The Mathematics of the Parish Rate and its Deficiencies
Figure 1 is our basic schematic.In figure 2, we have the same number and type of rooms, but one room is considerably larger than theothers, so that the whole dwelling is larger by about ½.In figure 3, we have partitioned one of the rooms of the original to make two rooms, so that we nowhave increased the number of rooms of type B. We may consider what was originally a kitchen-dineris now a kitchen, and a dining room, both smaller that the combined area.According to our derived formula:-The house in figure 2 has the same rateable value as figure 1.-The house in figure 3 has a greater rateable value than figure 1.Now it may be objected that there is a further value to take into consideration - the assessors’ ownevaluation of the property, as seen from an outside view. The assessor knows that figure 1 and figure 2are not identical.We may incorporate this as a “personal judgement” into the formula as follows:f(n[A],n[B],n[C],n[D],…,F1,F2,F3,..,P1)= (k[A]n[A]+ k[B]n[B]+ k[C]n[C]+k[D]n[D]+…)k[F1]k[F2]…k[P1].This is again a multiplier on the basic derived value, where k[P1] is a function of a judgement givenby P1.This is a “corrector” to adjust the rate so that the difference between figure 1 and figure 2.However, we must make two comments on the above “corrector”.1) It does not rectify the difference in rate between figure 1 and figure 3.2) K[P1] is not derived from an impartial value, but from a personal judgement. It cannot beconsidered equitable unless
at the very least
it can be shown to be intersubjective, in other words, thatdifferent assessors (working without consultation) give
the same value to the multiplier. Noscientific evidence has ever been forthcoming that this is the case, and I think it unlikely that it wouldbe. By way of illustration, an equivalent procedure to (2) under the tax law would be if theComptroller were allowed to make an
increase in your tax assessment based upon his personal judgement of your personal wealth.
The rating system, for all that it is a two stage system (based upon both rateable value and the settingof a Parish rate) is essentially a system of taxation - a tax on property rather than income.A system of taxation should be impartial and objective, not based upon personal factors. For a systemto be fair, it should be possible for any reasonably intelligent person to perform the calculation of taxation and always derive the same result.
Indeed, it should be possible for a computer, suitably programmed, to take the input and produce the same result
. This is certainly the case with the incometax law.
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