United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

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5,000 and under 6,000..


X893
1889


63


961, X39
','76,177


4
3


86,039
53,739


66


',047, '58
1,338,906




7*


75




x886


73


X, 348,956


3


48,868


75


X, 397,834




1883


65


x,ao3,475


3


61,938


68


',364,4'3


6,000 and under 7,000.


X893
X889


50
48


833,486
863,54a
946,998






50
48
50


833,486
863,543
961,9x8










x886


49


X


'4,930




X883


47


944,148


X


6,649


48


950,797


7,000 and under 8,000..


1893
1889


38
40


737,54a
744,074






38
4'


737,54a
766,44'




X


33,367




1886


4a


79',ooi


3


65,337


45


856,338




X883


37
38


886,306
646,060
601,438
703,608






37
39
33
33


886,306
648,600
6ox,438
754,304


8,000 and under 9,000


1893
1889
1886


**'


3,540




33
a9






3


5',596




1883


36


783,846


X


4,960


37


787,806


9,000 and under 10,000


X893
1889




705,034
475,778


4

3


73,403
63,380


35

34


778,437
539, '58




33




x886


«5


349,99a


3


85,795


x8


435,787




1883


3X


555,336


3


60,966


33


616,303


10,000 and under 90,coo„


1893


«39


5,190,809


9


305, '49


'48


5.495,958




X889


X34


4,365.336


xo


333,016


'34


4.598,343




x886


MI


5,005,603


10


3'9,o57


'5'


5,324,660




X883


138


5, '7', 761


3


7',486


»4'


5.343,347


30,ooo and under 30,000.


1893


4a


3,45', '39


3


393,173


45


a, 743,30'




X889


45


3,504,936


5


334,787


50


3,839,733




x886


4a


3,348,337


X


15,388


43


3,363,535




X883


46


3,653,993


3


35,83x


49


3,688,8x3


30,000 and under 40,000..


1893


a4


',996,353


6


531, 4'3


30


3,517,765




X889


33


. 1,668,081


4


336,538


36


1,904,6x9




1886


36


'.809,375


5


368,951


3'


3,078,336




.883
1893


23
7


3,058,685
74', 4' 7






33
9


3,058,685
987,659


40,000 and under 50,000


3


346,343




1889


xo


795, '93


3


'87,369


'3


983,563




1886


4


470,543


t


81,493


5


553.035




.883


8


633,835


3


'53,874


XX


786,699



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LAND TAXATION AND LABOR LAWS IN NEW ZEALAND. 27
Table No. 4. — Freeholders of land outside boroughs and town districts, ^/r.— Continued.





Year.


Persons.


Companies.


Total.


Acres.


Number.


Improved
value.


Number.


Improved
value.


Number.


Improved
value.


5o/x>o and niKler 75,ooou

75/xx> and under xoo/mo

xoojoooand under x50,ooo....


X893
X889
x886
X883
X893
X889
x886
X883
X892
X889
x886
X883
X893
1889
1886
1883


12
11
»4
9

5
4
3
6

1
1
1


;Cx,x59,28x

948,547

'.594,675

',096,423

',075,583
864,834
675.388

','46,797
23,677

38,a'9
43,838




;C958,750
161,498
638,670
54',9«6
",040
236, 97X
6x4,798

370,777

602,303

140,35'

3«9.5'3

604,035

a,583,a8x

2,8x1,639

x,25x,268

1,782,295


14
12
'9

X2


;Ci,4'8,o3X
i,xxo,o4s
a, 233, 345
'.638,339
1,086,623

'.091.795
1,390,186

',5' 7. 574

634,980

178,570

36a, 34'

604,035

3,583,381

3,8xx,639

x,35x,268


i4ojoooand over..................
























',783,295









SUMMARY OF ABOVE.



5 and under xoo..



xoo and under x,ooo...



xfioo and under xo/xx>..



xo/wo and under 50,000....



5o/xx> aikd over m.



Total..



