ASSESSMENT COURT.—WAKANUI DISTRICT.
Saturday, April 3rd. (Before Mr. P, Guinness, Judge.) Mr. F. G. P. Leach appeared to sustain the Valuation list, and Mr. H. T. Winter, Chairman, and Mr. 0. 0. Fooks, Clerk of the Wakanui Road Board, were in attendance. Mr. Winter objected to the whole roll on the grounds that numerous objections had been sent in, some 110 in number, that several properties had been omitted from the list, altogether, that the valuation in many instances was excessive, and that most of the Christian names of the ratepayers wore only described by initials and not in full. The Judge said that as no written objection had been sent in by the Road Board according to the Act, lie could not do otherwise than listen to the objections in detail. Certainly the roll would be totally useless unless the Christian names were in full, as the Board could not sue unless they could give full particulars of their claim. The Rev. W. E. Paige objected to the valuation set against him for LSO on 1 rood, Wakanui township, on section 4984, on the ground that it was purchased by the church trustees and was church property, and therefore exempt. After some discussion as to what property the assessor intended to assess, it was atlast found that he meant to value the parsonage, which was not on section 4984 but on 4904, and instead of being a quarter of an acre was 10 acres,- and the valuation was increased from L 66 to LBO, and the quarter acre originally charged was left out altogether. Mr. D. 8. Melvile, per Mr. Shury, objected to his valuation on the ground that he was only charged for 73 acres whereas he held 143, but the price per acre was too high. If the Court would fix the price per acre at what the land was really worth it would not make a great deal of difference to the amount of the rate, but it would assess the land at something near its value. The assessment was then fixed at 140 acres, L3l. Thos. Bullock—No appearance. W. Alexander —No appearance. George Roberts, valued at L 558. Mr. H. T. Winter applied to have his objection heard jointly' with Mr, Roberts, as they held the property together. He considered 7s per acre too high a valuation, the land not being worth more than 4s. rental. Mr. S. Saunders, sworn, his opinion was tha f - the selling value of the land was not more than £2 per acre, and taking improvements into consideration, L 3. Mr. Robert’s valuation was ultimately reduced from L 550 to L 416. John Harrison, L 137 After a long examination as to the value Mr. Harrison set on his land, he was further questioned as to what his fences and other improvements were worth, and after endeavoring to explain to the Court that the price per acre he set upon his land also included the fencing, he was informed that, according to his own statement, he had made his property out to he double the value the assessor had put it down at. It was then pointed out to the judge, that in making this estimate he had taken the selling and not the letting value of the objector’s valuation of his house and fencing ; and his Worship said he thought Mr. Leach’s valuation too low, and would fix the value at L 155. Upon it being shown that this was about double the price per acre fixed on Mr. Jamieson’s property contiguous to it; the Court allowed the valuation to stand at L 137. D. Ling, valued at LSO for 2 acres and a rood. Reduced to L2O. W. White objected as not being owner of property for which he was rated. As Mr White was understood to own property somewhere in the district, the valuation was sustained. F. Mayo, valuation L 25. Reduced to Ll 3. Edward Saunders, valuation Ll5O. Reduced to Ll2O. Samuel Saunders, valuation Ll5O. Reduced to LI 20. J. W. Parker. Reduced to 200 acres, value LSO, and the balance put down to “ Owner. ” H. A. Pickford. The Clerk stated that this name was incorrectly stated on the roll as Thomas Pickford. The name was altered, and the assessment reduced from L64to Ll 5. H. T. Winter, reduced from LS2O to L4IG. John Moore, who applied to have his name placed on the roll, did not appear. Application refused. James Brown. No appearance. The Clerk to the Board informed the Court that Mr. Brown, being a member of the Board had expected the roll would have been thrown out on the Chairman’s preliminary objection, and consequently did not attend the Court. The Court ruled that in Mr. Brown’s absence his objection could not be considered. Gideon Scott. No appearance. The