RATING AND VALUATION ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

Application of Ordinance And Connected Provisions

2. Application of Ordinance.

3. Rating authorities and areas.

4. Meaning of "the appointed year”.

5. Rates to be made and levied by rating authorities in accordance with Ordinance.

PART II

Rating

6. General rate and special rate.

7. Sanction of Minister in certain cases.

8. Uniformity of rate.

9. Minimum amount to be recovered as rate.

10. Making and operation of rate.

11. Publication of rate.

12. Directions of Minister as to making of rates.

13. Rate Book.

14. Amendment of Rate Book.

15. Meaning of "rateable property”.

16. Liability of lessee or tenant of state property to pay rates.

17. Exemption for places of worship, charitable institutions, schools.

18. Exemption for burial and cremation grounds.

19. Exemption in the case of special rates.

PART III

Valuation of Rateable Property

Quinquennial Lists and Supplemental Lists

20. Quinquennial lists.

21. Rating divisions and quinquennial lists for such divisions.

22. Form of draft lists.

23. Preparation of draft quinquennial list.

24. Preparation of draft supplemental lists.

25. Cases where supplemental list is not to be made.

26. Revision of drafts lists by Local Government Valuer.

27. Deposit and inspection of draft lists.

28. Notice of valuation.

29. Objections to draft list.

30. Procedure upon receipt of objections.

31. Hearing and determination of objections.

32. Notice of decisions and alterations of lists.

33. Provision as to time for determination of objections.

34. Final approval of lists by rating authorities.

Appeals from Decisions of Rating Authorities

35. Action in District Court or Primary Court for revision of decision upon objections.

36. Hearing and determination of actions and appeals in actions.

37. Amendments of lists in consequence of actions.

38. Appeals to Government agent from decisions of Village Councils.

Effect of Lists

39. Quinquennial list and Supplemental lists to be Valuation list.

40. Rate to be levied notwithstanding pending objections or actions.

41. Making of provisional lists.

42. Effect of provisional list.

Valuation in Special Cases

43. Valuation of hereditaments containing machinery and plant.

44. Valuation by reference to capital site value of land.

45. Subdivision or consolidation of property for purposes of valuation lists.

Returns, Inquiries, Powers of Entry

46. Power to call for returns documents and evidence.

47. Effect of statement or declaration as to value of property.

48. Power to enter premises.

49. Offences.

Supplementary

50. Preparation of lists in case of default by rating authority.

51. Lists not to be rendered invalid by certain failures or omissions.

PART IV

Payment and Recovery of Rates

52. Rates to be payable quarterly.

53. Demand notes.

54. Remission for unoccupied buildings.

55. Warrant for recovery of rates.

56. Power of local authority to waive amount due in respect of rates.

57. Amount of costs leviable under warrant.

58. Restrictions as to seizure of property.

59. Order in which properly must be seized.

60. Power to break open buildings.

61. Sale of property seized.

62. Surplus of proceeds of sale to be paid to owner on demand.

63. Power of rating authority to purchase immovable property sold under warrant.

64. Certificate of sale to purchaser other than rating authority.

65. Certificate of sale where purchaser is rating authority.

66. Power of authority to sell immovable property vested in the authority.

67. Deduction of rates paid by tenant.

68. Provision for cases where mortgaged property is seized.

PART V

Expenses, Regulations, Interpretation, Repeals.

69. Payment by rating authorities of expenses of Local Government Valuer.

70. Expenses of Ordinance to be met out of funds of authorities.

71. Service of notices.

72. Valuation not to be impeached for mistake or want of form.

73. Appointment of Local Government Valuer and other officers.

74. Regulations.

75. Interpretation.

76. Modification of Ordinances mentioned in the schedule.

77. Application of Ordinance to rates, valuation lists made in respect of the appointed year.

78. Ordinance not to apply to taxes under police Ordinance.

30 of 1946.

AN ORDINANCE to amend and consolidate the law relating to the making and collection of rates by local authorities and to the valuation of property for the purpose of such rates, and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the matters aforesaid.

[Date of Commencement: 15th March, 1946]

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Rating and Valuation Ordinance.

PART I

Application of Ordinance and Connected Provisions

2. Application of Ordinance.

Where any local authority is empowered, authorised or required by or under the provisions of any other written law to make, impose or levy a rate or rates on the annual value of any property in any area, the Minister may. by Order published in the Gazette, declare that the provisions of this Ordinance shall apply for the purpose of the making, imposition, levy, payment, collection and recovery of the rate or rates which may be made or levied by that authority for that area in respect of such year as shall be specified in the Order and of every subsequent year.

