Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/507

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503
INCREASE OF AMERICAN LAND VALUES

the value of the land between 1906 and 1912 was from $1,196 per capita to $1,296 per capita. This represents a total increase in land value of more than five hundred million dollars. In the Borough of Bronx the per capita land value fell from $771 to $657. This decrease was due primarily to the fact that during these six years the population of Bronx was almost doubled. For this borough, the total land value increased sixty per cent. For the Borough of Brooklyn, the per capita valuation rose from $325 to $450. The population increased less than twenty per cent, and the land value rose from 456 millions to 786 millions. The Borough of Queens, which is the least developed in Greater New York, shows an increase in per capita land value from $388 to $862, an increased 60 per cent, in population and an increase in the total land value from 81 millions to 278 millions. The problem in the Borough of Richmond is very similar to that in Brooklyn.

Although the land valuations in New York extend over only six years, they show that during that time the total increase in the value of the city's land was about 40 per cent., while in the newer sections of the city, notably in the Bronx and in Queens Borough, the increase was about 60 per cent. Neither in their totals nor in their proportions do these increases compare with the increases in timber land values or in farm land values. If the increase in New York land values is compared with the increase in the farm land values of the richest agricultural states, or of the best timber lands, they are comparatively small.

The land of Boston has been assessed separately for the improvements, at "the full and fair cash valuation" since 1887. There has been no material addition to the area of the city of Boston during this time; in fact, the number of square feet of land taxed decreased from eight hundred and ninety-six million in 1876 to eight hundred and fifteen million in 1912. This decrease was due to the taking of land for streets and other public purposes. It is interesting to note in this connection that between 1896 and 1911 two of the twenty-five wards in Boston show a decrease in land value; one shows an increase of one hundred dollars; one shows an increase of twelve thousand dollars; while twenty show increases varying from one million to twenty millions of dollars.[1]

The value of all land in Boston between 1887 and 1911 has increased steadily.[2] There is no year during the period that shows a decrease. In 1887, the land valuation was 322 millions. For the next two decades it was:

1890 $365,548,000 1905 $618,642,000
1895 443,695,000 1910 672,100,000
1900 532,934,000 1911 685,484,000
 
  1. Annual Report of the Assessing Department for the Year 1911, City of Boston Printing Department, 1912, p. 46.
  2. Supra, p. 16.