Taxes Were Low In 1914 and So Were Salaries

Footnotes to Long Island History

Taxes Were Low In 1914 and So Were Salaries

Thomas R. Bayles



An interesting comparison of school costs and taxes of the six schools making up Middle Island Central District 12 backs in 1914 and the present is shown by the following figures:

 According to the Directory of Public Schools published by J. Henry Young, superintendent for 1914, Coram district had an assessed valuation, $151,505 with a tax rate of 25 cents; West Yaphank valuation, $131,210 and a rate of 23 cents; West Middle Island district was valued at $74,290, with a rate of 21 cents; Middle Island district was assessed at $106,620 and the rate was 35 cents; Yaphank had an assessment of $169,215 with a rate of 25 cents;  Ridge was assessed at $237,680, and its rate was only 15 cents.

 This made a total for the six districts comprising the present Middle Island Central School District 12 of $870,520, with an average rate of 24 cents. The present assessed valuation of the central district is $9,500,000 and the rate last year was $8.07, with a budget of over $1,000,000. In 1914 there were not much over 100 scholars attending all the six  schools, and now the number is nearly 2,000 which gives some idea of the growth of this area in the last 47 years.

 The salaries of town officials paid in 1926 were quite different from the present time, according to a printed list prepared by Walter I. Jones, who was town clerk in that year. Robert Macintosh, supervisor, is shown as receiving a salary of $1,200 a year; Walter I. Jones town clerk, $2,750 yearly; eight justices of the peace each received a salary of $1,000, and six assessors received $1,000 each for the year; the receiver of taxes is shown as receiving $2,500, while  the two overseers of the poor only received $500 each, and Dr. William H. Roe, health officer, received $1,200. No salary is shown for the superintendent of highways, although in the list of bills audited are many large payments to Arthur Murray, who was superintendent of highways then.

    County Exec Speaks

 During the last year the Suffolk County Civil Service Commission gave more than 4100 candidates some 112 examinations for public service in local and county government. By early this year, it can be expected that a former unfortunate s i t u a t i o n concerning "provisional" employment in the Civil Service will have been corrected. County employes now are being qualified by examination for their work, and can look forward, when qualified, to status, security, and a feeling that their work is needful and useful in helping to build the future county.

 The county Civil Service has also begun a continuous recruitment program for the bulk of office positions which makes it possible for candidates to be examined immediately upon application. This cuts delay in keeping departments adequately staffed.

 We are also establishing a training program for appointed county employes to help the employe develop his potentials to higher levels of attainment.

 All of these things have to do with efficiency and economy in the operation of the county government, trying to place our work on as nearly a business basis as it is possible to do.


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