X893


'9.323


X889


'8,752


x886


'7,043


X883


'4,740


1893


'7.S'3


X889


'6,702


x886


'5,45'


X883


X4.248


X893


',740


X889


x,6o8


x886


',6x5


X883


X.466


X893


2x2


X889


20X


x886


ai3


X883


215


X893


x8


1889


x6


x886


x8


X883


'5


X893


38,806


X889


37.a79


x886


34.340


X883


30,684



6,a'4,33o


46


6,337.53'


53


5,953.325


3a


5.«5o.«'5


36


ao, 399. 453


35


'7. "3,939





x8,oo8,o86


30


'7,758,653


'9


'4.703,987


36


X2, 902, 749


36


13,610,1x3


30


'3. 746,3"


18


'0,379.708


20


9.333.536


33


9.633,758


'7


10,5x6,263


9


a. 357, 54'


13


1.85'. 590


XX


3,3x2,891


XI


3,243,220


8


53.954,0x9


129


47,539.345


'53


49,5'8,X72


xxo


49,414,663


80



'35, '35


'9,369


'4', 573


'8.805


80,964


'7,075


16,761


'4,766


133,616


'7,538


345,925


'6, 743


'32,663


'5.47'


'37,905


14.267


346, 266


',766


336, 19 X


',634


4'7.853


1,645


33X,38o


',484


'.364.975


232


98X, 710


333


684,788


230


361, x8i


324


3.455.374


30


3,340,459


37


3,834.349


29


3,399,033


23


5.335,356


38,935


5,035,858


37,432


4.'4o,5'7


34,450


3,936, 'SO


30,764



6.349.455
6.479.'04
6,034,389
5, '66,976
30,533.069
'7.359,864
'8,140.749
'7.896,558
'4.949.a53
X3, 338,940
'4,037,965

'3.967.59'
".744.683
'0.3x5,346
'o.3'8.546
'o. 777. 444
5.7'a.9'5
5, '92,049
5. '37. '40
5.543.343

59,a89.375
53,575.303
53,658.689
53.350,8x3



NoTB. — Total number of freeholders in colony : x883 assessment — 7x^340, of whom 30,764 own 5 acres and
over of country land, that b, outside boroughs and town districts, and exclusive of land classed as township
lands: X885 assessment— 80,537, of whom 34,450 own 5 acres and over of country land; 1888 assessment—
84,547, of whom 37,433 own 5 acres and over of country land; 1891 assessment — 9X,5ox, of whom 38,935 own
5 aores and over of country land.

In 1893, 15, 320 persons paid ^242, 349(11,211, 745) land and income tax
and 488 companies paid ;^i3i,739 (1658,695), or a total of 11,870,440;
while in 1889, 25,841 persons paid ^^246,262 (Ji, 231, 310) and 486 compa-
nies paid ;£io7,905 ($539>52S) property tax, a total under the latter tax of



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28 LAND TAXATION AND LABOR LAWS IN NEW ZEALAND.

11,770,853, which is 199,605 less than the amount collected under the land
and income tax of 1893.

Under the land and income tax system, there has been a steady increase
year by year in the revenue derived from this source.

AMENDMENTS.

An amendment to the land and income tax bill was passed last year,
which imposed a special tax on nonresident agents doing business in the
colony. Formerly, commercial agents had to pay the ordinary income tax
on the profits derived from business done in the colony ; but, after some
consideration, it was deemed more desirable to charge a lump sum for the
privilege of doing business through agents or commercial travelers, and,
accordingly, a sum of ;^5o (I250) has to be paid by all nonresident agents
before they can do business here. On payment of this sum, a special license
is issued which entitles the holder to pursue his calling for twelve months.
Every such nonresident agent is liable to a penalty of not exceeding ^100
per day for each day he exposes his wares or solicits trade without having a
license.

ADDITIONAL EXEMPTIONS AND AMENDMENTS.

In addition to the exemptions specified in the assessment acts, which will
be referred to later on, the following paragraph has been added and exempts
from taxation the following:

All land owned and mortgages held by or on behalf of any religious body, the proceeds
of which land or mortgages are devoted to the support of aged or inBrm ministers or of wid-
ows or orphan children of ministers.

All land owned and mortgages held by any building society duly regis-
tered or constituted under the building-societies act are declared exempt from
the operations of the land and income tax assessment; provided that annual
dividends or profits credited to any member or shareholder in any such soci-
ety shall be deemed to be part of the income of such member or shareholder;
and any such society shall, when requested by the commissioner of taxes, for-
ward to him a statement of such dividends or profits. The commissioner has
full power to compel any person, company, or corporation to produce, either
in writing or orally, as may be deemed necessary, all books, papers, instru-
ments of any kind, accounts, trade lists, stock sheets, or other documents or
writings that may be regarded as useful in getting at the facts in each partic-
ular case. Failure to comply with the law in this respect is punishable by a
fine of not less than |io nor more than J500 for each offense. Even those
owners of land and mortgages who are exempt from the operations of the
assessment acts must, under penalty, make returns to the commissioner when
required.

