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'It appears by the report of the Board of Public Works to the Governor, and now on the table of the House, that surveys and estimates of the several improvements embraced in the Interna! Improvement sysicm have been made. These surveys demonstrate the entire practicability of all the works, and exhibit the most cheering evidence of the superior adaptation of the topography of the State to the construction of railroads of the most useful character. The estimates of the probible cost of the railroads, based upon the actual data derived from the operation of contractors, is no less encouraging, and are calculated to put at rest the vague declarations of the opponents of the system, as to the enormous amount alleged by them to be requisite to carry out the system.
The committee, taking it for granted that the entire practicability of the works will not be questioned, will proceed to the examination of the fiscal means of the State to prosecute them, and the consequent expediency of the system. In pursuing this investigation they will also take it for granted tbat the expediency of the river improvements and of the Great Western mail route is conceded, and propose to restrict their labors chiefly to an examination of the railroad branch of the system. By the report of the Board of Public Works, it appears that the sys
. tem embraces one thousand three hundred and forty-two miles of railroad, at an aggregate estimated cost of $11,470,444 50. The present appropriations for river improvements, is $400,000. There is $200,000 appropriated for distribution among the counties through which no railroad or canal is to be constructed, and $250,000 for the Great Western mail route; making an aggregate of $12,320,441 50. By making a proper allowance for contingencies, and additional appropriations for rivers and mail routes, it is supposed that fourteen millions of dollars will be amply sufficient to complete the present system, with some minor, yet important, additions, and put the whole into operation.
There has been disbursed by the Board of Public Works, up to the date of the report, the sum of $1,079,793 71, in surveys and on construction; and by the Board of Fund Commissioners, in payment to counties and purchase of railway iron, and contingencies, $214,122 83, making an aggregate of $1,293,916 53. The principal portion of this amount was expended during tbe year 1837.
The framers of the Internal Improvement law had it in view to restrict the operations on the public works so as to make them bear a just proportion to the surplus labor and provisions of the country, and this wise policy should not be lost sight of in the future prosecution of the works. It is estimated by your committee that, in view of the prospective emigration of operatives to the State, at least $2,000,000 annually can be economically expended on the public works, until their final completion, without paralizing the agricultural interests of the State.
The following tabular exhibit, based on the proposed annual expenditure of $2,000,000, shows the amount of debt which will be incurred, and the interest which will be payable up to the first day of January in each year, until the final completion of the works. To arrive at the interest account to be liquidated in each current year, it is estimated
that the amount borro ved many one year will bear an average interest for half the year in which the sum is borrowed.
The amount of Internal Improvement loans on the first day of January, 1839, as shown by the report of the Fund Commissioners, is $2,204,600, and the interest thereon has been paid up to that day; there being near one million of dollars on hand, there will be required but one million of dollars in addition to be borrowed for the present year's operations.
Amount of Internal Improve- Amount of interest payable up
ment loan on the first day of to the first day of January January in each year.
in each year.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
252.276 00 372,276 00 492,276 00 612,276 00 756,138 00 840,000 00
In adverting to the resources of the State to meet the annual liabilities exhibited in the foregoing table, the commitce will, in the first place, confine themselves to such means as they believe will not be liable to be questioned by the unprejudiced inquirer after truth, and show the prohable deficit to be supplied from other contingent resources and taxation.
The profits to be derived from the banking operations of the State are variously estimated; but taking into view the prospects of the profits to be derived from a sale of State bonds belonging to the State Bank, amounting to $1,750,000, as shown in their report to the Legislature, it is thought a very safe calculation to put the Bank dividends ai nine per cent., Icaving three
per cent. over the interest payable on the bonds sold for the purchase of the stock.
The committee are also of the opinion that the Sta'e bonds will hereafter, under any contingencies, be worth a premium equal at least to the difference in exchange between Illinois and the eastern cities, and have therefore averaged their premiums and exchange at two per cent.
They have also taken, as further data for calculation, that the roads as they are completed and put into operation from the rivers to important trading towns in the interior, will soon commence netting a per centage of revenue on the whole amount expended on the finished and unfinished works; which per centage they have assumed, in 1842, will be two per cent., and to increase one per cento annually thereafter, as the lines are extended and the trade and travel accumulate thereon.
The committee have also assumed the position that the surplus revenue of the General Government distributed to the States, although in name deposited with the States, is in fact a donation, and will not be demanded, as it cannot be withdrawn from the people without serious interruptions to the settled policy of at least a large number of the States. The committee therefore believe that the third instalment of this fund, which has been already appropriated by this State to internal improvements, can properly be constituted a fund for the payment of interest until the completion of the works, when it may be withdrawn and repaid, if necessary, from the profits of the system.
Upon the foregoing data are based the following statements of the liabilities and resources of each respective year:
For 1839. Interest payable up to January 1, 1840
$162.276 00 To pay this, there is the following, viz: Third instalment of the surplus revenue $142,319 14 Balance of interest, dividend, &c, in hand
of Fund Commissioners, after paying interest up to 1st January, 1839
76,406 78 Interest on the above amount for one year, about
12,000 00 Dividends on $3,000,000 Bank stock, at
$, three per cent.
90,000 00 Premium and exchange on $1,000,000 bonds sold at two per cent.
Balance on hand January 1, 1840
To pay this, there will be
$2,000,000, at two per cent.
Balance on hand January 1, 1841.
pay this amount, there is
sold at two per cent.
ded prior to Jan. 1, 1840, at two per cent.
Deficit on the 1st January, 1842
$113,102 08 $492,276 00
To pay this, there will be--
bonds sold at two per cert.
works prior to the ist Jan. 1841, at three per cent.
It will be observed that the above calculations are predicated on the expenditure of two millions a year during the next five years, and three millions in the sixth. If it should be thought most expedient to restrict the expenditures to one million a year, and prolong the completion of the system, the deficits will of course be less in each year.
The foregoing statements bring down the calculation to the first day of January, 1847; at which time it is presumed the whole of the public works will have been completed and in operation at least 18 months preceding
It is shown by the statements that the deficits, to be supplied by taxation or contingent resources, are as follows, viz: On the 1st of January, 1842
$113,102 08 1st of January, 1843
212,296 00 1st of January, 1844
202,276 00 1st of January, 1815
160,138 00 Ist of January, 1846
! 45,000 00 And on the 1st of January, 1847 there is shown a surplus of 90,000 00
If these calculations are to be relied on, the deficits to be made up from sources other than the profits of the Bank stock, at its present amount of $3,000,000, and from the public works themselves during the last five years' operations, would be $832,812 08.'
This sum your committee believe could be raised by taxation without oppression or complaint on the part of the people, if they could be assured of the capacity of the works to support themselves after their completion.
The following table exhibits, as nearly as the committee can arrive at the information, the probable amount of lands which will be subject to taxation within the several years in which the above deficits will occur; showing, also, the amount of deficits in each year.
The amount of entries, from this time forward, is estimated at one million of acres annually. This estimate, it is thought, is moderate when made in view of the prospective emigation to the State, as well as of the fact that, perhaps, at least one-third of the present population of the State are residing on Congress lands, which now are, and soon will be, subject to entry.