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These estimates are all that are ascertainable for that date.

Gross earnings for the year ending June 30, 1894, were...$17,208,824 00 The operating expenses were

12,411,321 00 The earnings were

4,797,500 00

According to the census of 1880, the population of Georgia was 1,542,180. By the census of 1890, the population of Georgia was 1,837,353.

The estimated population of Georgia in 1894 is 2,000,000.

The value of property returned for taxation, not including railroads, in 1879, was $225,093,419.

The value of property returned for taxation in 1894, not including the railroads, was $388,428,748.

It will be seen that the population of the State has increased 29.69 per cent., or in round numbers, thirty per cent. ; the increase in taxable values 72.52 per cent., and the increase in taxable value of railroad propties 100 per cent. It will be further seen that the per centum of increase in taxable values of other than railroad properties has been nearly as great as the per centum of increase in railroad mileage and the valuation of railroad property, while the population has only increased thirty per cent.. This increase in the valuation of property is no doubt largely due to the increase in railroad mileage. Railroads enhance the value of property along their lines, by building up cities and towns and manufactories of all kinds, and developing the resources of the section penetrated by them.

The foregoing tables and figures are highly instructive, and furnish a complete answer to the charge frequently made that the Railroad Commission has been inimical to the railroad interests of Georgia. Our Standard Tariff had been established prior to the largest increase in railroad construction. It was found that, as a rule, great inequality and disparity existed at non-competitive points ; that excessive charges were made for short hauls, and that glaring discriminations were made at almost every intermediate station. The adjustment of these matters by the Standard

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Tariff of rates, affording justice to non-competitive points, and making rates upon a fair basis, led to a reduction in many instances of seventy-five per cent. The passenger rates were reduced forty per cent.

Notwithstanding these sweeping reductions in rates, the railroad properties enhanced in value and railway construction was wonderfully promoted; and up to the time of the present financial crisis, the railroads in Georgia were in a prosperous condition. The people enjoyed the advantage of lower rates, and were relieved from the evils of unjust discriminations; so the course of the Commission, while highly beneficial to the people, has not been unjust to the railroads, and did not prove injurious to them.

Below will be found a comparative statement of the earnings of all the railroads for the year, 1893, and 1894, up to June 30, as it appears from reports filed in this office:

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Comparative Statement Earnings and Expenses of Railroads for 1893-1894.

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Atlanta & Florida...
Atlanta & West Point..
Augusta Southern
Blue Ridge & Atlantic.
Central Railroad-

Main Line..
Augusta & Savannah Division..
Southwestern Division
Savannah, Griffin & North Ala. Div..
Upson County Division..
Buena Vista & Ellaville Division

Columbus & Rome Division.
Columbus Southern Railroad,
Chattanooga, Rome & Columbus.
East & West of Alabama...
Florida Central & Peninsular.
Georgia Railroad-

Main Line..
Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern..

Union Point & West Plains..
Georgia Midland & Gulf.
Georgia, Carolina & Northern...
Georgia Southern & Florida..
Hartwell
Marietta & North Georgia..
Macon & Northern.
Midville, Swainsboro & Red Bluff...
Macon, Dublin & Savannah..
Northeastern
Oconee & Western
Southern Railway —

Atlanta & Charlotte Air Line.
Georgia Pacific Division...
Lawrenceville Division

947,453.47

56,165.62
364,910.40

953.41
1,275.62
5,243.49
2,315.84
15,414.85
70,282.87

3,951.83
77,716.69
497,203.91
13,301.72

1,742.81
34,789.29
59,994.22
190,864.69

[graphic]

16,405.63
10,001.01

4,695.15
138,527.52
132,180 11

2,855.80

651,024.37 350,642 50

2,882.38'

602,694 39 411,434.70

2,708.69

464,622.01 265,774.29

6,597.76'

467,166.87 279,254 59

5,564.49'*

186,402.33 84,868.21 3,715.38' *

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Comparative Statement Earnings and Expenses of Railroads for 1893-1894.