Where any tax has not been assessed and remains unpaid in consequence
of any person or company having neglected (whether willfully or not) to
make full and complete returns of land, mortgages, or income, or by reason
of such person or company having claimed deductions which they were



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LAND TAXATION AND LABOR LAWS IN NEW ZEALAND. 2g

not entitled to claim, an additional lo per cent is added as a fine. Assess-
ments on land are made after deducting all improvements. Any person not
domiciled in the colony is not entitled to the exemption of ^300 (| 1,5 00)
provided for in the income-tax act; it matters not though he should be in
partnership with persons resident in the colony.

Losses made in business outside the colony are not recognized or consid-
ered by the tax department.

AMENDED SCALE OF GRADUATED TAX.

Schedule B of the principal act, which forms a part of this report, is
amended as under in Schedule B of the principal act referring to graduated
tax:

Graduated land tax.

Where the value is ;^5,ooo (^25,000) and less than ^10,000 (150,000),
one-eighth of id. (one-fourth of i cent) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^io,ooo (150,000) and less than ;;^i5,ooo (|75,ooo),
one-fourth of id. (one-half of i cent) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^i5,ooo (l75,ooo) and less than ;;^2o,ooo (Jioo,ooo),
three-eighths of id. (three-fourths of i cent) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^2o,ooo (J 100,000) and less than ;^25,ooo (;f 125,-
000), one-half of id. (i cent) in the pound.

AVhere the value is ;^25,ooo (Ji 25,000) and less than ;^30,ooo (J150,-
000), five-eighths of id. (i^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;;^30,ooo (1150,000) and less than ^^40,000 (J200,-
000), three- fourths of id. (i J^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^4o,ooo (^200,000) and less than ;^5 0,000 (;f 250,-
000), seven -eighths of id. (i^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^5o,ooo (^250,000) and less than ;;^7o,ooo (J350,-
000), id. (2 cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^7o,ooo (1350,000) and less than ;;^90,ooo (J450,-
000), i^d. (2^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^90,ooo (^450,000) and less than ;;^i 10,000 (J550,-
000), i^^- (^5^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^i 10,000 (^550,000) and less than ;;^i3o,ooo (J650,-
000), i^d. (25.^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^i30,ooo (^650,000) and less than ;;^i5o,ooo ($750,-
000), ij^d. (3 cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^i5o,ooo (^750,000) and less than j[^\ 70,000 (J850,-
000), i^d. (3^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;;^i 70,000 (^850,000) and less than ^^190,000 (J950,-
000), i^d. (3j^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^i9o,ooo (^950,000) and less than ^^2 10,000
(^1,050,000), i^d. (35^ cents) in the pound.

Where the value is ;^2 10,000 ($1,050,000) or exceeds that sum, 2d.
(4 cents) in the pound.



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30 LAND TAXATION AND LABOR LAWS IN NEW ZEALAND.
HOW LARGE HOLDINGS WERE BROKEN UP.

The following figures will show the necessity of imposing the graduated
land tax, especially in a country like this, with an increasing population and
a very limited area of good, cultivable land available for settlement purposes:

In 1892, thirty-two companies owned between them 2,402,752 acres; six
of these companies held over 150,000 acres each, or a total of 1,321,036 acres.
The ascertained improved value of this vast area (nearly 2,500,000 acres) was
^^4,820,349 (|24;oo6,745) and the unimproved value for the same year
was ^^3,274,271 ($16,371,355), or l7>635,39o less than the improved value.

Nearly all of these lands were held for speculative purposes, and were not
cultivated or improved as they should have been, and, consequently, they were
not contributing even a reasonable proportion toward the expenses of gov-
ernment. Owing to the pursuit of this policy by the large holders, the influx
of population was checked and the settlement of the land seriously retarded.
With the period of stagnation and depression, already referred to, which
ensued, to which the faulty land system of the country largely contributed,
reasonable people will scarcely argue, or think it strange — especially if they
have any knowledge of the facts — that the colonists at last realized that the
time was ripe to make a change which would legally force the holders of
large estates to either improve, sell, or subdivide their holdings.

Of course, as might be expected, there was a determined effort made to
resist any legislation in this direction, but the people would not be denied.

