The Charlotte News
April 30, 1939
Site Ed. Note: The other four editorials of this date, added previously, are maintained separately here.
Also, here is the rest of the editorial page for this date.
Since Charlotte would elect in August to allow its library to close for want of a small hike in taxes, there was little reason to believe its constituents of the time would trifle after all with the question of better parks. But here was the effort at convincing them, anyhow.
The Parks Question*
In The Long View It Deserves A Positive Answer
Judging by the vast indifference which precedes it and the registration of only 4,500 persons out of a population of 100,000, Tuesday's referendum on increasing the park tax limit from 3 cents to 5 is of little consequence to anybody. This is unusual for the county seat of Mecklenburg, which characteristically takes its elections seriously, especially when the community pocketbook is involved.
The tax phase is objectionable, of course. Local taxes are going up again despite the fact that both the Federal and State Governments have assumed, in whole or part, many services which used to be the responsibility of the municipalities, and this has meant higher taxes all along the line. There may be some question, too, of the efficient expenditure by the present parks administration of the small fund it has had at its disposal. Too little of it, we believe, goes for actual maintenance and equipment. But that point is not at issue in the election.
On the other hand, we spend for parks and playgrounds and recreation in Charlotte considerably less than other cities of our size and resources. The average of 66 cities is 74 cents per capita as against our present 20 cents or under. We undoubtedly get out of this actually about what we put in, which is pitiably small. If ever we are to have creditable parks and recreational facilities, the time to begin to acquire them is now, when the city is yet a colt, rather than later when it shall have reached its growth.
And ameliorating the unpleasant fact of a further tax increase is the consolation that for the run of property-owners the added bill will be exceedingly small--$1.50 on a valuation of $5,000, say. So that, all things considered, it will be to the advantage of all the people of the city, and not to the burdening of many of them, for the election to [indiscernible word]. We sincerely hope that it will.
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