Attorney-General v Dublin Corporation

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeM. R.
Judgment Date02 June 1917
CourtChancery Division (Ireland)
Docket Number(1917. No. 109.)
Date02 June 1917
Attorney-General
and
Dublin Corporation.

M. R.

Appeal.

(1917. No. 109.)

CASES

DETERMINED BY

THE CHANCERY DIVISION

OF

THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN IRELAND

AND BY

THE IRISH LAND COMMISSION,

AND ON APPEAL THEREFROM IN

THE COURT OF APPEAL.

1917.

Dublin Police District — Police Rate — Apportionment between county borough and outside area — Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898 (61 & 62 Vict. c. 37), sect. 65, sub-s. 2, sect. 66.

Under the Dublin Police Acts, as amended by the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, sect. 66, sub-ss. 2 and 4, the Commissioner of Police is entitled to raise for the maintenance of the police force an amount not exceeding eight pence in the pound on the annual value of the rateable hereditaments in the police district, which is apportionable between the city of Dublin and the rest of the district according to rateable value.

Pursuant to sect. 65; sub-s. 1, of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, a revaluation of the county borough of Dublin was made by which the total valuation of the rateable hereditaments in the borough was largely increased. This revaluation came into force on April 1st, 1916.

Held, by the Court of Appeal (Sir Ignatius O'Brien L.C. and Molony L.J., Ronan L.J. dissenting), affirming the decision of the Master of the Rolls, that sect. 65, sub-s. 2, of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, applied to the police district as if it was a union; that following the decision of the Court of Appeal in Belfast Guardians v. Belfast Corporation (No. 1), [1910] 2 I. R. 534, the word “at” in sect. 65, sub-s. 2, was to be construed as meaning “before,” not “after”; and that, therefore, the estimate and apportionment made in March, 1917, should have been made on the old valuation.

Trial of Action.

The following statement is taken from the statement of claim:—

By the Dublin Police Act, 1836 (6 & 7 Wm. 4, c. 29), provision was made establishing a new and more efficient system of police within the limits of the police district of Dublin Metropolis. The said Act empowered the Lord Lieutenant by warrant under his hand and seal to appoint two fit persons as justices of the peace for and of the said police district: and by the 24th section of the said Act the said justices were authorized to raise and levy the like rates and assessments on all houses and tenements within the said police district as were theretofore authorized to be collected, raised, assessed, and levied.

By the Dublin Police Act, 1837 (7 Wm. 4 & 1 Vict. c. 25), sect. 4, it was enacted as follows:— “And whereas it is expedient to provide for the more just and equal assessment of all houses, lands, and tenements in the said districts (meaning the police district of Dublin Metropolis) towards the maintenance of the said police, and for the purposes of the said Acts and this Act; be it therefore enacted that it shall and may be lawful for the said justices appointed under the said first recited Act of the last session of Parliament (that is the said Act (6 & 7 Wm. 4, c. 29)) to raise and levy from time to time, on all houses, lands, and tenements situate and being within the said district such rates or taxes as they shall from time to time find necessary for the maintenance of the said police, and the several purposes of the said Acts and this Act; provided that the sum or sums to be so raised and levied shall not exceed in the whole in any one year eightpence in the pound on the annual value of such houses, lands, and tenements; and the said justices shall from time to time as they find occasion by warrant under their hands appoint one or more proper person or persons to rate and assess all such houses, lands, and tenements to such rate as shall from time to time be fixed and determined by the said justices, not exceeding the amount of eightpence in the pound, according to the full and fair annual value thereof: and every such assessor or assessors shall, within forty days after the delivery to him or them of the warrant of his or their appointment, deliver to the said justices an assessment for each place named in such warrant, which assessment shall specify the names of the several owners or occupiers of the respective houses, lands, and tenements comprised in such assessment, the full and fair annual value of the same, and the amount of police tax chargeable thereon respectively.”