With the graduated and absentee tax, the landlord class felt that they
must do something to relieve the burdens thus imposed. They recognized,
after the battle was over, that it was an unmistakable victory for the people,
and, accordingly, took immediate steps to meet the requirements of the law
by improving their land or selling it, either to the Government or to indi-
vidual purchasers. A number of estates were disposed of privately. Some
were subdivided, while a large percentage of them were sold outright to the
Government.

This process has continued from the imposition of the tax to the present,
so that now the number of large estates is considerably reduced, and, need-
less to say, with corresponding benefit to the country.

To facilitate the desire of those who held large areas to dispose of all or
a portion of their interests and at the same time to assist the home seekers of
the country, the Government passed an act, already alluded to in this report,
called "the lands for settlement act." This act was criticised adversely by
many, as it was alleged that it opened the door to fraudulent transactions
and that it gave too much power to the Minister of Lands for the time being,
which, if not exercised with caution, honesty, and intelligence, might in-
volve the country in serious loss. The opposition to this act, so far as its
administration up to the present is concerned, was utterly groundless.

The utmost care in purchasing large estates for settlement purposes is
observed. The Government have a number of practical expert valuers who
report on properties which are found to be suitable for agricultural purposes.



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LAND TAXATION AND LABOR LAWS IN NEW ZEALAND. 3 1

The property is sabdivided, roaded, and improved otherwise, after which it
is offered to the public in small areas at an annual rental of 5 per cent on
the capital value of the land. The money paid for these estates is borrowed
by the Government at 3 per cent, thus leaving a difference of 2 per cent,
which more than pays the cost of administration and leaves some profit in
addition. But should the lands thus purchased by the Government not be
taken up, it will be easily seen that a loss must result. However, it is not
anticipated that any serious loss will be made in this respect, as the lands are
usually overapplied for as soon as the roads are built, the farms surveyed,
and everything is ready for settlement. This particular act, when honestly
administered, as it is now, has many merits — it relieves the large landowner
from 'the burdens of the graduated tax, it increases the wealth-producing
and taxpaying power of the people by making the earth yield what nature
intended it should yield, and it provides homes for many thousands of peo-
ple upon most reasonable terms who could not otherwise even hope for a
home of their own for years to come. I wish to quote here the Minister of
Lands' latest report to Parliament on this particular act :

The lands for settlement acty j8g4. — In brief, the estates purchased to the 31st of March
last numbered twenty-eight, containing 86,919 acres, the cost for purchase amounting to
^377,553 (11,887,765), to which has to be added /i 1,761 (158,805), the cost of roading,
surveys, adminbtration, etc.

Up to the 31st of March, nineteen estates had been subdivided into various sized farms to
suit local requirements and offered to the public, with the result that the greater part of them
had been selected and numerous settlers are now resident.

At the date of the return there had been erected 133 houses, occupied by 643 souls, who
had made improvements valued at ;^I3,022 ($65,110). The rentals are bringing in 4.76 per
cent on the sum sunk in the estates, viz, ;f 209,559 ($1,047,795), which leaves ^ surplus after
pa3ring interest on the money raised for their purchase.

The commissioners report very favorably of the amount of improvements made and the
general compliance with the conditions of the leases. Out of 397 selectors who have taken
up land since the initiation of the scheme, 12 have forfeited their rights through breach of
the conditions and two of these farms have since been reselected, while the others will be
occupied as soon as thrown open again. Out of the total area purchased, 11,895 acres have
not yet been selected, but there is no reason to believe that much of this will remain on hand
long when the conditions are more favorable ; indeed, it is known that most of it will be
selected as soon as the various causes which at present prevent selection are removed.

These estates offered to the sons of farmers in their vicinity an excellent opportunity to
acquire land near their parents, from whom they can obtain help, while at the same time this
class of settler is the best that can be secured in the interests of the estates themselves.

He goes on to say :

Any scheme which will secure the right class of tenants will be a gcttX step in advance,
for, in dealing with these high-priced lands, want of ex|>erience or means on the part of the
tenant will very soon depreciate the value of the estates, and perhaps prevent their letting
again at the same rates.

The lands acquired under this act are generally first-class agricultural
lands, and there is little room for argument as regards the great advantage it
affords those who are desirous of obtaining small farms upon which to build
homes for themselves and their families.



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32 LAND TAXATION AND LABOR LAWS IN NEW ZEALAND.
LAND AND INCOME TAX.

The land and income tax has now become the accepted and settled policy
of the country so far as taxation is concerned. With the abolition of the
property and improvement tax for State purposes, improvements have in-
creased very largely all over the colony. Both the press and the people seem
reconciled to the present system, but it has taken some time for the wealthy
and well-to-do generally to cease their opposition to the new conditions.

