Leadership

Meeting Water Main Costs by Assessments for Benefits

Issue 12 and Volume 65.

Meeting Water Main Costs by Assessments for Benefits War and prohibition have joined hands in making the financing of municipal improvements difficult. Bond issues cannot be piled up nor taxes increased without limit. New sources of municipal revenue are being looked for. Old methods of raising funds must be utilized more fully. Assessments for benefits as a means of meeting the cost of streets and sewers is an old and well tried practice, supported in most if not all states by a sufficiently long line of judicial decisions to put its legality beyond question. A few cities meet or have met the cost of water-main extensions by levying the cost on abutting property. Is this sound policy? If so, why not adopt it more generally? I raise these questions, not to support or oppose water main assessments, but to make a starting point for discussion by practical men who are…

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