3. Rating authorities and areas.

Where the provisions of this Ordinance have by Order under section 2 been made applicable in the case of the rate or rates which may be made or levied by any local authority for any area, that local authority and that area shall be a rating authority and a rating area, respectively, for the purposes of this Ordinance:

Provided, however, that where such local authority is a Village Council, no part of the village area, other than a locality declared under the provisions of the Village Councils Ordinance to be a built up locality, shall be deemed to be or to form part of a rating area for the purposes of this Ordinance.

4. Meaning of "the appointed year”.

In this Ordinance, the expression when used with appointed reference to any rating area, means the year specified in the Order by which the provisions of this Ordinance are made applicable in the case of the rate or rates which may be made or levied by the rating authority for that area.

5. Rates to be made and levied by rating authorities in accordance with Ordinance.

Every rate made or levied by the rating authority for any rating area in respect of the appointed year and of every subsequent year shall be made, levied, paid and recovered in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance:

Provided, however, that where any limitation or condition is imposed by any other written law in relation to the power of a rating authority to make and levy a rate, nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to modify or affect the limitation or condition so imposed.

PART II

Rating

6. General rate and special rate.

(1) Subject as hereinafter provided, every rate made by the rating authority for any rating area shall be a general rate on the all rateable property annual value of situated in the area:

Provided that nothing in the preceding provisions of this subsection shall affect or prejudice the power of any rating authority to make or levy any special rate referred to in subsection (2).

(2) Where any rating authority is duly empowered in that behalf by or under any other written law to make and levy a special rate on the annual value of any property situated in any rating area or in any part of such area, all the provisions of this Ordinance shall, unless otherwise expressly provided, apply to such special rate, and for the purposes of such application, any reference in any such provision to a rating area shall, where necessary, be deemed to be a reference to the part of the rating area in respect of which the special rate is made.

(3) Where any rateable property, or any part of any rating area, is not benefited by any service or services in respect of which the general rate or any special rate is made, the rating authority may by resolution exempt that rateable property or all rateable property in that part of the rating area, as the case may be, from the payment of such portion or portions of such rate as may be declared in such resolution to be or to have been made in respect of such service or services.

7. Sanction of Minister in certain cases.

Where any rating authority resolves to make or levy in respect of any year a general rate or a special rate which is higher or lower than the general rate or the corresponding special rate, as the case may be, which was made or levied by that authority in respect of the preceding year under this Ordinance or any other written law, the rate shall not be valid unless it is sanctioned by the Minister.

8. Uniformity of rate.

Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance, every rate made by the rating authority for any rating area shall be a rate at a uniform amount per centum on the annual value of each rateable property in the area.

9. Minimum amount to be recovered as rate.

Where the amount payable in respect of the general rate, or the aggregate of the amounts payable in respect of the general rate and of any special rate or rates, on any rateable property for any year, is less than fifty cents, a sum of forty eight cents shall, in lieu of the amount so payable, be deemed to be payable in respect of such rate or rates, as the case may be.

10. Making and operation of rate.

Every rate made by a rating authority shall be made in respect of the period of one year commencing on the first day of January next succeeding the date on which the rate is approved by resolution of the rating authority, or where the rate requires the sanction of the Minister, the date on which it is so sanctioned.

11. Publication of rate.

Every rating authority shall, before the expiry of a period of ten days from the date on which any rate is made, or, where the rate requires the sanction of the Minister, from the date on which it is so sanctioned—

(a) exhibit on the notice board at the office of the authority, a written notice that such rate has been made; and

(b) publish the notice in a newspaper circulating in the rating area, or, in the case of a rate made by a Village Council, by beat of tom-tom in the area or in such other manner as may be prescribed.

12. Directions of Minister as to making of rates.

It shall be the duty of every rating authority (other than a Municipal Council) to comply with all such directions as may be issued by the Minister, from time to time, in relation to the dates before which resolutions for the imposition of rates shall be considered by the authority.

13. Rate Book.

(1) It shall be the duty of every rating authority to keep and maintain a Rate Book in the prescribed form, and to enter or cause to be entered annually therein the prescribed particulars relating to each rateable property in the rating area.

(2) The owner or occupier of any rateable property, or any person authorised in that behalf by such owner or occupier, shall be entitled to inspect free of charge any portion of the Rate Book which contains particulars relating to that property.

