Status: Complete

To the Honorable Finance Committee of the City of Fort Worth.


An appeal has been taken by the Fort Worth Light and Power Company
from the valuation placed on their personal property by the Board of Equali-
zation of the city of Fort Worth and in pursuance of my duty it devolves upon
me on behalf of the city of Fort Worth to attempt to sustain the valuation
placed upon the said property by the Board of Equalization.

The Power Company rendered their property to the City Assessor and Collec-
tor specifying each item of what it termed its property and what is termed
personal property in the assessment in which was included its
wires, its poles, its machinery and such like together with its horses, carts,
wagon, office fixtures and merchandise.

With reference to the property as rendered I understand that the con-
tention of the Board of Equalization was that as a property this property so
rendered was more valuable than rendered by the company and possibly that the
items themselves were worth more money than the value placed upon them by
the company. Considering it from a legal standpoint the assessor having
assessed the property of the Gas Co. be so assessed as to in effect compel the
Gas Co. to pay a tax on its franchise, that is its easement in the streets,
as distinguished from the franchise granted by the state, to-wit its charter,
and if so how can this be done and can it be done in the manner attempted.
A very careful consideration of the question in the light of the authorities
upon the subject in the state of Texas convinces me, first, that a public
corporation such as the Gas Co. having rights granted to it by the public
be made to pay upon the value of such rights, but under our charter the
method of requiring such payment must necessarily be the inclusion of such
value in the valuation of the real estate of the corporation. The question
then arises as to whether or not, not only the franchise as the term is here-
tofore used, must be considered as real estate, but with the property list-
ed by the assessor as aforesaid is real or personal property. Under our char-
ter and the authorities upon the subject there can hardly be any doubt that
the great bulk of the property of the Gas Co., I might say all of it with the

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