The Hon. D. Buddo, Minister-in-Chn,rgc of the Valuation Department, in a communication to Southland petitioners who complained of over-valuations, says-.—lt is not the debirc of the Government to exceed selling values in any ease, and that it is the practice of the department to endeavour to fix a standard rather below than above the current market values. It must be remembered, however, by those ratepayers who fear an increase in their annual payments by way of rates, that this is a matter which is not determined by the value on the roll, but by the amount of revenue required by the council, and by the consequent rate per pound which the local body finds it necessary to strike. The regulation of the amount per pound is in the hands of the ratepayers themselves, and not in the hands of the Government. Any reduction which may be made by revision will not. therefore, necessarily ensure a corresponding reduction of rates. I trust that the ratepayers will assist the valuers as much a3 they are able when the roll is undergoing revision. In the meantime it is advisable that those who differ with the proposed new values should lodge objections, in which shouid be clearly stated the owner's estimate of the selling value. This will greatly assist the revision, as the department has hitherto not been supplied with particulars of any individual assessments which are considered to be excessive by those who have publicly challenged the accuracy of the proposed values. The lodging of an objection does not in any way compel the objector to appear at the Assessment Court, as you would appear to think, but the objection, if properly filled up, has the fit'eet of placing the owner's estimate of selling value in contrast with the valuer's, and secures a review of the valuation. It is a matter for subsequent consideration on'the part of the owner as to whether hp shall appeal to the Court, which, of course, he can do in the event of his objection failing to secure a, sufficient reduction to satisfy him.
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