14. Amendment of Rate Book.

The rating authority may at any time make such amendments in the Rate Book as may, in the opinion of the authority, be necessary in order—

(a) to correct any clerical or arithmetical error in the Rate Book;

(b) to correct any erroneous insertion or omissions or any misdescriptions:

Provided, however, that no amendment the effect of which is to alter the amount entered in the Rate Book as payable on any property in respect of any rate, shall, unless it is necessitated by the alteration of a quinquennial list or supplemental list, be made by the rating authority except after service in the prescribed manner on the occupier of that property of a notice in the prescribed form, and after consideration of any objection which may, in accordance with the notice, be made by the owner or occupier of the property.

15. Meaning of "rateable property”.

(1) In this Ordinance, "rateable property” means any land or any portion of any land which is separately owned, let or occupied, together with any house, building, tenement, hut or other roofed enclosure, or wall, hoarding or other structure thereon and includes—

(a) any right of way, way leave or other servitude appertaining to such property or enjoyed in connection with such property; and

(b) any property which is deemed, by virtue of the provisions of subsection (2), to be rateable property for the purposes of this Ordinance.

(2) All tramway lines, electric mains, cables or transformer stations, all gas, water, petrol, fuel or oil mains or lines, all telegraph or telephone poles, lines or cables, and all wireless transmission masts, and all pillar boxes which are installed and maintained in, upon or over any land,

16. Liability of lessee or tenant of state property to pay rates.

Where any rateable property belonging to the State is leased or let to any person, the lessee or tenant, as the case may be, shall be liable to pay and shall pay to the rating authority, the amount due on that property in respect of any rate:

Provided that nothing hereinbefore contained shall apply in the case of any property belonging to the State which is let to any person who is in the employment of the State and who resides on that property.

17. Exemption for places of worship, charitable institutions, schools.

(1) Subject as hereinafter provided, no person shall be liable to be assessed or rated to or for any general rate in respect of—

(a) any land or buildings used exclusively or mainly for public religious worship or for any public charitable purpose;

(b) any land or buildings used exclusively or mainly for the purposes of any school;

(c) any land or buildings for the time being in charge of military sentries:

Provided, however, that the preceding provisions of this subsection shall not apply in any case where the owner of any land or building mentioned in those provisions receives any rent in respect of such land or building.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)—

(a) any building or part thereof which is exclusively or mainly used or is set apart for the provision of living or sleeping accommodation for persons resident within the premises of any school, or for the preparation of food for, or the taking of meals by such persons, shall not be deemed to be used for the purposes of the school;

(b) any playing field maintained in connection with any school shall, notwithstanding that it may be situated outside the premises of the school, be deemed to be used for the purposes of the school.

18. Exemption for burial and cremation grounds.

No person shall be liable to be assessed or rated to or for any general rate in respect of any burial or cremation ground, or of any building which is maintained upon any such ground or is used for the purposes of cremation:

Provided, however, that the preceding provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of any crematorium maintained for profit otherwise than by the Government of Sri Lanka or a local authority.

19. Exemption in the case of special rates.

In the case of a special rate—

(a) the provisions of sections 17 and 18 shall not apply;

(b) nothing in this Ordinance shall affect or prejudice the grant or the effect of any exemption provided for by the written law under which the special rate is made.

PART III

Valuation of Rateable Property

Quinquennial Lists
and Supplemental Lists

20. Quinquennial lists.

Subject to the provisions of section 21, a new list containing the prescribed particulars relating to each rateable property in each rating area (hereinafter referred to as an "original quinquennial list”) shall be made in accordance with this Part so as to come into force on the first day of January in the appointed year and, thereafter, quinquennial lists shall be made, from time to time, for that area, so that a new quinquennial list shall come into force upon the expiration of a period of five years from the date on which the preceding quinquennial list came into force.

21. Rating divisions and quinquennial lists for such divisions.

(1) In any case where the Commissioner is satisfied that the preparation of an original quinquennial list to come into force in the appointed year for the whole of any rating area would be impracticable, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the Commissioner may by notification published in the Gazette

(a) divide the rating area into such number of rating divisions, not exceeding five in number, as he may consider expedient, and define the limits of each such division; and

(b) direct, in respect of each such division, that an original quinquennial list shall be made under this Part so as to come into force in such year as may be specified by him in such notification.

(2) Where any rating area is divided by notification under subsection (1) into rating divisions, an original quinquennial list shall be made in accordance with this Part for each such division so as to come into force on the first day of January in the year specified in the notification in respect of that division; and thereafter new quinquennial lists shall be made, from time to time, for that division so that a new quinquennial list shall come into force upon the expiration of a period of five years from the date on which the preceding quinquennial list came into force.

