THE VALUATION ROLL FOR WAKANUI ROAD DISTRICT.
On the subject of the validity of the Wakanai Rate Roll for 1880, the following letter has been received by the Survey ox's to the Road Hoard ; “ Christchurch, May 3, 1880.
“ Dear Sirs, —In reply to your letter of the 27th ult., we have to state that we are of opinion that the valuation list for 1880 is not valid. It does not appear to have been made in accordance with the provisions of the Rating Act, 1876, Section V. not having been complied with. The declaration to be made by valuer does not seem to us to be a ‘ matter of form,’ and therefore the absence of such a declaration could not be' validated by the Governor under Section 68. The Road Board run the risk of having the validity of any rate to be hex-eafter made tested upon the ground that the same has not been made in accordance with the provisions of the Act (see Section 44). Section 31 and Section 44 would not prevent any person from going behind the rate book or valuation roll, and showing that Section 5 had not been complied with. It is somewhat difficult to advise the Board what course to pursue under the circumstances, with a view to the preparation of a new valuation roll. The judge has signed the roll, and it is, as it were, discharged from his office, and we do not see how lie can re-open the matter, or how it can be brought before him for that purpose. We do not see how Section 68 will help the Board, as we do not think that such an important matter as the declaration prescribed by Section 5 would be considered matter of form. The Board, therefore, are, we think, in the position of being unable to make and levy rates, unless they choose to risk doing so. This risk, we however suggest to the Board, might bo lessened, although not taken away, by requesting tlie Governor (should he bo so advised to do) to validate the omission, and if validated, we doubt whether ratepayers could oppose a rate. —We are &0., “ Harper, Harper, & Soott.”
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