SIR JOHN SCOURFIELD
asked the President of the Local Government Board, If his attention has been called to the recent case of the rating of St. Thomas's Hospital, based on the amount altogether expended thereon; and, whether he will introduce a Clause in the new Valuation Bill to provide against the arbitrary assumption of such a principle of valuation by any Assessment Committee? The hon. Baronet, in explanation of the Question, said, it appeared that at the general assessment sessions evidence was offered on one side as to what was believed would be the annual rent which a tenant might be expected to pay. On the other side the only evidence offered was as to the cost of land and expense of foundation and structure, amounting to £432,000. A percentage of 3½ per cent was made on this, certain deductions were made, and the rateable value of the Hospital fixed accordingly.
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
Sir, my attention has not been called in any formal or official manner to the case in question, but I am generally cognizant of the circumstances. I need hardly inform my hon. Friend that the cost of a building is not a proper basis or criterion of value for rating purposes, however interesting it may be for a value to be possessed of such knowledge. The Valuation Bill contains the existing law, and it fixes the rating upon the gross rental or annual value, and not on the capital expended in construction. I 1476 cannot undertake to insert clauses in the new Valuation Bill to prevent things being done which are at variance with the statutory principles of assessment.