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The value of all farm lands in the state as returned by the enumerators was $730,380,,131; and by the assessors but $146,654,672. The average census value per acre was $25.69; the assess ment value was $4.26, making the ratio of the assessed to the cen. sus value 16.6 per cent. The ratios vary in the various counties from 13.2 in Emmons to 22.1 in Williams.
The census enumerators valued fram buildings at $92,274,613, while the assessors found but 11 per cent of that amoont, or $9,909, 143. Farm implements were returned by the enumerators at $43,907,595, while the assessors returned but 5.7 per cent of that sum, or $2,518,886.
In the matter of live stock the enumerators found 743,762 head of cattle, while the assessors foond but 64 per cent of that number, or 466,922 head; the enumerators discovered 650,599 horses, while the assessors found but 77 per cent of that number, or 499,917; 293,371 sheep were returned by the enumerators, while the assessors found but 68 per cent of that number, or 200,326; the enumerators listed 331,603 hogs, while the assessors were only able to find 35 per cent of that number, or 115,236. To summarize, the enumerator found and listed 2,027,030 farm animals, while the assessors only found and listed 1,289,640. In brief, the state of North Dakota for assessment purposes only discovered 64 per cent of the animals which were discovered by the United States for statistical purposes. The enumerator found the value of these animals to be $106,991,919, while the assessor valued them at $22,096,081.
The following gives the livestock as returned by the enumerators and assessors and the ratios the several classes bear to each other:
While the assessor fails to find all of the live stock, that which he finds bears more than its proportionate share of taxation. The following gives the value per head of the various classes of live
stock, also the value of buildings, implements and lands, both as returned by the assessors and the enumerators, and the ratios they bear to each other:
It is a fact to be noted in passing that cattle are assessed at 40 per cent of the census value and implements at less than 6 per cent. All farm property, other than real estate, is assessed at 14.2 per cent..
LAND DEPARTMENT STATISTICS.
The following table shows the average value per acre fixed by applicants to the State Land Department for loans and the average value per acre fixed by the county boards of appraisement since 1909; also the average value per acre fixed by U. S. enumerators and state assessors for 1910:
LAND DEPARTMENT'S APPRAISEMENT
Own. Appr. | Brds. Appr.) Cen. Appr. | Ass.App.
per acre per acre
11 11 8 6 19 6 6 88
6 31 13 3 6 19 12 23
21.14 44.45 30.81 28.75 27.91 24.43 22.04 23.30 44.46 31.20 33.13 21.45 22.67 33.36 27.38 33.73 51.04 32.34 26.74 20.86 34.78 25.00 27.57 22.00 20.94 24.02 20.38 22.28 11.25 33.75 20.28 40.98 27.11 32.28 29.98
19.58 33.19 24.99 17.17 27.56 18.17 17.55 18.84 41.17 28.78 33.45 15.22 16.67 24.50 21.05 29.16 35.34 30.11 21.40 18.15 33,39 18.23 23.67 18.85 13.40 17.94 18.83 16.64 14.25 28.55 15.64 29.87 26.16 27.85 34.15
1 16 1 2 10
2.25 4.55 2.79 5.12 6.55 5.10 3.03 2.94 4.85 3.21 3.79 3.48 2.21 3,27 2.88 2.78 2.52 4.67 2.64 5.35 4.14 4.55 5.26
6 12 8
4 12 10
It will be noted that in many counties the number of loans is too small to be of any worth for fixing the value per acre on the real estate in that county, but when the 574 loans from every county in the state but one are taken as a whole, the result be
comes valuable. The average price per acre, as fixed by the boards of appraisers, is $27.30 or $1.61 more than the Census price per acre. It is also noticeable that the owners' price is $1.74 greater than that fixed by the appraisers. While the real estate owners of North Dakota believe the average price of their land to be $29.04 when they seek loans, it is worth but $4.26, or only 14.7 per cent as much, for the purposes of assessment. The average price per acre of farm lands, as found by the United States Census, may be high as an average for all lands, but in fixing valuation for assessment, the fact should be kept in mind that most of the lands not included in the United States Census, which would bring down the average price per acre, are owned either by non-residents or local speculators who do not personally farm them.
This class of land should bear its full share of the burden of taxation. Otherwise, a premium is placed upon speculation in unimproved lands, while improvements and the development of the country is penalized. The land owned by the speculator should bear all the tax burden which the laws of the state will allow, and in comparison the land farmed by the actual owner should bear as light a burden as possible.
PROBABLE TAXABLE PROPERTY IN STATE.
In 1912 the assessors of North Dakota listed 36,838,697 acres of land for assessment; at $25.69, census average per acre, the assessable lands of the state would aggregate the enormous figure of $946,386,126 as against $158,595,093 listed for taxation in 1912. According to the Census report, farm buildings, livestock and machinery aggregated $244,431,074. This year the assessable value of city real estate, including structures, was $29,782,813. Assuming that this property is assessed at one-third of its value, which is a very high percentage, we have a valuation of $90,000,000. The state board of equalization assesses railroads at probably one-fourth of their actual value. In round numbers, they are assessed this year at $12,000,000, which would make their true value aggregate $168,000,000. Other public service corporations are assessed roughly at $2,000,000. There can be no question but that the capitalization of the earning powers of these would be greatly in excess of $16,000,000. The last census gives the mortgaged indebtedness on farms owned by actual operators at $47,841,587. There are many real estate mortgages in North Dakota on lands other than those owned by the actual operator. The total mortgage indebtedness on real property must be greatly in excess of this sum. The bank deposits in September for the state aggregated $70,302.584. The assessable monies in the state must exceed by a considerable sum this amount. The capital stock, sur
plus and profits on the same date was $18,260,569. From this amount should be deducted the real property owned by banks and five per cent of their loans and discounts. From the report of the internal revenue commissioner for June 30, 1911, we learn that all North Dakota corporations, other than public service, are capitalized at $55,569,094 and that for the year ending December 31, 1910, they enjoyed a net income of $6,717,678. This earning of more than twelve per cent precludes any contention that this capital stock is not paid up and worth par. From this capital stock should be deducted the capital stock of banks, thé indebtedness of the corporations, and property which has been assessed under the general property schedule.
As we have pointed out, some of the above items are too large and some too small, but it seems reasonable that their total, $1,656,794,034 is not far from the true market value of the property represented.
This total does not include some twenty items of personal property assessable under the laws of the state. The items not included were assessed in 1912 at $23,593,888, and as they include such items as household furniture, automobiles and credits other than mortgages on farm lands and shares of foreign stock, which almost entirely escape taxation, the ratio of their assessable value to their true value must be very low. That it is below ten per cent would be conceded by anyone familiar with the limited data at hand. Accepting this as the ratio, it gives us $235,938,880 for all personal property not included in the items enumerated above, or a grand total for the state of $1,892,732,914.
RECAPITULATION. Farm lands
$ 946,386,126 Farm Buildings, livestock and machinery.
168,000,000 Other Public Service Corporations (Assessed by State Board of Equalization)
16.000.000 Farm Mortgages
47,841,587 Bank Deposits
70,302,584 Capital Stock, surplus and profits of banks.
18,260,569 Corporations other than Public Service
55,569,094 Real Property-Cities and Towns
90,000,000 All other property
In contemplating this total it must be remembered that it does not represent the wealth of North Dakota, but the assessable property. The wealth of the state would probably be from