It is to be noted that the cost of carrying property dates from the time the purchase price is paid or guaranteed. The mere holding necessitates the use and the tying up of capital which otherwise could be earning interest; and capital invested in property is as worthy of its hire as is a contractor erecting a building thereon. Again, every owner of property in civilized countries receives, nominally at least, benefits and protection from one or more governmental bodies, and his property is required to contribute its quota of the cost of providing such benefits and protection. This is paid in the form of taxes. Interest and taxes, therefore, comprise the total cost of holding unimproved property, and this gives rise to the question: Should interest and taxes be included in the cost of property?
The writers on accounting subjects are rather indefinite in their answers to this question. Pixley,* for example, while stating that, theoretically, the cost of real estate should be confined to the purchase price, so that even legal expenses incurred in acquirement should not be included in cost, admits that the usual custom is to include such items and enters no protest against it. Many of the older authors pass the matter by, almost without remark. Recent writers, however, have treated the matter fully, and perhaps no clearer exposition of both sides of the question can be found
•"Auditors, Their Duties and Responsibilities." than that given by Nicholson in his work on "Cost Accounting."*