By the 12 & 13 Vict. c. 91 the powers of applotting, levyiug, and collecting the police rate were vested in the Collector-General of Rates for the city of Dublin. By sect. 30 of the said Act the said justices appointed as aforesaid were authorized to estimate the amount necessary for the maintenance of the police force for twelve months next following the first day of January in each year, such estimate to be transmitted to the Collector-General, and the said Collector-General was thereby authorized to applot, levy, and collect the money therein mentioned in the same manner as the other rates in said Act mentioned. Such amount to be raised not to exceed an amount of a rate of eightpence in the pound. The said justices were in subsequent Acts denominated Commissioners of Police, and by 22 & 23 Vict. c. 52, sect. 2, it was provided that henceforth there should be a Chief Commissioner of Police assisted by an Assistant Commissioner.

The Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898 (61 & 62 Vict. c. 37, sect. 66, sub-s. 10), abolished the office of Collector-General of Rates. By sect. 66 of the said Act it was provided as follows:—

By sub-sect. 2. “The Commissioner of Police of Dublin Metropolis under the Dublin Metropolis Police Acts shall, at the prescribed time before the beginning of every local financial year, estimate the amount of money which he finds necessary for the maintenance of the police force, and for the several purposes of the said Acts during that year, not exceeding the amount which the Commissioner is, under the said Acts, or any of them, entitled to raise by a rate thereunder.”

By sub-sect. 4. “The Commissioner … shall apportion the amount so estimated between the city of Dublin and the rest of the police district of Dublin Metropolis; … and shall so apportion according to rateable value, and shall send to the council for the city of Dublin a demand for the amount apportioned to that city, and to the council of the county of Dublin a demand for the amount apportioned to the rest of the police district … and each council shall pay by equal half-yearly payments the amount specified in such demand, less five per cent. as and for the cost of collection and irrecoverable rates and office expenses, and also less such sum (if any) as the Local Government Board certify in each half-year to be the proportion of the Collector-General's annuity hereinafter mentioned properly chargeable, against any such payment.”

By sub-sect. 5. “The council of the city of Dublin shall raise either by means of a separate rate or by means of the poor rate, but as a separate item thereof, a sum equal to the amounts specified in such demand, but the demand note shall specify approximately the amount in the pound required for each amount.”

By sub-sect. 6. “A sum equal to … the amount specified in such demand on the county council of the county of Dublin shall be raised in manner provided by this Act with respect to a railway or harbour charge; but a council in lieu of raising the amount required to meet the same by means of the poor rate may, if they think fit, raise it by levying a separate rate.”

The police district comprises the city of Dublin and portion of the county of Dublin; the limits of it are defined by the Dublin Police Acts of 1837 and 1839. By sect. 65, sub-s. 1, of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898 (61 & 62 Vict. c. 37), it was enacted as follows:— “A general revaluation of rateable hereditaments under the Valuation Acts may be made as respects a county borough and on the application of the council, and the county so applying shall pay such portion, not exceeding one-half, of the costs of the revaluation as the Treasury direct, and upon any such general revaluation the land in the borough shall be valued in the manner directed by sect. 11 of the Valuation (Ireland) Act, 1852, with respect to houses and buildings.”

The city of Dublin was revalued, and on the 1st day of April, 1916, the revaluation came into force. As a result the valuation of the city was largely increased.

By sect. 65, sub-ss. 2, 3, of the said Act, it was enacted as follows:— “2. Where part of a union is within and part without any county borough in respect of which a revaluation is made under this section, the total amount to be raised for union charges in that union shall be apportioned between each such part of the union in proportion to the rateable value of each part at the date when the revaluation under this section came into force: Provided that after the expiration of five years from that date, if no general revision has meantime been made, the Commissioner of Valuation, if satisfied by the council of the borough or the guardians representing the electoral division of the union situate outside the borough or a majority of them, that the apportionment has become inequitable by reason of subsequent changes in the value of any hereditaments in the union, may revise the proportion in which the union charges are to be apportioned. This enactment shall apply to the police district of Dublin metropolis and to the Dublin bridge area within the meaning of the Dublin Port and Docks Board and Bridges Act, 1876, as if were a union, but with the substitution of the county council of the county of Dublin, with respect to the revision of the apportionment, for the said guardians. In this section the expression ‘general revaluation’ means a general revision under sect. 34 of the Valuation (Ireland) Act, 1852.”

By sect. 43 of the said Act of 1898 it was enacted” as follows:— “Notwithstanding anything in any Act, all expenses of the guardians of a union shall be...

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