Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Assessment of Land Sold on Time Payments

Assessment of Land Sold on Time Payments.

Under the Land Tax Act cases frequently arose in which there existed a difference of opinion as to who was the owner, and therefore had to pay the whole tax. B bought £1000 worth of land, and had to pay the purchase money at the rate of £200 a year for five years; he had paid £000 at the date of the valuation, but no conveyance had been given. Who was the owner, A, or B, to whom he had sold? A held the title, and B might never complete. Some said A was the owner; but, on the other hand, B could compel A to give a conveyance upon completing the terms of sale; and others said, "Oh, he is entitled to the freehold in possession" upon doing certain things, therefore B is the owner. The point does not appear to have been tried in the Supreme Court, but probably it will find its way there.

Fortunately this knotty question will not be raised under the Property Assessment Act, because, says Clause 24, "The interest of every person in any property shall be separately assessed." If M sells to N 250 acres at £4 per acre, the terms being £200 a year, and should £600 be paid at the date of assessment, M's interest would be the amount of money he had to receive, i.e £400, and N's would be the value of the property less the £400 he owed. If land had gone up since his purchase it would be more than £600, or if there had been a depreciation it would be less. It may be expected, however, that there will be some complications. An estate may have been sold in three or four large lots to speculators, terms part cash and the balance at three years. One buyer cuts up into small sections, which he sells on very easy terms, taking, perhaps, quarterly payments extending over many years. The interest of the seller of the estate would be equal to the amount he had to receive, and that of the middle man would be what he had to receive less the amount he owed the original owner.

Say Jones sold 4000 acres at £6 to Smith, £12,000 cash and the balance at 3 years. Smith cut his purchase up into ten farms of 400 acres and sold these at £10 per acre, the payment to be one-fifth cash and the balance by five yearly instalments. If the assessment were made two years after the first sale, and one year after the second, Jones' interest would be equal to the purchase-money outstanding £12,000, and Smith's would be the amount he had to receive—£25,600, less £12,000 he had to pay. The interests of the farmers would be fairly set down at what they had paid, viz., £8,000 cash and £6400 one instalment. It would sum up thus:—
Jones £12,000
Smith 13,600
Farmers 14,400
Total value £40,000

No allowance has been made for interest, it being assumed that all sums unpaid bore a fair rate.

In these examples no notice has been taken of the exemption of £500, and it has been supposed that the land is not mortgaged by Jones. If it were the amount of the mortgage would have to be stated by him in making up his schedule.