schoolmaster at Greenstreet wrote stating he owned no property in the colony and had received no notice. E. A. Field, per S. Saunders, valuation LOO. Reduced to L 43. J. Leggatt, LB3. Reduced to L 53. After this reduction had been made the Chairman of the Board informed the Court that a section of Mr. Leggatt’s had been omitted from the roll, and the assessment was, after an examination of the map, fixed at LBl. W. B. Denshire per S. Saunders. Reduced from L2lO to L 144. John Brown. Objection dismissed. Ghalmer Bros., reduced from L 557 to L 504. Edwin Watkins, whose name appeared in two places on the roll as Edward and Edmund had the necessary alteration made. A. Dines, Thos. Greenaway', Meredith Wilson, John Williams, F. P. O’Reilly, L. Rattray, H. P. Murray-Aynsley, J. R. Dodson, Thomas Dalton, George Coe, P. Peterson, .A. James, W. R. Boyle, Peter Rattray', G. Davidson, Wm. Crooks, Peter Stewart, Bryan Connor, George Lee, and Alfred Herrick, did not appear to sustain their objections, and these were consequently dismissed. James Wilkie appeared on behalf of the following objectors :—David Fitzgerald, L 267, reduced to L 135 ; James Jameson, L 255, reduced to L 13 6; W. J. Silcock, struck out; G. B. and E. B. Cooper, struck out, James Quigly substituted, and valuation reduced from L9O to L 62 ; Martha Gibson, L 628, reduced to L 368 ; Collison Bros., LlO6, reduced to L 66 ; George Millar, Ll2, reduced to L 5; Thos. Trevurza, L 92, reduced to L4O ; Francis Cass, L 214, reduced to L 12.1 ; John O’Grady', L7O, reduced to LSO; Thos. Scott, L 45 reduced to L2O ; Murdoch Bruce, L 93, reduced to L 67 ; Thos. Quill, altered to “ Owner; ” Samuel Brown, LG2, altered to L 47 ; David Johnstone, L 169, reduced to LB9 ; Thomas Wilson, L 262, reduced to L 152 ; F. Doherty, altered to “Owner;” G. J. Martin, L2B, reduced to L2O ; George Cole, Lllß, reduced to L 9 4; Thos. Richardson, L7O, reduced to L 45 ; P. Innes, L9O, reduced to L 75 ; James Quigley, altered to “Owner;” George Aston, LSO, reduced to L 45 ; Hugh Smith, L4B ; reduced to L 25 ; B. Hampton, L 75, reduced L6B: J. Pearson, altered to James Wilkie ; Thomas Brankin, Lll3 ; reduced to L7B. E. G. Wright, L 598. Mr. Wilkie applied to have the name struck off, as Mr. Wright did not own one acre in the Wakanui district. He had held land, hut it was all sold. Moreover, the sections charged against Mr. Wright were also charged on the roll against Saunders Bros.
The judge scrutinised the roll, and said ha would assess Mr. Wright at LUO, and he would be able to recover from somebody the amount of the rates ho would have to pay on that amount. .Robert Maxwell, L 57, reduced to L4B; S. Scott, objection withdrawn ; F. Lo Breton, Ll2(i, reduced to Llls ; George Fletcher, LIJLO, reduced to LB3 ; David Evans, L 74, reduced to L 43; Hay T. Smith, L2OO, uphold ; Geo. Grice, L 75, reduced to LOB ; C. Hill, Ll2l, reduced to LOG ; T. Paynter L7B, reduced to L 33; John Black, L3i, reduced to L 24 ; Nicholas Fitzgerald, L 149, reduced to Lll7. David Wilson’s name appeared on the roll as owner of 721 acres, but with no value stated against it. Mr. Wilkie here asked his Worship if he was not yet satisfied that the whole roll was a blunder. The instance now before him was of so glaring a nature as to show the utter worthlessness of the roll as a document on which to recover rates. The assessor said the omission was a clerical error, and he would like to know what price Mr. Wilkie would have the land charged at. Mr. Wilkie declined to do work for ■which Mr. Leach was paid, and said further that Mr. Wilson only occupied 33S acres, the balance of his land being in tenants’ hands ; and as the acreages of the various sections were not set forth in the roll, it would be impossible to correct such an abortion as the valuation list was. After a deal of discussion, interlineations, and erasures, Mr. Wilson was eventually assessed at LI GO. T. M. Jones’ name was inserted in place of W. J. Silcock’s, and the valuation reduced from L7O to L 45. Thomas Kelly, reduced from L 35 to L 22; William Jameson, reduced from L 35 to L2B ; William Brown, reduced from L 75 to LSO ; Proctor Bros., reduced from L 193 to LOO ; James Wilson, reduced from Lsl to L 32 ; John Hardwick, reduced from L 127 to L9l ; Tyson Hodgson, reduced from L 26 to Lll. The Judge then proceeded to initial the alterations, and the Court closed at C. 30 p. in.
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