(3) In any case where, in consequence of the division of any rating area into two or more rating divisions, an original quinquennial list is not made so as to come into force in the appointed year for the whole of the rating area, then until the date on which an original quinquennial list comes into force for any such rating division in accordance with subsection (2)—

(a) such part of the assessment book in force for that area in the year preceding the appointed year as contains the annual value or the assessment of the annual value of the rateable properties in that rating division shall be deemed to be a quinquennial list duly made and approved for that division in accordance with this Part; and shall have effect accordingly subject to the modification that no objection, action or appeal shall be lodged, instituted or preferred under this Part in respect of any matter therein contained;

(b) supplemental lists and provisional lists shall, where necessary, be made for that rating division in accordance with the requirements of this part;

(c) the part of the assessment book which is deemed by paragraph (a) to be a quinquennial list for that rating division, together with and as altered by any such supplemental list or provisional list for the time being in force, shall be deemed for the purposes of any rate made by the rating authority to be the valuation list for that division.

(4) In subsection (3), "assessment book” means the assessment book or the assessment register which is maintained by the local authority for any area, and in which the annual value or the assessment of the annual value of the rateable properties in the area are entered in the year preceding the appointed year under the provisions of any other written law for the purposes of any rate imposed by that authority for that area, as amended or altered in consequence of the determination of any objection, action or appeal under any such provisions.

22. Form of draft lists.

(1) Every draft quinquennial list prepared for the purposes of this part shall—

(a) be in the prescribed form and shall contain in respect of every rateable property within the rating area or division for which the list is prepared the particulars for the inclusion of which provision is made in that form;

(b) be prepared in accordance with such general or special directions as may, from time to time, be issued by the Commissioner for the purpose of carrying into effect
the provisions of this Part relating to the procedure
for the preparation of such lists.

(2) The particulars relating to the rateable properties situated in each town or ward comprised within any rating area or division or situated in each ward of any such town shall, as far as practicable, be separately set out in the draft quinquennial list prepared for that area.

23. Preparation of draft quinquennial list.

(1) Where a quinquennial list is, under the provisions of section 20 or section 21, required to be made so as to come into force on the first day of January in any year for any rating area or division, other than a Municipality or a rating division of a Municipality, it shall be the duty of the rating authority, on or before such date in the preceding year as may be fixed by the Commissioner—

(a) to cause a draft quinquennial list to be prepared for that area or division, and to be signed by the Chairman of the authority; and

(b) to transmit the draft list to the Local Government Valuer for revision.

(2) Where a quinquennial list is, under the provisions of section 20 or section 21, required to be made so as to come into force on the first day of January in any year for any rating area or division, being a Municipality or a rating division of a Municipality, it shall be the duty of the rating authority—

(a) to cause a draft quinquennial list for that area or division to be prepared before such date as may be fixed by the authority; and

(b) before the thirtieth day of April in the year preceding that year, to revise and alter the draft list in such manner as may be necessary in the opinion of the authority, and to cause it to be signed by the Municipal Commissioner.

24. Preparation of draft supplemental lists.

(1) Save as otherwise provided in section 25, a supplemental list shall be made every year for every rating area, or, where any such area has been divided into rating divisions, for every such division, and shall set out all such alterations as may, during the period of twelve months immediately preceding the fifteenth day of February in that year, have taken place in respect of any of the matters stated in the valuation list in force during that year for that area or division.

(2) Where a supplemental list is required to be made in any year for any rating area or division, other than a Municipality or a rating division of a Municipality, it shall be the duty of the rating authority, on or before the fifteenth day of February in that year—

(a) to cause a draft supplemental list to be prepared for that area or division and to be signed by the Chairman of the authority; and

(b) to transmit the list to the Local Government Valuer for revision.

(3) Where a supplemental list is required to be made in any year for any rating area or division, being a Municipality, or a rating division of a Municipality, it shall be the duty of the rating authority—

(a) to cause a draft supplemental list to be prepared for that area or division on or before such date in that year as may be fixed by the authority; and

(b) before the fifteenth day of June in that year, to alter or revise the list in such manner as may be necessary in the opinion of the rating authority and to cause it to be signed by the Municipal Commissioner.

(4) The provisions of section 22 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in relation to every supplemental list, subject however to the modification that nothing therein contained shall be deemed to require any supplemental list to contain any particulars relating to any rateable property which has not been affected by any such alterations as are referred to in this section.

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