Caribmolasses Company Ltd v Commissioners of Valuation

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeBLAYNEY J.
Judgment Date01 January 1994
Neutral Citation1993 WJSC-SC 1693
Docket Number[S.C. No. 96,96/90
Date01 January 1994

1993 WJSC-SC 1693

THE SUPREME COURT

Egan J.

Blayney J.

Denham J.

96/90
CARIBMOLASSES CO LTD v. COMMISSIONER VALUATION
BETWEEN/
CARIBMOLASSES COMPANY LIMITED
Respondent

and

THE COMMISSIONER OF VALUATION
Appellant

Citations:

VALUATION ACT 1988 S5

VALUATION ACT 1988 S5(2)

VALUATION ACT 1986 S8

VALUATION ACT 1986 S1(2)

VALUATION ACT 1986 S2

VALUATION ACT 1986 S3(1)

VALUATION ACT 1986 S7

VALUATION ACT 1986 S8(1)

VALUATION ACT 1860 S15

BEAMISH & CRAWFIRD V COMMISSIONER OF VALUATION 1980 ILRM 149

Synopsis:

RATES

Hereditaments

Valuation - Assessment - Exception - Plant - Categories - Con struction designed or used primarily to induce a process of change in the substance contained or transmitted - Tanks used for mixing molasses before further treatment elsewhere prior to delivery to buyer - Valuation (Ireland) Act, 1852, ss. 11, 12 and schedule - Annual Revision of Rateable Property (Ireland) Amend ment Act, 1860, s. 7 and schedule - Valuation Act, 1986, ss. 1–4, 7, 8 - Valuation Act, 1988, s. 5 - (96/90 - Supreme Court - 25/5/93)- [1994] 3 IR 189

|Caribmolasses Co. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Valuation|

WORDS AND PHRASES

"Process of change"

Tanks - Molasses - Containment - Blending - Whether tanks de signed or used primarily to induce process of change - (96/90 - Supreme Court - 25/5/93)- [1994] 3 IR 189

|Caribmolasses Ltd. v. Commissioner of Valuation|

1

JUDGMENT delivered on the 25th day of May 1993 by BLAYNEY J. [NEM DISS]

2

This is an appeal by the Commissioner of Valuation against the decision of Gannon J. on a case stated by the Valuation Tribunal for the opinion of the High Court. The subject matter of the appeal is two tanks situate at the respondent's premises at North Dock, Dublin, and the issue is whether they are rateable hereditaments.

3

A valuation of £400 was placed on them by the Commissioner and this was appealed to the Valuation Tribunal by the respondent. The Tribunal allowed the appeal, holding that the tanks were non-rateable plant, but at the request of the Commissioner stated a case for the opinion of the High Court. Gannon J. affirmed the decision of the Tribunal.

4

The case stated by the Valuation Tribunal is as follows:-

"This is a case stated by the Valuation Tribunal pursuant to the provisions of section 5 of the Valuation Act, 1988upon the request in writing dated the 12th day of May, 1989 addressed to the Chairman of the Tribunal pursuant to section 5(2) of the said Act of 1988, the respondent having declared dissatisfaction with the determination of the Tribunal made the 24th day of April, 1989 and having paid the Tribunal the fees prescribed by the Minister for Finance for and in respect of the case."

5

1. The Tribunal issued a written judgment herein dated the 24th day of April, 1989 setting forth its determination in this appeal. The judgment is annexed hereto.

6

2. Evidence was given at the hearing of the said appeal on the 31st day of March, 1989 by the witnesses as set forth in the judgment of the Tribunal.

7

3. Evidence was given by the appellant's witnesses and the Tribunal found as follows:-

8

(1) The items in dispute consisted of two tanks located at North Dock, Dublin on the old Goulding fertiliser site. The tanks were originally sulphur tanks.

9

(2) The tanks are lagged and have steam coils on the floor inside.

10

(3) Steam for the heating coils may be produced, if required, by means of an oil fired burner outside the tanks.

11

(4) Crude molasses is pumped in by ship at 40 degrees celsius by means of a pipeline.

12

(5) The crude molasses is held and contained in the tanks which are used for holding and containment and also for blending.

