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Union Carbide Plant in Texas City Assessed Valuation Rose from $20 Million to $31 Million in One Year INTEREST HIGH IN TAX SERIES AUSTIN The Observer’s series, concluded this issue, on Galveston County’s tax equalization program has aroused interest in different parts of the state, especially Dallas and Harris counties, and some smaller localities. Readers who have recognized the question of tax values as political dynamite on the local level have written ordering from five to 100 , extra copies. Apprised of this, Walter Hall, the Dickinson banker who started the Galveston County program, said, “While I have not investigated the facts in any other county, my feeling, based upon conversation with people who know about other counties, is that there are probably many counties in Texas in which the inequities are gross and should be rectified if the law is to be complied with regarding equality and if adequate revenue is to be raised for the needs of county government.” Hall added that “if it’s going to be done, the county commissioners’ court has to do it.” Hall said that the sensitiveness of the situation in some political subdivisions is illustrated by the alacrity with which major companies agree to pay higher taxes if officials agree not to call in valuation engineers. The Texas City school district needed more revenue and discussed calling in Pritchard & Abbott, when “Bingo industries raised their total valuations,” Hall said. Truett Pritchard of Pritchard & Abbott said that when the court of a wealthy county in Southeast Texas decided it needed more money, its members said, ” ‘Well, we’ll just hire a valuation engineer.’ ” Observed Pritchard wryly: “They seem to be able to come to terms.” AN APPRECIATIVE AUDIENCE The TP The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. ThostEAU observer .cal Weekly Newspaper We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it.. Vol. 51 P. 6\(-24 V\\e’ 0 4 -NA ..S.AS, OCTOBER 9, 1959 ‘1 10c per copy No. 27 Big Firms’ Taxes Are Raised GALVESTON One oil company’s Galveston County properties were increased in taxable value from $7 million to $12 million this year. One petrochemicals company that was taxed. on $20 million in 1958 will pay on $31 million this year. Such were some of the results of the county’s five-year revaluation program. The total valuations on the county’s tax rolls were increased from $756,000,000 in 1958 to $1,000,000,000 or more this year by a program which cost the county about $460,000. Assessing property for county taxes at one-fourth of total value and taxing at $1.03 per $100, Galveston County will realize about $600,000 in extra revenue the first year, Truett Pritchard of the Fort Worth valuation engineers, Pritchard & Abbott, estimated in Galveston Thursday on the basis of an assessed value “in the range of $250 million.” Last month Pritchard & Abbott spokesmen were estimating a flat million extra revenue for the county. They now use the more conservative figure. Three weeks ago, County Judge Theodore Robinson predicted that the assessed values would total $275 to $300 million and yield extra revenue of as much as $1,133,000 the first year. The county court of which he is a member has based its 1959 budget on an assessed valuation of $250 million. In 1955, when the program began, the county’s total assessed HOUSTON One thousand well-dressed Texans attended the afterdinner rally of ultra-conservative Freedom in Action here and heard Clarence Manion, FIA’s principal speaker, condemn the Eisenhower administration for having Khrushchev in the country and for the greatest erosion of U.S. liberties; declare as a fact “the shrinking moral stature of the American people”; call Herbert Hoover “the greatest living American”; oppose negotiations with communists ; say he is afraid the odds now favor ultimate communist victory in America, and call alarm about the prospect of an atomic war “communist propaganda.” “The _man whe died at the Battle of Bunker Hill is just as dead as the man who was cooked at Hiroshima,” said Manion to the large crowd’s applause. “What is it,” he asked, “that causes these young college men to shrink from being killed in an atomic blast in World War III?” He said they were ready to die in ordinary wars but now they reply, ” ‘When you think about a war to end civilization, that’s something else again,’ ” to which Manion, formerly the dean of law at Notre Dame University, responded, “Why is it something else again?” FIA, in its third annual conference, held last week at the . Rice Hotel, also heard Hume valuation \(one-fourth of the total rose at the rate of about $10 million a year, reaching $189 million in 1958. Privately Galveston