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SIXTH ANNUAL REPORT
State Board of Assessors
State of New Jersey,
FOR THE YEAR 1889.
OFFICE OF THE STATE BOARD OF Assessors,
TRENTON, N. J., February 20th, 1890. To the Legislature of New Jersey :
The State Board of Assessors, in obedience to the provisions of the second section of an act entitled “An act to revise and amend an act for the taxation of railroad and canal property,” approved April tenth, one thousand eight hundred and eighty four, which revision was approved March twenty-seventh, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight, submit herewith to the Legislature of New Jersey their Sixth Annual Report.
The act under which this Board was created for the taxation of railroad and canal property has stood the test of the most searching investigation by the courts, and now, upon the completion of the sixth year of its operations, it is conceded that the valuations and assessments made have been fair and equitable.
The writs of certiorari are gradually disappearing. In the year 1885 there were forty-one writs applied for and allowed, covering a wide range of litigation and entailing a vast amount of labor and considerable expense, while during the year 1889 only thirteen companies applied for and obtained writs, and most of these were obtained merely for the purpose of preserving any legal status the prosecutors might have by reason of previous writs.
The companies to whom were granted writs of certiorari to review the assessment of 1888 were :
Central Railroad of New Jersey.
of New Jersey System.
) Phila. & Reading
Lodi Branch Railroad.
New York, Sus
quehanna and Western R. R. System.
Of the above-named companies, the writs of certiorari obtained by those in the Central Railroad System, including also the Freehold and New York Railway, were pro forma. Those in the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad System were brought to review and adjust the valuation of certain real estate outside of main stem principally, and claimed to be assessed higher than the true value thereof. The writs obtained by the railroad companies in the New York, Susquehanna and Western System and by the West Shore and Ontario Terminal Company have all. been withdrawn, and the assessments properly adjusted.
RAILROADS OF THE UNITED STATES.
It has been the custom of the Board, in its previous reports, to refer briefly to the general statistics relating to the railroads of the United States, and the growth of the same. While this question does not come strictly within the province of this Board, its duty being confined mainly to the question of taxation of the railroads of New Jersey, yet the railroad taxation problem is so closely identified with the general railroad situation that it seems not only desirable but eminently proper that reference should be made bere to this subject. The State of New Jersey has no Board of Railroad Commissioners vested with the powers and duties of general railroad supervision, and as this Board must necessarily give some thought to the general railroad question, they take the liberty of presenting briefly the information herewith.
The total length of track of the railroads of the United States, on the first day of January, 1889, was 156,081.52 miles. It is estimated that, during 1889, 5,000 miles of railroad have been built, which would make the total on the first day of January, 1890, 161,081.52 miles.
Since the close of the Civil War, the increase in the railroads constructed has been to a large extent confined to the States north of