Distribution of


to time, after the 31st March, 1889, pay into the Bank of England, to the Local Taxation Account, two-fifths of the proceeds of the sums collected by them in respect of probate duties. The sums so paid (called the "Probate Duty Grant") will be distributed among the several counties in England and Wales in proportion to the share which the Local Government Board certify to have been received by each county during the financial year ending the 31st March, 1888, from the grants formerly made out of the Exchequer in aid of local rates, which are to be discontinued. To the share of each of the six counties in South Wales, and of the Isle of Wight, must be added such additional sum as the Local Government Board certify to be the amount that each of these counties and the Isle of Wight would have received out of the grants in aid, if the roads maintained by the County Roads Boards or the Highway Commissioners had been main roads. The Probate Duty Grant, which is estimated to amount in all to about £1,800,000, will be divided in each county between the County Council and the Town Councils of the county boroughs in the same way as the proceeds of the Local Taxation Licences.

Thus the whole sum to be distributed out of the Local Taxation Account for the year commencing on the Ist April, 1889, is estimated, including the Horse and Wheel Tax, at about £5,600,000.

The distribution will be managed, and the share which each county is to receive will be estimated, by the Local Government Board, who may, if they think fit, vary their certificate; but, subject to such variation, their certificate is final. The sums received by a County Council in respect of the Local Taxation Licences and the Probate Duty Grant are to be paid to the county fund and carried to the Exchequer Contribution Account.

The sums standing to the Exchequer Contribution Account will be applied as follows::

Firstly, in payment of the costs incurred in respect of the fund or otherwise chargeable on it, which will necessarily be small.

Secondly, in payment of the sums to be paid by the County
Council in substitution for Exchequer grants, namely:-
To Boards of Guardians-

(i.) Towards the remuneration of Teachers in poor
law schools.

1 Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 24.

(ii) Towards the fees of Registrars of births and


(iii.) Towards the maintenance of pauper lunatics in


(iv.) The fees of children sent from the workhouse to a public elementary school.1

To Town Councils

(i.) Towards the maintenance of lunatics chargeable to their borough.

(ii.) Towards the maintenance of borough police. To Sanitary Authorities

In respect of the salaries of Medical Officers of Health and Inspectors of Nuisances.

To Public Vaccinators

The awards paid under Section 5 of the Vaccination
Act, 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 84).

To the Police Account of the County Council—
Towards the maintenance of county police.

To the Account of the County Council, to which compensation to Clerks of the Peace, for loss of fees, under 18 & 19 Vict. c. 126, is chargeable

The cost of such compensation.

To the Account of the County Council to which lunatics whose settlement cannot be ascertained are chargeable

Towards their maintenance.

To the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police

Towards the maintenance of the police.2

The sum paid during the financial year ending in March, 1888, in respect of the Exchequer grants in aid, which are to be discontinued (exclusive of the grant in aid of main roads) was £2,325,311.

Thirdly, the Exchequer Contribution Account must be applied by every County Council other than the London County Council in paying to the Board of Guardians of every union in the administrative county, a sum for the costs of the officers of the union, and of district schools to which the union contributes. The sum must be the sum certified by the Local Government Board, to have been expended by the Board of Guardians, during the financial year ending

1 This is new, no such grant having been made by the Treasury.

2 This grant is only payable by the County Council of a county wholly or partly - comprised within the Metropolitan Police District. The grant will practically be -deducted from the sum paid to the County Council, and paid direct to the Receiver.

the 25th March, 1888, on the salaries, remuneration and superannuation allowances of such officers (other than Teachers. in poor law schools) and on drugs and medical appliances.

If a union is not situated wholly in one administrative county, this payment must be borne by the County Council of every administrative county and the Town Council of every county borough in which any portion of the union is situated,. in proportion to the rateable value of that portion, ascertained on such day as the Local Government Board may fix.

In the administrative county of London the County Council instead of making the grant made by other County Councils towards the costs of officers, will pay to the Guardians of every union wholly within their county such sums as the Local Government Board may certify to be due from the County Council in substitution for the Exchequer grants. formerly made in aid of the remuneration of Poor Law Medical Officers and the costs of drugs and medical appliances and also a sum equal to fourpence a head per day for every indoor pauper -maintained in that union, calculated in the manner laid down in the Local Government Act, 1888.

