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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Schedules No. 2 And No. 3

Schedules No. 2 And No. 3.

Form No. 2 for real property will be left with every owner of land, and he who has no more than one quarter-acre section in what is called a "paper township," must enter it in his return. It is beyond doubt that many people will be able to say that they do not know the particulars of all the land they possess, they cannot remember the numbers of sections, they have forgotten the area, and have no idea of the value. This will be no excuse, and they must obtain these particulars. It will be borne in mind that if an owner should omit to return his interest in any land the omission will be discovered at some future time. The assessors, while affording every assistance, have the right to demand that all information required by the Act should be imparted to them, so that they should be able to make a proper assessment. Landowner and assessor can mutually assist each other, and they will find it greatly to their advantage to do so. It will be well for people to anticipate the visit of the assessor by getting the data he will require.

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In that part of the form headed "Owner's Return" will be inserted the particulars of all properties to which the person making the return is entitled. In the case of land only part paid for, the value of the property, must be set down in full, and the amount owing on it, whether secured by mortgage or not, inserted in the proper column so that a deduction may be made. If a property be let the annual rent must be stated, with the date and term of lease. The rent, multiplied by fourteen, gives the owners interest if the tenancy be for more than one year; however, a reference to the form printed at pages 24 and 25 will be a better guide than any written directions.

In the leaseholders return very nearty the same particulars have to be supplied, but the value of the tenant's interest has to be set out. This is to be taken at the goodwill of the lease; that is what it would sell for.

Forms No. 2 and No. 3 have been prepared on a plan that will enable a check to be applied to the returns made by mortgagors and mortgagees, landlords and tenants, vendors and purchasers of land on time, and with respect to bills of sale. As the discovery of an error might lead to unpleasant consequences, it will be well to bestow no little pains in attaining completeness and accuracy.

It will be the duty of an assessor to leave at each house at least one form, No. 3, for a return of personal property, taking care that in the case of an hotel, a boarding house, or a club, that a form is left for each person who possibly may have property that would render him or her liable to taxation. The assessor will give any instructions that may be required as to the way of filling up this form, but as it is simple, and is accompanied by full directions, people should not find any difficulty in completing it for themselves.

Shares in banks, insurance companies, and other incorporated companies, must not be included in personal property (clause 17) as the public officers of companies have to make returns and pay the tax direct.

In valuing produce and live stock the owner should see that he does not omit any that may not be at the time in his actual possession. A runholder should return the value of his wool if it be on the way to a shipping port, or in the hands of an agent. The grazier must return the value of his cattle or sheep, &c., that may be on the road to market, or in the hands of an agent for sale. The farmer must return that of his grain at the mill, his wheat or oats stored at the railway station, or consigned to an agent, as well as his growing crop, or stacks, and produce in his barn. Saw millers must not omit loads of timber going forward by road, rail, or vessel.

The merchant, storekeeper, or shopkeeper in estimating his stock should take it at trade rates; that is the prices ruling in the market, and retailers should be guided by wholesale prices just as merchants; but a merchant should not set down his stock at the home cost. The fair value to sell must be his guide.

Perhaps to make an estimate of the value of furniture, household effects, plate, jewellery, library, &c., will be the most perplexing part of the assessment to many persons. A man who has lived some ten, twenty, or thirty years in the same town, or perhaps in the same house, would be surprised, at all events in many instances, to find what a high value the contents of his dwelling had reached, for year by year he had been adding to his household goods without noticing the increase in value.

Opposite the entry "Money owing to me secured on Mortgage" will be inserted only sums owing on mortgage. Opposite "Money owing to me secured on Bills of Sale, or other instrument of a like nature," will be set down debts secured by bills of sale, or lien on personal property. In "Other debts owing to me" must be included sums owing on account of land sold on time or deferred payments, that is, where a conveyance has not been granted and a mortgage taken; also, ordinary debts. Very great caution should be exercised in estimating the value of debts due to a person. He should not omit any excepting those actually bad, but a fair deduction on account of doubtful debts would be allowable. Two lines will represent the deductions claimed for debts owing. One will record the amount of debts secured by bill of sale or similar instruments, and the next will give all other debts owing. The total of these two subtracted from the total of property gives the nett value of personal property.

No entry of the £500 exemption allowed by law must be made on either No. 2 or No. 3. This will be deducted by the department from the total obtained by adding together the nett value of each person's real and personal property.

The object of the tenant's return on No. 3 form is to provide a check; to enable it page 20 to be ascertained whether the owner of a property has made a full and correct statement with respect to it. It will not be used for purposes of assessment, for in many cases the tenant will not have a yearly tenancy, and in many others he will pay such a rent that there is no goodwill of his lease. Thus in the column "Value of tenant's interest," the word nil or a dash will often be found.

A specimen of form No. 3 is given at pages 26 and 27.