38 A THUMB-NAIL HISTORY OF
ufacturers' Appraisal Company of Cleveland to install
the system and for the past four months that
work has been in progress.
In his report Commissioner Pastoriza says: "The
application of the Somers system has revealed the
fact that portions of many streets of Houston, some
of them of exceeding value, are being used by individual
citizens and corporations without bringing
the city any rental or compensation whatever, and I
recommend therefore that I be given authority to
immediately institute suits to recover this valuable
property for the city and to have removed such
buildings or other obstructions as now occupy them.
"I also discovered that the area of many pieces of
land were not accurately stated upon the block
maps. There was not sufficient time to enable me
to have these lands surveyed for the 1912 assessment,
and I ask to be given authority to have these
lands surveyed and that the engineering department
be instructed to place at my disposal such help as
is necessary to do this work without interruption
and with the least delay possible."
The report shows that the tax rate was reduced
from $1.70 in 1910 to $1.80 on the $100 in 1911.
"To the average mind this might indicate a reduction
in the rate of taxation," explains Commissioner
Pastoriza in his report, "but Houston is a
growing city, growing at a rate which few people
realize, and the ever increasing need for street paving,
drainage, sewers, extension of water mains,
schools and playgrounds, for police and fire pro-
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 December 18, 2013.