p.3 Enterprize - The Clayton Independent says: It is rumored that the Folger Bros., of Kingston, have secured a mail contract over the U. & B.R. road and will establish a ferry between this point and Kingston as soon as navigation opens. This arrangement would give passengers a more direct route to and from the Grand Trunk than is afforded via Cape Vincent or Ogdensburg, and live stock would reach the eastern markets much quicker. It seems to be the general opinion that a good passenger trade, east and west, could be worked up by a boat making such trips.
Finance Report - (part) Ald. Carson objected to an item - a rebate of taxes to the M.T. Co. for1876. He moved that that part of the report be struck out. He said the petition had been frequently before the Court of Revision, and it had never been disposed of. The Collector of Taxes had informed him that the other Forwarding Companies had paid the full amount of their taxes, and it was not right that this Company, claiming to be rich, should be granted a reduction.
Ald. Drennan remarked that the Court of Revision had presented a report, recommending a reduction in the assessment of floating property. Under these circumstances he had voted for the rebate.
Ald. Carson said a resolution was passed in 1876, granting a reduction of 90 % in the assessment of floating property. He contended that that reduction was virtually made since the M.T. Co.'s elevators were not fully assessed. The Company would not have two or three elevators if they were not wanted, and as the companies, which the agent of the M.T. Co. referred to as bankrupt concerns had paid their taxes, this rich institution should be made to do likewise.
Ald. Gaskin said the M.T. Co. was the only Forwarding Company which had paid twenty shillings to the pound during the past forty years. He spoke of the report recommending a reduction of 90 per cent. Previous to that time the Forwarders did a rushing business, and to meet the trade the M.T. Co. built a second elevator at a cost of $10,000. In 1876 business dropped off, there was not business for one, and hence the Company considered that they should not be fully taxed for an elevator not running perhaps a month in the year.
Ald. Carson said if the new elevator cost $10,000 the taxes upon it alone should be $160, consequently there was taxes collected but for one. Were the two elevators assessed as they should be the taxes upon them would be $320.
Ald. Gaskin could not say that the last elevator cost $10,000; he did not know exactly.
Ald. Carson - Taking your own words for it the assessment rests upon one in place of two.
Ald. McRossie - The Court of Revision decided that all elevators should be assessed at the same figure.
Ald. Carson said he had been spoken to by no company. He had opposed the item in committee, and he opposed it in Council, as unjust and unfair. The M.T. Co. had any quantity of property which was not assessed for one-tenth of its worth, and in this rebate the poor men were virtually asked to pay the rich men's taxes.
Ald. Metcalfe ridiculed the action of the M.T. Co., a reputed rich company, coming into the Council and asking for a rebate of taxes. Throughout the length and breadth of the city poor men were being sold out for paltry sums, and yet this Company, of which it was boasted it could pay 20 shillings to the pound, asked relief from an amount which would pay for the taxes of twenty poor men. It was unreasonable that the Council should be asked to set aside their judgement and principles of economy and vote for the item. He protested against such a thing. It was wrong.
Ald. Gaskin said he did not wish the Council to understand that the Company asked for anything which they did not consider their right. He pointed out a difficulty, however - that in 1876 the taxes were paid, that their books were closed, and that the stockholders of today were not the stockholders of that date.
Ald. McCammon - What were the elevators to be assessed for?
The Mayor - For $5,000 or $6,000.
Ald. McCammon thought the item should be expunged from the report, that the old Council, in the throes of dissolution, should not be asked to deal with it.
After some further debate the motion was put and carried.
The report as amended was then passed.