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THE CHERTSEY PEOPLE AND THE PROPERTY ASSESSMENT BILL.

W On Thursday afternoon a meeting was f held in-the Chertsey. school-room, to consider the proposed property tax. There was only a moderate attendance, but those ;>resent were all residents. Mr. W. A. Brown was called to the ihaitv In introducing the subject he explained away the muall attendance by stating that some misapprehension regardin'' the hour of meeting had existed, some people believing the meeting was to have been held in the evening. After explaining the provisions of the Bill very exhaustively, he pointed out that a result of it would be that we should now be taxed some 355. or 40s. per head more than we were at present. He expressed sympathy with the Government in having to resort to such heavy taxation, but considered that to tax improvements and industry was most iniquitous and inquisitorial. A person striving to make his place homely and comfortable, or even decent, was called upon to be taxed for what might be considered only necessary. He then quoted from “ Hansard” the reply of Mr. Reader Wood to Sir George Grey, to show tint the Land Tax was to be quadrupled, bes des extra taxation, even on beds, chairs, and the vpry household furniture. Mr. Brown claimed that the people ought not to quietly submit to be taxed, simply for the reason that they did not raise their voice against the measure. Such,_ in fact, was the argument used by Major Atkinson in support of the measure —viz., that the people had assented to it by not raisins' their voice against it. If no one else did, he felt sure that the people of the Chertsey district would make their voice heard. The people had great power in resisting undue and unfair taxation, and he referred to the success of the licensed .victuallers in opposing the Beer Tax of the late Government. That measure would have la-ought in a large revenue, and the tax t*mid have: been well borne. Did Government suppose that the people would tamely submit to any taxation, even to the taxing of machinery and everything that was necessary for the produce of the country. , Such a measure as that proposed would retard local industry, and by it all toilers were to be taxed to the farthest extent, while buyers were exempt. Ho considered that the Land Assessment Tax and an Income Tax ■would amply meet the deficiency. Tlaere was no doubt the money must be raised, but it was imperative that it should he raised in the manner proposed. If such heavy taxation were necessary, an economical movement could be made in the direction of reducing the cost of maintaining an Agent-General and his staff. They (did not represent, but misrepresented the fflolony by their extraordinary promises to intending immigrants. Mr. B, Edwards proposed—“ That this meeting strongly disapproves of the process of th e Property Tax Assessment Bill now before the House, as it believes it is calculated to cripple the industry of the colony and retard the settlement of the country ; and that the measure is of too oppressive and inquisitorial a character. ” The resolution was carried unanimously. Mr. Fowler ;iaid he thought the tax would only effect the wealthy and not the poorer classes, and he considered they were the right persons to bear the tax. As the money must, he presumed, be raised lo save the credit of the colony,; vrould the Chairman lay before the meeting some other more tangible scheme for rawing it. The Chairman said he was irot *n authority as to how finances of the ■country should be guided, but he fully agreed with the speaker that the money must be raised. In reply to Mr. Dollara ore, the Chodrman said the water race *was expected to he. remunerative. Mr. Ivess spoke at soma length in support of the resolution, and complimented the Chairman and the district on raising tHeir voice against such an 61 moxious measure.

Mr. Wilkinson, propose d—“ That a napy of the foregoing resell ition be sent ta the member for Coleridge,’ ’ end a vote of thanks having . been jpa ssod for the energy displayed by Sir Gee rge Grey in opposing the measure, in its . early stages in the House, it was resolved t hat a copy of both motions be forwarded to Sir 6. Grey.

A vote of thauks to the Chau ’man was passed and the meeting adjoumat b

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THE CHERTSEY PEOPLE AND THE PROPERTY ASSESSMENT BILL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 34, 13 December 1879

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