13

(6) Crude molasses coming from different sources may be of different consistency. Crude molasses is normally cane molasses. The viscosities of the molasses vary according to the source of supply. Each consignment of molasses is unique and no two shipments of crude molasses are the same. Accordingly the crude molasses is mixed to form an uniform blend by being pumped from one of the two tanks to the other to form a homogeneous blend.

14

(7) In practice the heating coils in the tanks are not used and the molasses is taken out of the tanks by the force of gravity and steam is applied to the pipes outside the tanks to enable the molasses to flow to the distribution point for the lorries to receive the same.

15

(8) Upon leaving the tanks water is added to the molasses outside the tanks to form "standardised molasses" to meet the specific requirement of purchasers. The water added outside the tank is hot water and this is injected at the main pumps outside the tanks.

16

(9) The purchasers were generally compound feed mills, the alcohol and yeast industries and large farmers. Farmers used the molasses as a direct feed for livestock.

17

(10) Customers specify their requirements by reference to levels of dry matter, viscosity, sugar content and other characteristics and the requirement is embodied in a contract which provides for the period over which that customer will draw his requirement. There would be nine or ten different specifications given in any one week of production. Customers take the product as they need it. The primary change takes place at the pumps by the injection of hot water as described above after the molasses has left the tanks.

18

(4) It was submitted by counsel on behalf of the appellant that the tanks in question constitute non-rateable plant as set out in the schedule at section 8 of the Valuation Act, 1986. Counsel on behalf of the respondent submitted that the tanks in question are used primarily for the purpose of containment of the molasses within them and that the change from crude to standardised molasses takes place outside the tanks after the crude molasses has left the tanks.

19

(5) On the basis of the facts as found above the Tribunal concluded that the tanks in question constitute non-rateable plant as the Tribunal concluded that the tanks in question are primarily used to induce a process of change in the substance contained in them. The Tribunal concluded that the tanks in question must be considered as part of the overall plant at the appellant's premises as being part of an integral operation used for inducing a process of change.

20

(6) The opinion of the High Court is requested as to whether the Tribunal was correct in holding that the tanks in questions should be considered as non-rateable plant.

21

Dated this 10th day of August 1989.

22

Signed: Brian O'Farrell, member Valuation

23

Tribunal."

24

The Valuation Tribunal reached its decision by construing and applying the Valuation Act, 1986the relevant provisions of which are as follows:-

25

1 (2) For the purposes of the Valuation Acts, "plant" means -

26

(a) any fixture or structure so attached or secured to, or integrated with, premises comprising any mill or manufactory, or building erected or used for any such purpose, as to be of a permanent or semi-permanent nature ...

27

2. For the purposes of the Act of 1852, property falling within any of the categories of fixed property specified in the Schedule to the Act of 1852 (inserted by this Act) shall be deemed to be rateable hereditaments in addition to those specified in section 12 of that Act.

28

2 3(1) The Act of 1852 is hereby amended by the insertion after section 48 of the following Schedule:

SCHEDULE

Reference

Categories of Fixed Property

Number

5.

Plant falling within any of

the categories of plant

specified in the Schedule to

the Annual Revision of

Rateable Property (Ireland)

Amendment Act, 1860 (inserted

by the Valuation Act, 1986).

29

7. The following section is hereby substituted for section 7 of the Act of 1860:

30

2 '7 - (1)(a) In making the valuation of any mill or manufactory, or building erected or used for any such purpose, the Commissioner of Valuation shall in each case value the water or other motive power thereof, but shall not take into account the value of any machinery therein, save only such as shall be erected and used for the production of motive power.

31

3 (b) For the purposes of this subsection, machinery erected and used for the production of motive power includes electrical power connections.

32

(2) The Commissioner of Valuation shall value plant falling within any of the categories of plant specified in the Schedule to this Act (inserted by the Valuation Act, 1986).

33

(3) In valuing plant referred to in subsection (2) of this section, the Commissioner of Valuation shall not take into consideration a part of any plant which moves (or is moved) mechanically or electrically, other than a telescopic container."

"8 - (1) The Act of 1860 is hereby amended by the insertion after section 15 of the following Schedule:-"

SCHEDULE

Reference

Categories of Plant

Number

1.

All constructions

affixed to the premises

comprising a mill,

manufactory or building

(whether on or below

the ground) and used

for the containment of

a substance or for the

transmission of

a substance or electric

current, including any

such constructions

...

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