, 45, 113, 117, 118. Water plants, 9, 10, 74-85, 114. Wheel tax, see vehicle tax. Wisconsin Railroad Commission, 77, 86. 126 MUNICIPAL REVENUES IN ILLINOIS [486 LaSalle . 11,537 Peon a. 66,950 I * Reekford **sy8 45 < wi Evanston Klgln ^ 9> / aF,97fe Aurora. 2.9,807 Jo) let 34- ,6 70 Otta-wa. 9,535 14,2.53 Bloomlntfton 2.5,768 Danville Dccatuv MAP SHOWING LOCATION OP CITIES STUDIED. // . V, A>M 30112084204442 . '