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Statement of the movement of shipping at the port of Acajutla for the year ending September
VALPARAISO, October 31, 1877. (Received December 5.)
THE GENERAL DEPRESSION. The revolutionary condition of the adjoining republics, Bolivia and Peru, aside from the depressed state of their finances and the general stagnation of trade in South America, has weighed heavily upon the prosperity of Chili for the past year, the people of those republics being the principal consumers of the agricultural productions of this country, which is her great source of wealth. Her silver and copper mines being controlled by European capitalists, the country derives little benefit from this source.
EXORBITANT AND DISCRIMINATING TAXATION. Another great obstacle to the commercial prosperity of her people comes from the government itself; especially from the excessive tax lev. ied upon the merchants and the arbitrary manner in which tbis tax is collected. Wholesale merchants are assesserl from $2,000 to $3,000 per annum; it makes but little difference what their sales may have been for the year. This tax once levied, after ten days' notice, must be paid ; if not, a guard of soldiers takes possession of the premises, their goods are seized, and promptly sold at auction to meet the tax. No appeal will be heard for an abatement until the tax is paid. The courts are seldom appealed to for redress, for the reason that justice is slow and litigation very expensive.
The principal reason of this high tax levied upon the commercial community is the non-taxation of the real estate, with the exception of the government lands and that owned by householders in the cities and towns of the republic. Less than two hundred persons are the owners of all the real estate in the republic.
Within the past two years repeated efforts have been made by the admivistration to have ineasures passed by Congress to lessen the burden upon commerce by levying a small tax upon real estate, but the influence of the large property-holders, who control the national legislature, prevented the recommendations of the administration from being
REVENUES AND THE BONDED DEBT.
From the duties collected apop importations and from the tax collected from the merchants the revenue is derived for the support of the govern. ment. When a deficit occurs, a loan is resorted to. In this way the bonded debt of the country is increasing every year. It now amounts to $39,000,000, drawing interest at the rate of 5 per cent. per annum.
TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
The total imports into the Republic of Chili from the United States for the year 1876 amounted to $2,626,055; the total exports to the United States for the same perio:l were $1,085,602, showing an increase in im. ports of $492,612, and an increase in exports of $571,668 over those of 1875. The largest increase of importations was in shirtings, drills, flannels, and tickings.
Table D shows the revenue required for the support of the govern. ment of Chili for the year 1877 to be $15,516,030, and the expenditures to be $17,959,524.63, showing a deficit of $2,413,494.63.
Table E shows the funded debt of Chili to be $39,542,500, bearing an average rate of 5 per cent. interest per annum.
D. J. WILLIAMSON.
Slatement showing the commerce of Chili for the year 1876.
An increase over proceding year of $1,480,093, principaliy in wheat, barloy, wool, and nitrate of soda.
C.-Statement showing the minerals exported from all ports in the Republic of Chili for the
year 1876. (Included in table of exports, B.)
D.-Statement showing the estimated revenue, from all sources, for carrying on the govern
ment for the year 1877. Customs
$7,400,000 From tax on merchants (licences)..
3, 610,000 Stamp-tax.
410,000 Post-offices, telegraphs, railways, mints, and toll-roads.
3,675, 030 Mejillones guano
321, 000 Sales of public lands..
E.- Funded debt of Chili; interest payable semi-annually, in London.
NOTE BY THE CONSUL.-The above loans were negotiated in England by the following agents : Baring Brothers & Co., London, loans of 1843 and 1858; J. S. Morgan & Co., London, loans of 1866, 1867, and 1870; Oriental Bank Corporation, London, loans of 1873 and 1875.
Statement showing the value of declared exports from Valparaiso to the United States during
the year ending September 30, 1877.
$1,121,218.44 Chili paper or silver currency, equal to $896,974.76 United States gold.-D. J. W.
Statement showing the navigation at the port of Valparaiso for the year ending September 30,
* 36 steamers, with a tonnage of 126,000 tons, arrived direct from Liverpool via the straits of Magellan ; 62 arrived from Panama, calling at Callao, Peru, and other ports. Coasting steamers.-D.J. W.
D. J. WILLIAMSON.