. DISCUSSION AT FARMERS' UNICES. At the meeting of the Farmers' Union this morning., the President, Colonel Allen Bell, said he wished to.draw attention to the continual increase of valuations of land by the Government. If this "went. on much longer their freehold land would not he worth holding. There was too much taxation of land, and it was time for the farmers to organise and protest against the present system, of rating, iwhieh played into the hands of the land speculator, but was. mi quitqus and unfair to the.farmer. He would move "That the Executive take steps to Jiold conferences of farmers at suitable places .throughout the province for the purpose of considering the advisability of bring- ' ing influence to bear npon the Government to. get the present valuation system. changed for one more, practical and fairer j to the farming community." Mr Dye seconded, the motion, which had'i his hearty support. Captain-Colbeck said if, as was alleged, the increased valuations were general throughout the Dominion, he could not see that any very serious consequences ensued. What they had to guard against were isolated cases of injustice. Mr. Boddie said the attempt to prove that valuations were excessive often broke down because Government adduced evidence of sales at figures exceeding valuation. The most serious consideration was this, that they 'did not get proper value for improvements to bush and swamp lands. He agreed that if valuaition3 were being raised generally they could not he seriously harassed by a process of levelling up. The President said the system, was at lault. There should be rating on annual values. That would be practical: It was impossible to get at unimproved values Very often. Mr. Dye said that if land wero rated above its value it must come down sooner or later. Captain Colbeck said Governmenti could be compelled to take land at owner's valuation, plus 10 per cent if their Talnation did not suit. He strongly favoured the system of rating on unimproved values. After some further discussion the motion was carried.- -,--.-..
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