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Then we will put the income tax law in the discussion on the same 6 basis as we find it in every other State in the Union that has a tar law, and the reciprocal arrangements within the law for an income tax law to come.
Do we have an income-tax law in Vermont, Senator? Senator FLANDERS. We have, and I pay it. Mr. Bates. You pay it. We would not expect him to pay it in the District, because he is sort of a new arrival here.
Mr. Smith, a question on Virginia : You have reciprocal arrangements in Virginia, do you not?
Mr. SMITH. I do not know about the reciprocal arrangements, but I am like the Senator, I pay the Virginia income tax.
Mr. Chairman, to talk about the agenda of these hearings for a moment, if you do not mind. It seems to me we are discussing here a very technical question that should be made the subject of a special hearing at a special time when we can get into all of the details of what is the technical question. And I am wondering if you could not so arrange your agenda so that we would take up these various phases of taxation when we get to the bill?
Mr. BATEs. Yes; when we get to the bill.
Mr. Smith. Because this discussion this morning, while it is informative, still, does not go into the deep questions that are going to be involved when you work this thing out.
I am very familiar with the difficulties that you are laboring under here, and something should be done about it, but Mr. Bates, you indicated awhile ago, that when you get to the floor of the House, you have many considerations other than the consideration of what the District is going to get out of it in the way of taxes.
You have a lot of questions raised.
I remember when we had this question up on the floor, 2 or 3 years ago, this question was raised of a man who might come here, a lawyer, to argue a case before the Supreme Court of the United States, and make a big fee. Under the proposed law, he would be taxed for a fee that he made when he came here from California to argue a case before the Supreme Court.
Those methods have to be worked out in language with the utmost refinement.
Mr. DENT. It is an involved question.
Mr. KLEIN. I think this point is certainly paramount. Provided that these people pay taxes somewhere, whether it is in the District or in their own State; the situation I object to is that some people do not pay any taxes because they manage to float from one place to the other.
Mr. Bates. We got on this tangent on your question of the interest, that Mr. Dent called our attention to, that from the sources of income tax, we apparently are not able to get many people to pay taxes who ought to pay them.
You proceed, Mr. Dent. You spoke about the personal property, the real property income, and then your income taxes.
Mr. DENT. I did not intend to get into the technical discussions of the income tax, but merely to show that there were such a few people living in the District of Columbia who were paying taxes, that was all.
Mr. BATEs. How many, actually, pay taxes, roughly, that is, on income?
Mr. DENT. Oh, 88,000. Mr. BATEs. Eighty-eight thousand. Then we will proceed to the income source at 1940. That is when we first introduced the income tax. I well recall it, because I introduced it myself.
It brought in that year, $2,275,000, and in 1946, $9,221,000. Have you any figures on 1947? Mr. Dent. No, sir. I think we have just about reached the peak, Mr. Bates.
Mr. BATEs. Now, is there anything else you wish to say? Mr. DENT. I do not believe there will be a substantial increase in income taxes in the future.
Mr. BATEs. Is there anything else you wish to say to the committee? Mr. DENT. I think that is about all I have at the moment, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BATES. Are there any other questions to be asked by any members of the committee? If not, thank you, Mr. Dent. Who is the next witness that we have to appear here this morning? Mr. Dent. Thank you. Mr. BATES. We will now hear from the Chief of the Fire Department.
STATEMENT OF CLEMENT MURPHY, CHIEF, FIRE DEPARTMENT, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ACCOMPANIED BY HOWARD W. BOWIE, ASSISTANT TO THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FIRE DEPARTMENT, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Mr. MURPHY. Appropriations for the Fire Department have had an increase for 1947 over 1937 of 41.7 percent. These are included in a table prepared here for the committee, indicating in detail by item, and the reasons for the increases. And in some of those years, there have been decreases. Approximately 97 percent of the total increase has been for salaries. Mr. Bates. Will you give that figure in 1937, Chief? Have you it before
you, the total expenditures in the Fire Department that year, and then the estimate? Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir. Mr. BATES. I have them here from the Auditor's Office. Total expenditures for the Fire Department, 1937, $2,474,120. Mr. MURPHY. That is correct. Mr. Bates. The estimate for this year, 1948, $3,631,000; is that right?
Mr. Murphy. That is right. Mr. BATEs. And 97 percent of that increase is due, you say, to personal services?
Mr. MURPHY. Pardon me, Mr. Bates. I think the last figure you named is for the fiscal year 1948.
Mr. Bates. That is right; 1948. I mean the budget of this year. That is what I had in mind.
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BATES. That was an increase of 41.7 percent. That is 97 per cent due to increase in personal services?
Mr. MURPHY. I might say our table does not show the fiscal year 1948. It is merely a prepared budget.
Mr. BATES. That is an estimate?
Mr. MURPHY. Which has not been submitted to the Committee on Appropriations.
Mr. Bates. Is it not part of the budget of the District ?
Mr. BaTEs. No; but it is in the budget that will presently be under consideration by Congress.
Mr. MURPHY. That is right.
Mr. Bates. That is the estimate which you give as to the cost of operating the Fire Department in the District for the fiscal year 1948!
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. Bates. Now, you say that is a 41.7 percent increase in that 10year period of time and 97 percent of that is due to increases in the cost of personnel.
What percent of that, Chief, is due to the wage increases ?
Let us take a base rate for your privates in the Fire Department of 1937. Have you got that figure there? And what is it in the 1948 budget?
Mr. MURPHY. In 1937, a private, top grade.
Mr. MURPHY. $2,400 annually; in 1947, $3,398. The position of sergeant in 1937 called for a salary of $2,600.
In 1947, that salary has increased to $3,872.
