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part of the property within the parish, &c., the date of the last valuation for the assessment of such parish, and the name of the surveyor or other person or persons by whom the valuation was made. Thus the Committee can obtain full information as to any valuations that have been made, whether by a Union Assessment Committee or in any other way.
3rd. The Committee may, by Order in writing, require Overseers, Constables, Assessors and Collectors of rates, and other persons to appear before them, to produce all parochial and other rates, assessments, valuations, apportionments and other documents in their custody or power relating to the value of an assessment on all or any of the property within parishes and places liable to be assessed to the county rate, and they may examine such persons. Private persons may be summoned before the Committee and are bound to produce private accounts and documents.1
4th. The Committee may cause copies to be made, of the total amount assessed in each parish, &c., in respect of the assessed taxes, and the total amount of the valuation of the property on which the assessments were made, by the Clerk to the Commissioners of assessed taxes.
5th. In order to enforce the making of returns and the appearance of persons summoned to appear, it has been provided that any person failing to comply with the requisitions of the Committee is liable to a penalty not exceeding £20, which the Committee may recover before two Justices.
6th. The Committee may have an independent valuation made of any parish, &c., within the county, and the valuer appointed by them may, at all reasonable times, with his assistants, enter upon, view, examine, survey and measure the lands and other property in the parish, &c.
As soon as the Committee have prepared a basis in which there is any variation from the preceding basis, they have the basis printed and a copy sent to the Overseers of every parish and to every Justice of the county, and at the same time give notice of the time within which objections are to be sent, and of the time and place for hearing objections. The Overseers of any parish then call a vestry meeting to consider the basis. The objections having been heard and determined upon by the Committee, and their basis finally prepared, it is laid before the County Council at a meeting of which notice is given.
1 Dickson 7. Doubleday, 30 L.J. M.C. 99.
The County Council then correct and confirm the basis or refer it back to the Committee, and consider it again at an adjourned meeting.
When finally confirmed by the County Council, the basis becomes valid and binding, notwithstanding any irregularity in the making of it. A copy of the basis thus finally confirmed is sent to the Overseers of every parish and to every Justice of the Peace in the county, and the Overseers of any parish, or any inhabitant, may appeal against the basis so confirmed to the next Quarter Sessions held after the confirmation. If the grievance is the under-valuation or omission of some other parish 24 days' notice must be given to the Overseers of that parish. The Quarter Sessions may then correct the basis with regard to the matters complained of.
The Committee may revise the basis from time to time, so as to bring it into accordance with existing circumstances, and in that case they need only give notice to the parish, the valuation of which they propose to alter; upon which that parish may make objections, and the proposed revision must be confirmed by the County Council.
The expenses of the Committee will, in general, be paid out of the county fund and charged to the general county account; but in two cases their expenses in connection with a particular parish may be charged against that parish.
Ist. If the Overseers of a parish neglect to make such returns in writing as they are required to do, or make a false return, the County Council may, on the report of the Committee, order the expense incurred in ascertaining the value of that parish to be charged thereon as a special contribution to the county rate.
2nd. Where the Committee have directed the whole or any part of a parish to be valued, and where, in the basis as finally allowed, such parish is assessed at a greater sum than the sum in the returns made to the Committee by the Overseers, the costs of such a valuation must be charged in the same way against that parish; unless there be a successful appeal whereby the value of that parish in the basis is reduced to or below the sum returned by the Overseers.
It must be pointed out that a new basis will be required, in most cases, in the course of the year 1889, because of the changes in county boundaries, and also owing to the fact that Quarter Sessions Boroughs will become liable to be assessed to the county rate, which they have hitherto not been.
The making and assessing of the county rate is a duty that will fall on the County Council; and which will, of course, be practically performed by the Finance Committee. It must be remembered that the county rate is to be levied in respect of "general county purposes" and "special county purposes."
The following is a list of the principal special county purposes:
Lunatic Asylums ;
Weights and Measures;
Contagious Diseases (animals).
