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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55

Assessment Court

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Assessment Court.

The inquiry relative to the assessment for rating purposes of the Drill Shed was adjourned until Saturday next, to allow of evidence being brought forward as to rent being charged for the use of the same.

In the case of the Harbor Board assessment, Mr Gully appeared on behalf of the Board to sustain an objection to the proposed assessment on the ground of excessive valuation, contending that the Corporation were assessing on land which was purposed to be reclaimed, but which in all probability would not be reclaimed for years to come.

Mr Martin, for the Corporation said that the value was estimated on the price a purchaser would give for the said and with a right to reclaim.

Mr Ferguson, engineer and secretary to the Harbor Board, said there was no immediate intention of reclaiming the land in question. The land was of no annual value, producing no assets.

Mr T. K. Macdonald, auctioneer, estimated the land at present, with a right to reclaim, at about £2000.

Mr Samuel Carroll considered the present value as nil, the future value as very speculativa.

For the Corporation, Mr Ames, city valuer, said he estimated the value of the land at about £10,000, and the cost of reclamation would be about L2000. He considered that the land when reclaimed would be worth at least £100,000. He arrived at that estimate by comparing the prices which land had recently brought in the city, and considered it low. There would be a frontage of 600 feet to the property when reclaimed; an existing frontage of 105 feet to Custom-house Quay.

Mr J. H. Wallace considered the resent value, with right to reclaim, at about £10,000. He would be willing to give that himself for it, and willingly spend £5000 in reclaiming it. When reclaimed he considered it would be worth at least £30,000, and probably far more. The right of the Government to resumption at any time without compensation would, of course, lower the value considerably.

After hearing counsel on both sides, his Worship decided that the assessed value ought to be reduced, He therefore ordered that the property should be assessed at L200.