Labor is relieved from taxation — except in the matter of customs duties,
toward which all have to contribute — up to ^2,500 in landed property and
^1,500 as regards income. This is a pretty large margin in a country where
the population is limited, not being quite 700,000 all told, and the national
debt large, viz, ^£42, 2^1,889 (J21 1,394,445). This statement, to the average
reader, will look even worse when I state that there is no great concentra-
tion of the goods of this world, but, on the contrary, that there is a fairly
generous diffusion of the wealth of the country among all classes.

I do not wish to convey the idea that there are no unemployed or poor
people here, for they are as abundant in this colony as they are anywhere else
in proportion to population. The only difference in this respect between
New Zealand and other countries is that the conditions of life are easier here,
and, consequently, the degrees of poverty, misery, and wretchedness are not
so acute. A genial climate, a young country, and a rich soil all contribute
toward making the hardships of life less severe and easier to endure.

The great objection urged against the new taxation was the high exemp-
tion. It was claimed at the time that the burden of finding money to carry
on the affairs of the country had been thrown upon the shoulders of a few,
who had by industry, self-denial, and thrift accumulated a little property,
thus punishing them for doing that which is the plain duty of all men,
namely, to so shape the course of life as to make them independent. But
arguments of this kind were disregarded ; democracy was triumphant and in
no mood to listen to specious statements and special pleading, which they
had frequently heard before.

On the other hand, it was contended that a man should be grateful for
being so blessed as to be in a position so advantageous as to include him
among those whose income was over ^ 1,500 per annum, and whose landed
estate exceeded ^2,500 in value. Indeed, it was urged by a considerable
section that it was a humane and Christian duty which those whose labors
the fickle goddess had favored owed to their less favored fellow-strugglers.
It is needless to say the latter sentiment prevailed, but not without a most
determined effort on the part of those most affected by the change.

Income tax, — Around this particular tax, the battle raged most fiercely.
It was denounced as being inquisitorial, destructive of the first principles of
frugality and thrift — in fact, all the elements of evil lurked in the shadow
of the words "income tax.'' A united attempt was made to resist this
''iniquitous*' tax, but all to no purpose. It is safe to say that nearly every
man whose income exceeded the limit of the exemption was arrayed against



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LAND TAXATION AND LABOR LAWS IN NEW ZEALAND. 33

the passage of the income tax, but, like the land and graduated tax, its
friends were stronger than its enemies. And now, after about six years of
experience, there is scarcely a murmur from those who so violently opposed
it at the beginning. I have devoted some time, since receiving instructions
from the Department of State to prepare this report, to ascertain from a
number of those who are large contributors under this tax what their views
now are after their experience of the past few years, and I am pleased to
say that, with few exceptions, they are for the most part prepared to admit
it is a just tax and that they have no desire to return to the old s)^tem which
prevailed prior to 1891-92. The more liberal and fair-minded — those who
recognize their responsibility as citizens to the State — frankly admit that
the income tax is a fair and an unembarrassing tax to those who have to pay
it. As one prominent man expressed it, while I was discussing the subject
with him: *'I was originally opposed to this tax, but now, after a fair trial
of it, I am not only convinced it is a legitimate tax, but I believe it to be a
just and reasonable one, because it reaches a class who are always prepared to
shirk their duty in this respect and who never willingly contribute their fair
proportion toward the maintenance of the Government.'' It must not be pre-
sumed that men are more willing to pay taxes here than they are elsewhere,
but some of them have the honesty to admit that their opposition to almost
every form of taxation is based upon purely selfish motives and a desire to shift
the burdens, without scruple or compunction, upon the shoulders of others.

In New Zealand, the land and income tax is now popular; it is accepted
in lieu of the property tax; it is a success.

Local bodies rating act, — Under this act, local bodies, such as municipal
corporations, road boards, borough councils, hospital and charitable aid
boards, and county councils have a different method of raising revenue to
that which obtains for State purposes.

The revenue raised by local bodies during the years 1893-94 was equal
to 19s. 5d. (J4.72) per head of the mean population. This, of course, is
exclusive of State taxes.

Municipal taxes are levied, not on the ground value and improvements,
if there be improvements, but on the rental value of buildings; but if there
are no improvements or buildings on a city allotment, then, of course, the
land is taxed. The following extract from the *' rating act of 1876 ' ' explains



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