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Government, as no local body, except the two mentioned, is allowed to borrow from outside sources. The amount of other liabilities was £196,869, making a total of £1,179,275 owing by local bodies.

The total assets on the same date were given as £1,448,590, the only item specified being outstanding rates, which amounted to £122,153.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, was proclaimed a municipality as far back as 1840, and was thus the first local body established in Australasia. The present general system of corporations and district councils was instituted in 1887.

In all cases the councillors and mayors are elected by the citizens, the representatives not being empowered to choose their presiding officer. The rates are assessed on the annual value, and the general rate must not exceed ls. in the £; while lighting rates are limited to 4d., and park improvement rates to 3d. Water rates may also be imposed where necessary, and special rates for works in particular portions of municipalities.

The total area incorporated at the close of the last municipal year was 42,493 square miles, leaving 337,577 square miles still under the control of the central government. The unincorporated territory consists chiefly of the unsettled portion of the State, as the populous centres have all been brought under municipal government. The figures in this chapter relating to South Australia are in all cases exclusive of the Northern Territory.

The annual and capital values of all the incorporated districts for the past ten years are as shown in the following table :

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The capital value of the incorporated districts as shown above is estimated at £39,928,780, and the annual value at £2,576 729. Adelaide, and its suburbs are the largest corporations, and the following were the values of the most important centres for 1900, compared with those for 1891 :

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The total receipts for 1900 were £348,768, the amount contributed by the Government as subsidy and grants being £115,073, while the rates collected were £142,207, leaving £91,488 from other sources. The rates collected which are levied on the annual value equal ls. 1 d. in the £ of the annual value and 1 d. per £ of unimproved capital value. The expenditure was £346,081 the amount spent on works being £190,124, while salaries and office expenses absorbed £31,669, or 9.15 per cent. and miscellaneous services, £124,288.

The loans outstanding at the close of 1900 amounted to only £78,400. These loans, with the exception of £6,000 owing by the corporation of Kensington and Norwood, were floated by the Adelaide City Council. The interest payable ranges from 3 to 6 per cent., the average being 4:60 per cent.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

The great resources of this State have only been made manifest during recent years, and the iimited population, compared with the vast area of the province, has prevented any great extension of local government.

The first Municipalities Act was passed in 1871, but only a few districts were incorporated under it. In 1895, the existing Act became law, and a considerable increase in the area locally controlled has resulted from its provisions. The local bodies are termed Municipalities, Road Boards, and Health Boards; the latter may be established within or outside municipal boundaries.

The Municipal Act provides for the election of both councillors and mayors by the ratepayers. With regard to Road Boards, however, the members are elected by the ratepayers, and the chairmen by the members.

The general rate imposed in municipalities must not exceed 1s. 6d. in the £ of annual value, and a special rate of 3d. in the £ may be levied under the Health Act. In the City of Perth, however, an additional rate is charged for water-supply ; this rate must not exceed ls. in the £ of annual value. In the Road Board districts the general rate is limited to ls, in the £ of annual value.

The total area of municipalities is only slightly over 100 square miles. The remainder of the State comprises 975,820 square miles, a large proportion of which is still under the central government. The Road Board districts occupy a considerable area, but as the general government exercises a certain amount of control over the expenditure, these districts cannot be said to be endowed with full local government.

The capital value for the year 1900 was estimated at £7,860,600, and the annual value at £943,300. The figures for some of the most important towns are given below. The particulars for 1891 are not available, but it may be said generally that since 1895, the earliest year for which figures are obtainable, there has been a considerable increase both in the annual and capital values. The following table shows the capital values for 1895 and 1900. The annual values as shown in the official figures range from 10 to 13 per cent. of the capital values, but as this return from property in old settled districts like Perth and Albany seems improbable, and as the assessments are on the annual value the capital values cannot be said to have been properly ascertained, and, therefore, are not given.

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* Not incorporated. The total receipts for 1900 amounted to £221,155, included in which is the sum of £59,828 given by the Central Government as subsidy and special allowances. The general and special rates received were £82,301, while the remainder, £79,026, represents £43,939 collections from rents, license fees, &c., and £35,087 proceeds of loans. The disbursements in

the same year came to £216,997, of which the large proportion of £146,569 was spent on works and improvements. The other inportant items are :-Salaries and office expenses, £14,547, or 6-70 per cent. ; and interest on loans and overdrafts, £13,351 ; leaving £42,530 expended on other services, including £9,921 for payments to sinking funds.

