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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Secrecy of Assessments. Sections 8, 9, 42, 44, 46

Secrecy of Assessments. Sections 8, 9, 42, 44, 46.

In addition to assessors and officers being sworn to secrecy (clauses 8 & 9), other precautions are taken to prevent the taxable value of a man's property becoming known. It is provided by Clause 46 that notice of assessment shall be sent in a sealed envelope to each person whose name appears on an assessment roll as liable to taxation, and the envelope will have printed on it "Sealed Notice under the Property Assessment Act." This will prevent any being opened in the ordinary course of business by clerks or others who may be in the habit of dealing with correspondence, and persons will not be able to say that they opened one without knowing what is was. The sending of these notices is intended to afford people an opportunity for objecting to an assessment, but the omission to give a notice will not invalidate an assessment (clause 46). Any person therefore who knows that he is liable to taxation, but does not receive a notice, should write to the Deputy-Commissioner for the district, and ascertain at what rate his property has been valued; otherwise he would lose his opportunity for appealing.

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The Deputy-Commissioner will publicly notify that a copy of the rolls relating to his district is lying at his office (section 42), but he is not to suffer them to be inspected by any one, though he may answer enquiries made by persons in relation to property for which they are assessed (section 44).