The County Council will make an estimate of the sum it will be necessary to obtain for general county purposes, and an estimate of the sum required for each special county purpose. In determining the amount of expenditure for any county purpose, general or special, a proper proportion of the cost of the officers, buildings, and establishment of the County Council may be added to the expenditure directly expended for that purpose.
The County Council will have before them the basis for the county rate, prepared for the county. Taking first the whole sum required for general county purposes, the County Council must compute the sum that each parish in their county should contribute towards those purposes, and each parish must contribute in porportion to its value, as shown in the basis. Then taking the sum required for each special county purpose, the County Council must ascertain what parishes in the county are liable to contribute in respect of that purpose, and then must compute what share of that sum each of those parishes should contribute, remembering that each must contribute in proportion to its value, as shown in the basis.
Thus, for example:-Let us suppose, for the sake of simplicity, that a county consists of five parishes, A, B, C, D, E, and that the basis shows the value of each of these parishes, as follows:
and that the total sum required for general county purposes is estimated at £62 10s. od., then each parish will have to contribute as follows:
4 3 4
6 5 O
£10,000 41 13 4
Now take a special county purpose, say police. Perhaps E is in a borough maintaining its own police, and, therefore, not liable to contribute towards the police of the county; and suppose that the total sum required for police purposes is £42 13s. 4d., then the parishes must contribute
12 10 O
16 13 4
4 3 4
Taking each special county purpose in turn in this way the whole sum that each parish will have to contribute will be ascertained.
This estimate must be made at the beginning of the local financial year, which for the year 1889-90 begins on the 26th March, 1889. It must show the amount that will be required for each purpose, and for each parish, for the first six months of the local financial year, and, also, what will be required for the second six months. At the end of the first six months the original estimate may be revised. Probably it may be advisable to have the estimate published in such a shape as to show what parishes have been assessed to contributions for each special county purpose, and at what rate in the pound the contributions for general county purposes, and for each special county purpose, have been assessed; but contributions for different special county purposes, which are levied over the same part of the county, might probably be treated together. 1
The next process after having computed the amount each Levying County parish ought to contribute, is to obtain the contribution. For Contributions. this purpose the County Council will send a precept to the Board of Guardians of the union in which any parish in their county is situated, directing them to pay within a given time the contribution so computed.
1 Local Government Act, 1888, secs. 73, 74, and see 15 & 16 Vict. c. 81. 2 See 15 & 16 Vict. c. 81.
Two cases may arise where the whole of a parish is not liable to contribute to a county rate :
Ist. Where the parish is in two counties. In this case the value of that part of the parish which is in each county will appear in the basis for that county, and the County Council, instead of sending a precept to the Guardians of the Union in which such parish is situated must send a precept to the Overseers of that parish directing them to pay to the County Treasurer the contributions assessed on that part of the parish. It is probable that the County Council will take steps to deal with every parish which lies partly in their county and partly in another, so as to prevent their county boundary cutting any parish boundary: this case in the future will accordingly not be likely to arise.
2nd. Where a parish is partly liable to contribute towards a special county purpose, and partly not, the question is more difficult. The way in which this will ordinarily arise will be where the parish is partly situated in a borough and partly outside; in that case the value of the part of the parish not within the borough, and the part within the borough will not appear separately in the basis. There appears to be no enactment providing how the value of each part of the parish is to be calculated. The safest course will be for the County Council to divide the value of the parish in the proportion shown by the valuation list. In this case they obtain the necessary contributions from each part, by sending precepts to the Guardians.
A County Council may borrow money on the security of their funds and revenues for the following purposes :— (1.) For consolidating the debts of the county.
(2.) For purchasing any land, or building any building, which they are authorised by any Act to purchase or build.
(3.) For any permanent work or thing which the County Council are authorized to execute or do, and the cost of which ought, in the opinion of the Local Government Board, to be spread over a term of years.
(4.) For making advances to any persons or body in aid of the emigration or colonisation of inhabitants of the county, if they have a guarantee for the repayment of such advances from a local authority in the county, or from the Government of a colony.
1 Local Government Act, 1888, secs. 69, 70.