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Tuesday, 13 December 1927

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I move -

That after the word " objection," the following words be inserted : " on any grounds stated therein other than those upon which he objects to the value assigned to his land.

Under this bill the Government proposes to appoint a valuation board which, according to the Treasurer, will have on it a representative of the taxpayers. I presume valuation boards will consist of experts who have a full knowledge of land values, And that taxpayers will be represented on them. If the value of a pastoral area is under review, I presume a pastoralist will sit on the board. When the board has given its decision a taxpayer should not be allowed to appeal to the Supreme Court of a State or the High Court when only the value of the land is involved. The members of the board may not be fully familiar with the intricacies of the law, but should have a knowledge of the value of the land. A taxpayer dissatisfied with his assessment is to be allowed to appeal from the commissioner to the board, the decision of which in the matter of land values should be final. If the taxpayer is to be permitted to appeal from the board to the Supreme Court of a State or to the High Court, endless litigation may result, and the value of the board impaired.

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