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Wheat.
Barley.

Oats.
78. 01d.
38. 11}d.

2s. 9d. The average prices per bushel for the respective single years 1896 and 1897, were :- Wheat. Barley.

Oats. 1896. 38. 31d. 28. 10 d.

18. 10d. 1897. 38. 9 d. 28. 11 d. 28. 1 d.

If the prices of 1897 (of wheat 3s. 91d., barley 2s. 11 d., and oats 28. 11d.) were maintained unaltered for the next six years the value in 1904 of £100 commuted tithe rent-charge would be £68 2s. 10 d.

During the last 21 years there has been a steady fall in the annual value of tithe rent-charge as the result of the adoption of a corn basis, as will be seen by the following figures taken from Mr. Taylor's tithe rentcharge tables :

d.
Value for the year 1878 112 7 51

1879 111 15 11
1880 109 17 9
1881 107 2 103
1882 102 16 21
1883 100 4 10
1884 98 6 24
1885 93 17 31
1886 90 19 33
1887 87 8 10
1888 84 2 9
1889

80 1983
1890 78 1 33
1891 76 3 33
1892 75 18 31
1893 74 15 23

£

8.

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The average annual value of £100 apportioned tithe rent-charge for the sixty-two years since the date of the Tithe Commutation Act is £97 10s.

As the result of the commutation there have been, according to the official returns, 11,788 Instruments of Apportionment of tithe rent-charge confirmed, and the sum awarded in lieu of tithes and so apportioned was as follows:

£

d. The sum awarded and apportioned 4,054,653 0 31 The amount of corn-rents under local

Acts converted into tithe rent-
charge.

5,402 9 3

4,060,055 9 63 The amount redeemed and merged

down to the end of 1896 was 87,366 12 51

Net amount of apportioned tithe rent

charge in England and Wales

3,972,688 17 17

By the operation of the corn averages the value of this amount in the year 1898 is £2,731,058 4s. 3 d., and allowing for sums that have fallen out of collection (of which only a rough estimate can be made), it may be said that in round figures the sum payable for tithe rent-charge in 1898 wlll be £2,500,000.

HARLEY M. GRELLIER, Fellow.

SECTION II.

COMMUNICATIONS REFERRING TO PAPERS IN

THE “TRANSACTIONS," &c.

On Mr. Walter C. Ryde's Paper on “The

Agricultural Rates Act, 1896."

(" Transactions," Vol. XXIX., p. 33.)

This measure, although it became law in July, 1896 did not come into operation until March 25, 1897. It will be remembered that the Act provided for a separate assessment of farms, lands, and homesteads, the intention of the legislature being to afford relief only on agricultural land. From inquiries made, it would seem that in most districts the assessment committees have, in assessing farmhouses and buildings, adopted the maximum principle stated in the Act, viz. one-eighth of the gross estimated rental. Certain rates were reserved from the operation of the Act, such as the General District Rate made under the Public Health Act, 1875, a rate made for the special expenses of a Rural District Council, a rate levied under the Public Libraries Act, 1892, &c.

The following examples taken from farms under my agency will show the effect of the working of the Act. I have purposely referred to one farm in an urban district, and one in a rural district, because the former actually suffers in one point.

a

URBAN DISTRICT.

Previous to the passing of the Act—General District Rate.

£ d. House assessed at £ 3 10s, at 3s. 6d.

2 7 3 Land

184 10s. at of 38. 6d. 8 1 5

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Since the passing of the Act.

House and buildings £25 4s. at 3s. 6d. 4 8 2 Land

172 16s. at of 3s. 6d. 7 11 2

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£11 19 4

Excessive payment in consequence of the

Act

£1 10

8

Previous to the passing of the Act—Poor Rate.

House assessed at £13 108. at 1s. 2d. 0 15
Land

£184 10s. at 1s. 2d. 10 15

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Since the passing of the Act.

House and buildings £25 4s. at 1s. 2d. -
Land

172 16s. at 18, 2d.

1 95 5 ( 10

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£6 10

3

Thus getting relief to the extent of

£5 0 9

RURAL DISTRICT.

A farm in a rural district was previous to the passing of the Act assessed at £213 6s., but for the purpose of

the Act it was altered to house and premises £32, land £181 6s.

The result is as follows:

Previous to the passing of the Act.

House, premises, and land assessed at

£213 6s. at 2s. 2d. in £

23 2 0

Since the passing of the Act.

House and premises assessed at £32 at

2s. 2d. in £
Land assessed at £181 6s. at 1s. ld. in £

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Relief under the Act

£9 16 4

A farmer, therefore, in a rural district derives more benefit than the farmer in the urban district.

In many unions an allowance of twenty per cent. on houses and ten per cent on land is made on the gross estimated rental, but under the Act the ratcable value of the holding was not to be altered, the result being that where the house and buildings had not previously been separately assessed the farmer only gets an allowance of ten per cent. on the whole assessment, instead of twenty per cent. on the house and premises and ten per cent. on the land.

Although the Act has been the means of giving some relief to farmers, it can scarcely be denied that land even now bears a most unfair share of the rates, and it is to be hoped that at no distant date steps may be taken by Government to place this matter on a fairer basis. There can, I think, be no good reason why a professional man having an income of say £1,000 per

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