--In the proceedings of the City Council, published yesterday, a brief abstract of the report of the Finance Committee was given, but the importance of the subject demands a more extended notice.
The Auditor estimates the receipts for the next fiscal year, from all sources except taxes, at $212,887.68; and the disbursements for the same period at $551,231.10. Looking to our past experience as our guide, it cannot be doubted (say the Finance Committee) that in addition to the expenditures estimated by the Auditor
, it will be necessary for the Council, if the credit and faith of the city is to be sustained, to provide not only for the difference between the estimated receipts and disbursements, amounting to $338,343.33; but we must provide for at least the further sum of $30,000, to meet unestimable expenditures.
Unless the Council exercise a more rigid economy during the next fiscal year than during the last, [we devoutly hope they will,] the amount required will be fully double that sum. Nevertheless, with the belief that economy and prudence will govern the acts of the municipal legislators, the committee fix the amount at $30,000. Taking $266,500 as the amount produced by the present tax bill, and estimating that the valuation of real estate
, which is now $20,579,410, will amount to $21,000,000; and that the present tax bill will produce $270,000; there will then be a deficit of $68,000 to meet the expenses estimated by the Auditor
, and a deficit of $100,000 to meet the actual expenditures of the city for the next year, even if the Council shall practice the most rigid economy; and to provide for this sum by taxation will require an increase of the taxes to fully thirty-five per cent.
There is $50,000 of debt due the 1st day of July, and $12,000 due the 1st of January next.
The estimates for the improvement of James River
are $12,114.21; for the completion of the Alms-house
$37,237.61, and for the Water-Works $7,941.93; making together $119,293.75. Of this sum we are required by the charter to provide for the payment of $21,000, being one per cent. on the amount of the city debt.
The committee, as stated yesterday, think that in the present condition of the country, a sale of the city bonds to meet the payment of the balance could only be made at such a sacrifice as would dishonor the city and deeply affect its credit; such a sacrifice as should not be submitted to by a people as able to pay the amount as are the people of this city.
It is, therefore, recommended that $50,000 of the sum be raised, when needed, by a sale of the bonds or other property, or by a temporary loan, and that the balance shall be provided for by an increase of the taxes.
The committee feel the fullest confidence that the people of Richmond
will meet any demand which may be made upon them which is necessary to support the honor and the credit of the city; and that they would never pardon the offence of dishonoring them.
To the disturbed state of the country is attributable in a great measure the necessity for increased taxation, but when prosperity shall have returned, it is confidently believed that the investments made by the city, which constitute its debt, will render such a return in the form of dividends as to relieve us from the burthens of taxation for the payment of the interest upon that debt.
We have thus given a pretty full sketch of the financial condition of the city, as embodied in the very able report drawn up by Mr. Grattan
Heavy taxes are grievous to be borne, and always extort groans from the people; but since we are in a dilemma from which we can only be extricated by paying our way, every good citizen will doubtless submit with the best possible grace.
The report is yet to be acted on by the Council.