If a union is partly situated within the administrative county of London and partly not, the grant to the Guardians. is to be the same as if the union were wholly outside the administrative county of London, and must be borne by the County Council of London and the County Council of any other county, and the Town Council of any county borough, within which any portion of the union is situated, in proportion to the rateable value of that portion.1

It is estimated that the total amount that will be required for these payments to the Board of Guardians, including those made by the County Council of London, will be about £1,200,000..

Fourthly, the Exchequer Contribution Account must be applied in repaying to the General County Account of the county fund, the costs on account of general county purposes, for which the whole of the county is liable to be assessed to county contributions.

The principal general county purpose is the maintenance of main roads, the cost of which throughout the country, including the turnpike roads in South Wales, is upwards of £1,000,000, annually.

The Exchequer Contribution Account must be applied to these four purposes in the above order.

1 Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 43.

If any surplus remains, and from the figures we have given it appears that a surplus of something under £1,000,000, is likely to remain for the whole country, it must be distributed between Special County Accounts of the county fund and Quarter Sessions Boroughs in the following way :—

Every Quarter Sessions Borough which is exempt from contribution to any special county purpose, that is to say, practically, every Quarter Sessions Borough the population of which, according to the Census of 1881, was above 10,000, and which, on the 13th August, 1888, had already a separate Court of Quarter Sessions, will be entitled to a share of the surplus, bearing the same proportion to the whole surplus as the rateable value of the borough bears to the rateable value of the county, according to the basis for the county rate. If, however, the borough is liable to contribute to any special county purpose, the amount the borough has to contribute will be deducted from its share of the surplus, instead of being levied in the borough by means of rates.

Each Quarter Sessions Borough having been paid its proper share, the rest of the surplus must be applied in repaying to the proper Special County Accounts the costs on account of which the whole area of the county, with the exception of such Quarter Sessions Boroughs, is liable to be assessed to county contributions.

If after these payments a surplus still remains, it must be divided, on the same principle, between boroughs other than the above-mentioned Quarter Sessions Boroughs, but which maintain a separate police force, and the Special County Accounts to which the area of the county, exclusive of all the above-mentioned boroughs, is liable to be assessed.

Should any surplus still remain, which, however, is improbable, it is, after deducting any sum the County Council may think it advisable to carry forward to the next account, to be divided according to the rateable value of their district among Sanitary Authorities other than Town Councils who have already shared in the distribution of the account.

Before giving an account of how county contributions are Rating. raised, it will be necessary to give a brief account of the law and practice relating to the poor rate. For the purpose of the relief of the poor, the occupier of real property in any parish, speaking generally, is rated in proportion to the rateable value of that property. The law with regard to the principles of rating is extremely intricate and technical, and it is beyond our scope to treat it in any detail.

A rate is a personai tax, although made in respect of real property; that is to say, the rate is not a charge on the land or other property, but the occupier is personally liable. Almost every description of real property is rateable, but the circumstances in which it stands, or the use to which it is put, may prevent its being actually rated for the time being. Thus, property that is unoccupied, e.g., an empty house, is not rateable while it continues empty. Again, property in the occupation of the Crown is not rateable, nor churches, nor museums, &c., under certain circumstances. The occupier, speaking generally, is the person liable to pay the rate, and therefore it becomes important to understand the meaning of the term occupation. It is, however, almost impossible to define accurately what is the meaning of occupation. Mere legal possession does not constitute occupation; thus, an owner of land is in possesssion of minerals underneath, but if he does not dig for them he is not in occupation of them. The owner of an empty house is, in the same way, though in legal possession, not in occupation. On the other hand, without legal possession, a person may be in occupation; thus, a mere squatter on a common is in occupation of the land he uses. Occupation may be said to involve the idea of control and employment.

Should the property be rateable, it remains to inquire what its rateable value is. To ascertain this, the "gross estimated rental" must first be ascertained.

The "

gross estimated rental" was said by the Law Officers of the Crown, in 1859, to be "the rent at which the property might be expected to let, free of tenants' rates and taxes, and tithe commutation rent-charge, the tenant taking these burdens upon himself."1 Thus, practically, the gross estimated rental is the rack-rent on a tenancy from year to year.

It must be pointed out that the value is taken one year with another, good and bad, and also that the increased rent which the property may be worth, owing to its being let on lease, is not taken into account.

The rateable value is the gross estimated rental, deducting therefrom the probable annual average of the repairs, insurance, and other expenses, necessary to maintain the property in a state to command such rent.

Where the property is property of a class with an ascer

1 Statutory definitions have since that date been given, which are however consistent with the definition quoted.

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