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THE CONSUMER PAYS THE TAXES!

THE MESABA ORE

1911

     President Olcott, of the Oliver Iron Mining company, made the statement last week that ďthe mining properties pay five-sixths of the entire county tax, and eleven-twelfths of the entire tax on the range,Ē and those opposed are presenting that as an argument against county division.

     Why, bless your heart, the mining companies are not out a single cent on the transaction, and wouldnít be if they paid the whole of the county tax, while we are considerable the gainers.

   The mining company, which so far as we know has never been accused of being a charitable institution, enters the taxes it pays in its general cost scheme, along with the other items of cost that goes into the production of a ton of iron ore.  The man who buys the ton of iron ore from the company takes the tax cost and the company is thus relieved--- or in other words, it gets back the money it paid out in taxes and all other things that entered into the cost of production, and a nice, livable profit into the bargain.  The man who buys the pig iron from the man who bought the ton of iron ore then pays the taxes, and then he passes it right along down the line until the stove, or other manufactured article, is brought to Hibbing, and then you and I are called upon to pay these same mining company taxes, and we pay.

   And at that, we pay more taxes proportionately than the mining company does, and though we are a hundred times less able to pay, we do it with considerably less than one-half the holler  that characterizes tax-time in the company headquarters.

     Our facilities for tax-dodging are far from being perfect and thatís why we pay more and holler less.

     Mr. Olcott speaks for the United States Steel corporation.  Thatís his business and his job demands it, and itís a small onion of man that will hold that will hold that up against Mr. Olcott, or any of the other good men who are striving so manfully to earn their salaries in the face of public sentiment.

     The Steel corporation is entitled to a great deal of concideration from iron ranges, and it is getting it all__ but it should not ask for anything beyond its just due, and it should not attempt to collect in advance.  There will come a time, you know, when the Steel corporation will not be with us, and it should not object to our gathering of the crumbs that fall from its over-loaded table.

     The corporation is good to us, you will argue, and thatís as true as any word ever uttered; but do you really think, neighbor, that the Steel corporation is here just to please you or to make a business for you?

     The Steel corporation is here for the Steel corporation first, last and all the time---keep that uppermost in your mind, because itís a fact that cant be disturbed with dynamite---and when you, any and all of you, cease to become useful to its scheme of operation it will go right along in its serene way and never even admit knowledge of your existence.

     Look well to yourself---the Steel corporation is not particularly interested in you.

____________________________________________________

My thoughts on this 1911 article found in the micro film library at Iron World;

The Author is not named in the story and I did not see any names attached to any storyís from news papers from that time.

The division of St. Louis County (MN) was a hot issue back in 1911. The tax money was undoubtedly at issue in this. There are issues relating to the division of St. Louis Co. to this day.

One of the extremely apparent evidences of the accuracy for this is found in the late Ď60ís and Ď70ís when the industry was changing  switching to the Taconite era. Non of the Hematite Red Ore mines continued other than scram operation where the taxes were already paid on the ore as seen today in the Magnitation Scram mining operation now being done.

The high taxes that the corporation hollered about were not to seen in the Taconite era.

This burdened the Hematite mining to the closing of these operation.

Yes the hematite mining wasnít seeing the high grade ore of the early days but at the same time the reject material is of equal iron concentration as the Taconite mined today.

The high tax on iron ore was a great motivator to the modern day Taconite mine and, ďIn the day, offered a company that is hard working to rise above the lazy corporation that didnít fight for tax relief in some form.

Passing the tax burden along to the end line consumer also relieved the tax burden on the local citizens of the iron range and spread the iron ore tax to the world.

Yes the tax laws of the past were wonderful for our local economy, unlike the methods of the modern day legislators who  have given the shirtís off OUR  backs to this new Steel corporation that is now developing a new Taconite operation on the western mesabe range.

 






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