sources believe that some of the major ind i tistries were “inching up” their valuations in anticipation of the unseemly forward lurch they took in 1959. Whatever the extra revenue for the county turns out to be, the state treasury will realize about half as much again, since the state collects its property taxes on the basis of the county valuations. As a result of the county’s adoption of Pritchard & Abbott’s re Everett, division attorney for the Ohio Oil Co., disapprove of democracy, attack Krushchev’s visit and “the current peace offensive,” and urge FIA members to take steps to see that what is being taught in the schools meets “the true American test.” The tranquility of an FIA workshop in the afternoon was upset when a new member, a businessman, criticized FIA speeches with the remark, “If we behave like communists and fight this thing with resentment and bitterness and hatred and what have you, we’ve lost the fight.” Management employees of Sheffield Steel staged mock Democratic precinct conventions in which working-man types stole one convention only to have the businesssuited majority return two years later and win fair and square Attendance at the Manion rally indicated FIA has made long strides since it was organized three years ago and may have even more strength at the 1960 Democratic conventions than it did in 1958. FIA members sign a writtten pledge to uphold “the American Way of Life as defined” and to undertake to control both political parties through activity as “FIA-trained individuals” at the precinct level. The pledge is not revealed to prospective members until they have been sounded out and found trustworthy. When they sign up they get a copyrighted booklet given out to members only. valuations, the assessed valuations of Galveston County’s three major industrial plantsthat is, one fourth of their total valuations increased from $48 million in 1958 to $70 million in 1959 \(Table I on page The Texas City plant of Union Carbide & Carbon Chemical Corp. took the largest increase, from -$19,992,550 in 1958 to $31,483,470 this year. The plant employs around 2,400 workers and produces many petrochemical products. Monsanto Chemical Co. has another major petrochemical plant in Texas City, employing 1,700 or 1,800 workers. Monsanto’s assessed valuation was increased frorri -$11,703.830 in 1958 to $15,731,120 in 1959. American Oil Co.’s Texas . City refinery, now struck by its 1,700 workers, was increased from $16,368,364 to $22,484,130. The plant is designed for a 4ily capacity of 150,000 barrels. Amoco is an affiliate of Standard of Indiana. The county tax rolls realized aboUt $8 million from increased assessed valuations of oil and real estate properties held in the county by only five oil companies. The assessed valuations on these properties increased from $10.4 million in 1958 to $18 million in Pan-American sustained an increase of from $7 million to $12 million between 1958 and 1959; Humble, from $2 million to $3 \(Continued on Page FIA’s Activity In an interview with the Observer, Jack Cox, former state representative and now executive secretary of FIA, said the FIA film warning of socialists taking over Texas party precinct meetings has been shown 125 times in Dallas, about 200 times in Houston, and, around the state, a total of about 500 times within the last Insurance Hint Leads To Case In High Court AUSTIN. One of the most famous trial lawyers in East Texas, Franklin Jones, Sr., who is also an occasional columnist in the Observer, was held in custody about three hours in Linden, Cass County, while his Austin attorneys won the right for a Texas Supreme Court hearing in a case likely to be a celebrated one in the annals of the law of plaintiffs versus insurance companies. Austin attorneys for Jones. Hamilton Lowe, Tom Davis, and Dean Moorhead, said the Supreme Court set Dec. 2 for arguments in the case. Jones was representing a nineyear-old boy who had suffered a broken leg in a motor scooter collision with a car. Howard Carney, former senator and Secretary of State, representing the defendant, told the jury that the plaintiffs were trying to say of his client, Jack Walls. Take away from him $80,000′.” Walls was represented by an insurance company. Jones told the presiding judge, Dist. Judge Maxwell Welch, that he was going to answer Carney’s argument, which he said was “untrue.” The judge instructed him not to tell the jury that an year. Cox said he has made about 2,000 speeches “on Americanism” since the end of the war. Cox said FIA speakers have “talked to 20,000 high school students alone” in Texas. “We’ve got activity in about 37 states,” he said. “We can’t keep up with it. We have the films in eleven other states; there FIA SPEAKERS BERATE PEACE TALK