Gross Earnings Gross Earnings Operating Exp. Operating Exp.
July 1, 1892, to July 1, 1893, to July 1, 1892. 10 July 1, 1893, to

Net Earnings

Net Earnings
June 30, 1893. June 30, 1891. June 30, 1893. June 30, 1894. July 1, 1892, to June 30, 1893. July 1, 1893, to June 30, 1894.
Roswell Division.
6,495.45 6,262.42 6,110.44 6,210.091,

385.01

52.33
Elberton Air Line Division....
41,517.26 50,748.74 46,167.13 46,271.45, *

4,619.871

4,377.29
East Tenn., Va. & Ga. Division.. 2,316,354 30 2,073,181.70 1,681,923.93 1,422,942.87

631,460.37

650,241.83
Savannah, Americus & Montgomery. 567,918 77 438,019 65 478,811 24 402,859.41

89,109.53
Plant System-

35,160.27
Savannah Florida & Western Division 2,888,089.20 2,898 985.33 1,914,499.19 1,948,886.72

973,590.01
Brunswick & Western Division

950,096.61
567,094.66 483,385 25 437,752.15 373,184.62
Sylvania

129,342.51

110,200.63
Stillmore Air Line.......

20,104,10
11,677.26

† Talbotton..

8,426.84
8,147.22 9,996.12 5,192.23 4,713.071

2 954.99
Western & Atlantic..

5,483.05
1,396,300.42 1,280,773.29 1,038,753.19 823,972.85 %

357,547.23 %
Wrightsville & Tennille..

456,800.44
74,581.32 76,261.9 53,520.48

53,779.61
21,060 84

22,482.30
Total....
$16,632,191.80'$17,208,824.75 $12,776,867.48'$12,411,321.86 Ex. Earn’gs, 4,141,494.09 Ex. Earn’gs, 4,951,898.61

286,167.77| Loss,

154,397.72

Net Earn’g-, 3,855,326.32 Net Earn'gs, 4,797,500.89
*Deficiency. For last six months of fiscal year. INot reported for previous year. $Rental to be deducted.

RECAPITULATION.
Net Earnings 1894...

...... $1,797,500.89 Net Earnings 1893.

3,855,326.32

Excess 1894 over 1893.

..$ 912,174.57

It will be seen that for the year 1893, the aggregate gross earnings were.

$16,632,191 80 Operating expenses.

12,776,867 48

Net earnings

3,855,326 32 For the year ending June 30, 1894, the gross earnings

$17,208,824 75 Operating expenses

12,411,321 86

were.

Net earnings

4,797,500 89

The foregoing statement shows an increase in the net earnings for 1894 over that of the year previous of nearly one million dollars. It is confidently believed that with the improved condition of the country, the next annual report will show continued healthy increase in net earnings. It is probable that there are some lines already built which being unfavorably located, will not feel so much the impulse of the general prosperity; yet the majority of the roads will show decided improvement.

The reports from the railroads should show clearly and in detail the net earnings: What constitutes net earnings seems to be misunderstood; but fortunately the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of the Union Pacific Railroad, vs. the United States, 99 U. S. Reports, Otto IX. 402, has declared that “As a general proposition, net earnings are the excess of the gross earnings over the expenditures defrayed in producing them, aside from and exclusive of the expenditures of capital, laid out in constructing and equipping the works themselves. * * * All payments of interest on the bonded indebtedness of the company should be charged to a capital interest account and not to current expenditures. Though payable out of the earnings before any dividend can be made, they cannot be deducted for the purpose of ascertaining the net earnings of the road. The bonded debt incurred for the purposes of construction and equipment is but another form of capital, and analogous to preferred stock; and the interest accruing thereon is in the nature of a dividend on such capital. It has nothing to do with, and cannot affect, the amount of the net earnings of the road.”

This is an authoritative and lucid declaration of what constitutes net earnings; and the reports should be so clearly made out as to indicate this. The application of gross earnings to construction account, to outside

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