The amount shown for rates represents a tax of Is. 9d. per £ of annual value, and 4d. per £ of estimated unimproved capital value.

The total liabilities at the close of the year were £330,070, the principal item being outstanding loans, which amounted to £293,600. The unsecured overdrafts amounted to £2,111, the balance, £34,359, being due for amounts owing on contracts, outstanding accounts, &e. Against the loan indebtedness, however, must be placed the accumulated sinking fund, which amounts to £39,308.

The assets on the same date were estimated at £320,466. The largest proportion of this amount is accounted for by the value of landed property, plant, and furniture, which was stated to be £229,017. The outstanding rates amounted to £12,675; while other important items were :- Bank and cash balances, £26,553, and sinking fund, £39,308, leaving £12,913 for other assets.

TASMANIA. In this State, the city of Hobart was incorporated by a special Act in 1852, and in 1858 the Rural Municipalities Act was passed which provided for the establishment of corporations throughout the Colony. The whole area is not under the provisions of this Act alone, as there are other bodies, notably Town Boards and Road Trusts, which are authorised to control outlying districts.

In the urban municipalities—Hobart and Launceston—the aldermen are elected by the ratepayers, and the mayors by the aldermen. The ratepayers in the rural districts also elect their representatives, who are termed councillors, and the latter have the privilege of choosing their presiding officer, who is called warden.

The general rate in each class of corporation is limited to ls. 6d. in the £ of the annual value, while special rates may be levied in rural districts, provided that the general and special rates together do not exceed Is. 6d. in the £. Police and road rates may also be imposed in addition to municipal rates.

The area of municipal districts may be set down as 10,615 square miles, leaving 15,600 square miles under the control of the other local bodies, or of the central government. The total capital value at the close of 1900 was estimated at £29,770,300, and the annual value at £1,417,517. These figures may be somewhat over-stated, as the same property may be rated by more than one of the local authorities. The values of the two principal municipalities will be found below, and a reference to the corresponding particulars for 1891 will show that

Tasmania has not been very much affected by the depreciation of property, which was so severely felt in the mainland States :

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The total receipts of Municipalities, Town Boards, and Road Trusts for 1900 were £157,570, the proportion contributed by the central government being only £23,537. The bulk of the collections consisted of rates (which are levied on the annual value), the amount of which was £91,915; and the remainder, £42,118, was accounted for by fees, licenses, proceeds of loans, &e. The total expenditure for the same year amounted to £158,576, but no details relating to this sum are available. The collections for rates are equal to 1s. 3.4d. in the £ of annual value, and 1 d. per £ of the estimated unimproved value.

The total loans outstanding at the close of 1900 for the local bodies under review amounted to £561,002, and in the majority of cases sinking funds have been established for the extinction of the debts, the total amount accumulated at the end of 1900 being £57,048.

NEW ZEALAND.

In New Zealand an Act was passed in 1852 which divided the colony into six provinces, the local administration being vested in provincial councils. This system continued till 1876, when the provincial system was abolished, and the whole colony, except the area within the fortyone boroughs then existing, was subdivided into counties, each county having full control of its local affairs.

The provisions for election differ in the boroughs and counties. In the former bodies both the councillors and mayors are elected by " burgesses,” but in counties, the councillors are elected by the county electors," and the chairmen by the councillors. The rating powers are also different. In boroughs, the rates are in most cases levied on the annual value, and the general rate is limited to ls. 3d. in the £. Special rates may also be imposed, but general and special rates together must not exceed ls. 3d. in the £. In counties, and in a few of the boroughs (the latter having taken advantage of the “Rating on Unimproved Value Act of 1896"), the rates are charged on the capital value, and the general rate must not exceed three farthings in the £ in counties or boroughs where road boards or town districts exist, and six farthings in other local areas. Separate rates may also be levied, provided the general and special rates do not exceed three farthings and six farthings

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