34 A THUMB-NAIL HISTORY OF
ward exterminating some of the vicious tendencies
that trouble our cities.
This government, in fulfilling its promises, created
a public service department last year, and appointed
a commissioner for that purpose. I recommend
that every citizen read Mr. Gaston's report
and know what has been accomplished.
I am glad to state that the efficiency of the police
department is gradually being raised, and I trust in
the near future that it will be up to the standard.
During the present year the Somers system of
taxation has been established in Houston, at the suggestion
of Commissioner Pastoriza. It seems to be
a very efficient system, just and equitable to all.
The tax board has adopted the system of assessing
land values at 90 per cent and improvements at 25
per cent of their value. Under this system the valuations
have been increased from $77,000,000 to
$128,000,000, which is very great. All tax problems
are difficult, and very few, if any, are satisfactory.
I would suggest that the citizens thoroughly
investigate this system and understand it.
If it is satisfactory, so much the better; if not, then
some better plan should be proposed. The city council
will not be arbitrary, but will be glad to listen to
any one or all citizens upon this subject Last year
the tax rate was $1.70 per $100. This year it has
been reduced to $1.80 per hundred for all purposes,
being the lowest rate of any large city in the State.
With the exception of a few cases of meningitis,
which have existed in Houston for the past several
Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/. Accessed September 15, 2014.