The position of lieutenant in 1937 called for a salary of $2,840 and today it is $4,278.
In 1937, the position of captain called for a salary of $3,000, and today it is $5,023.
The position of battalion chief in 1937 called for a salary of $1,500, and today that position pays $6,242.
The position of deputy chief, and there are two of those and in addition to that the superintendent of machinery and the fire marshal, who draw the same salaries as the two deputy chiefs, in 1937 those four positions, which are classified as deputy chiefs, paid a salary of $5,000. Today those salaries are $6,894.
In 1937, the chief of the department drew a salary of $8,000. Today that salary is $10,000.
The percentage of increases I have in each grade, if you care to have them, Mr. Bates.
Mr. Bates. No; I do not think so, Chief. Without going too much in detail, I think you have given us the information, together with what I have before me here, which shows that the increase in the base salaries of your privates, that constitute the major part of your personnel, was about 40 percent.
Mr. MURPHY. That is correct. Now, Mr. Bates, the highest percentage of increases are in the grades of captain, lieutenant, and sergeant.
Mr. BATES. That is right.
Mr. MUREHY. 67.43 percent, 50.63 percent, and for the captains, 48.92 percent. That came about several years ago.
Mr. BATEs. That is right.
Mr. MURPHY. That was by an adjustment of the wage scale between police and fire officers.
Mr. Bates. Yes, I recall that period. Your total expenditures in 1937 were $2,474,000, and this year $3,631,000, and you say that increase of $1,200,000, roughly, is due to salary increases; 97 percent of it is due to salary increases.
Mr. MURPHY. That is correct.
Mr. Bates. I note here, also, Chief, in tabulating your personnel, : that in 1937, you had officers and members of 888 in addition to your
clerks and repair-shop men. And this year in your budget there are 917, so you have only had a moderate increase in personnel in 10 years.
Those are the things that we are interested in more than anything else. to see whether or not the personnel has shown any substantial increase.
The increase in wages speak for themselves, because that has been under the authority of Congress.
Mr. MURPHY. We have increased our force by 25 men in a 10-year period. If we are granted the 4 men that we have requested in the 1918 budget, the increase will be 29 men in an 11-year period.
Mr. Bates. In that 11-year period, Chief, have there been any fire hazards, new fire hazards, established in the District or the outlying areas where the new construction has taken place? Have there been new facilities?
Mr. MURPHY. We have placed in service two new companies. We have built one new fire house. That was to replace an older house in a new location.
Since 1916, the Fire Department has added but two engine companies and four truck companies.
We have three fewer fire houses today than we had in 1939. That came about by placing in a number of houses two companies where before they maintained one.
Mr. Bates. The reason that we are inquiring into this phase of the situation in connection with the over-all problem of the study of the finances of the District is to see whether or not there has been any substantial increase in personnel that has brought about this doubling of expenses within the District within the last 10 years.
Apparently you have a creditable situation here, where you have had an increase of only 25 men.
That is rather surprising to me, because I know during that period of time we discussed the two platoons and we discussed retirement laws, where members of the Fire Department are permitted to retire at an earlier age, and where, as the result of those laws, we have built up the expenses of the Fire Department by adding new personnel.
But, apparently, your figures do not show that there has been such
Mr. MURPHY. There has not been, Mr. Bates.
Mr. Bates. You have got that from the changing from a single platoon to a double platoon within the last 10 years.
When did the two platoons start?
Mr. Bates. There have been no other changes since the two platoon was instituted here?
Mr. MURPHY. Not in working hours, with the exception of the granting of 1 day off in 7, and annual leave was increased from 15 to 26 days.
Mr. BATES. When did that happen?
Mr. Murphy. No; I would say before that. Probably as long as 20 years ago.
Mr. Bates. Has any change been made in the working conditions or in the retirements that would induce men to quit at earlier ages during the last 10 years!
Mr. MURPHY. A few years ago, the Congress passed a bill permitting men to voluntarily retire if they had served 25 years and had reached the age
of 55. Mr. BATEs. That is right. Have there been many leave the service under the provision of that law?
Mr. MURPHY. I do not have a 10-year table on that, Mr. Bates but I do have a 5-year table.
Mr. Bates. That is all right.
Mr. MURPHY. During the 5 years, 1942 to 1946, inclusive, 55 members have taken advantage of the voluntary retirement law; that was 24 percent of the men who had retired during that 5-year period; 28 men were retired because of compulsory retirement. They had reached the age of 64, and when they reach that age in the Fire Department they are compelled to retire. That is not under law. I think it is under the Commissioners' order, or rule.
That rule has the approval of fire prevention authorities, such as the National Board of Fire Underwriters and the National Fire Protection Association, and other groups.
The policy has always been to maintain younger men in the Fire Department.
Disability during that 5-year period accounted for retirement of 142 members, which is 63 percent of the total number of men retired.
Now, during the 5-year period, these 3 groups total 225 retirements.
Mr. BATEs. Proceed with your statement, Chief.
Mr. MURPHY. Do you wish me to discuss the retirement of firemen, and the number retired, Mr. Bates, and the reasons?
Mr. BATES. Well, I just want to briefly go back to your 97 percent. Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BATEs. On the basis of your increase of $1,225,000 over the period of 10 years in the administrative cost of your Department, on the basis of your salaries, you say that 97 percent of that is due to the salary increases ?
Mr. Bowie. Our percentage is not for that time. It is based on the 1947 figure, sir.
Mr. BATES. It comes pretty close, anyway. I was going to say that on the basis of the 1937 payments for personnel, that compared to the budget of 1948, on a chart here, about 97 percent of that $1,200,000 is as the result of an increase of salaries?
Mr. MURPHY. 97 percent of it.