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Privileges of II. And be it further enacted, That the purehasers
purchasers of the lots in the said town, so soon as they shall have

**** built upon and saved the same, according to the con.
* ditions of their respective deeds, shall be entitled to,

and have and enjoy, all the rights, privileges, and im-
munities, which the freeholders and inhabitants of other
towns in this state, not incorporated by charter, have
and enjoy. If the purchaser of any lot shall fail to
build thereon within the time before limited, the said
trustees, or the major part of them, may thereupon en.
ter into such lot, and may sell the same again, and ap-
ply the money towards repairing the streets, or in any
other manner, for the benefit of the said town.

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[Chap.CXIN

CHAP. XIX. in original] (Chan. Rer. An act for equalizing the land tax. p. 177.) Preamble.

1. WHEREAS the land tax, as 'at present charged by the commissioners of the several counties, is found to be very unequal, and from experience of the past, it is certain that future valuations of assessments (althouge attended with great expence and delay) will not produce that equality só essentially necessary to the happiness of all the good citizens of this commonwealth: And whereas, by arranging the several coanties whose soil and situation are nearly similar, into districts, a standard value is produced, whereby the accounts of bvėry person within the said districe may be justly re: gulated for all charges on land Ivereafter to be imposed, and a rule established whereby in future the tax'upon landed property may be laid with ease and certainty, and colleeted with all possible equality: Beistenacted,

That the counties within this commonwealth shall be Lands clasek laid off into four districts in manner following that is ed by coun. to say, the counties of Accomack, Norttrampton, Printies, for e. qualizingthe

dess Anne, Norfolk, Nansemond, Isle of Wight, Southland tax.

ampton, Sorry, Sussex Prince Georgie, Dinwiddie,
Greeniesville, Brunswick, Chesterfield; Henrico, Charles
Chy, James City, New Kent, York Warwick, King

1

and Queen, Elizabeth City, Hanover, Gloucester, Middlesex. Essex, King William, Caroline, Spotsylvania, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmore, land, King George, Stafford, Prince William, Gooche land, Powhatan, Cumberland, Amelia, and Fairfax, shall compose the first class. The counties of boy down, Fauquier, Culpeper, Orange, Louisa, Fluvauna. Luneyberg Mecklenburg, Prince Edward, Charlotte, Albemarle, Buckingham, Berkeley, Amherst, Cainp. bell, Halifax, Bedford, and Frederick, shall compose the second class. The counties of Pitisxlvania, Henry, Botetoart, Shanandoah, Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridges and Hampshire, shall-compose the third class. And the counties of Wasbiógion, Montgomery, Greenbrier, Monongalia, Ohio, Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincolo, the fourth class. And John Pendleton, juni Examiners or, and Samuel Jones, gentlemen, are hereby appoint- regulate the ed to examine the returns made of the valuations of the tax by the present year, and to ascertain the average price per assessments. acre of all the lands in each county within the districts aforesaid, and (carrying all-fractions of a penny to the benefit of the revenue) hy comparing the same with the standard or average value of each district herein after declared, shall, and they are hereby empowered, directed, and required, by a just per centage, to apply the difference to the account of every individual within the district, and add to or deduct from the same according ly. And the said examiners shall, before they proceed on the business aforesaid, take the following oath, via, IA B. do solemnly swear that I will to the best of

Their oathi. my skill and judgment, ascertain the true average price per acre of the lands within the several counties of this commonwealth, agreeable to the returns made, and by comparing the same to the standard by law established, will make out a just account of the land tax of every person charged in the said returns agreeable to this act, and transmit the same as by law required. So help me God."':. And each of the said exaininers, for their services herein, shall receive from the treasurer of this

Compensa commonwealth, by warrant from the auditors (whicha tion. upon receipt of the bookséherein after mentioned, they are and shall be empowered to grant) the sam of three huodred pounds. *** * It And be at enacted, That the average or standard Standard tax of the first district is and shall be ter skülings; the ave- of each class rage or standard of the second district is and shall be seven shillings and six pence; the average or standard of the third district five shillings and six pence; and the

average or standard of the fourth district three shilBooks for lings. And that the tax upon land thus equalized may collection, be duly collected, the examiners aforesaid are hereby out, and dis. required to make out a book of the accounts of each posed of. county, and on or before the first day of May next

transmit the same to the commissioners of the fax for each county hereafter to be appointed, who shall grant receipts for the same, add the said county commissioners shall cause a copy of the said book to be delivered to the sheriff, on or before the fifteenth day of the said month, by which the sheriff shall proceed to collect from every person named therein, the súm charged in the said book and no more. And the said examiners are hereby required to make up a separate book, or books, for each class of counties, in which each county shall be separate and distinct, arranging in alphabetical order the charges against every individual in each county, which said books shall be kept in the auditors

office. Commission III. And to prevent loss and confusion in conseers of thetas to be chosen quence of alienations of property, as well as that all for 3

lands within the several counties which now are vacant years.

and may hereafter be taken up, or which may not have been valued by the county commissioners for the present year, may be charged with a just and proper tax; Be it enacted, That the court of each county within this commonwealth shall, at their sessions in the months of March or April, nominate and appoint two fit per: sons to execute the office of commissioners of the tax within the same, who shall remain in office three years from the time of tlaeir appointment, which said commissioners, before they enter upon the duties of their office, 'shall before the court of the said county, take

the following oath, to wit: "I A. B. do solemnly swear Their gath. (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will diligent en

quiry make of all lands within the county, which trave not heretofore been valued, and a just valuation there. of make, agreeable to that of other lands of equal quality and situation within the said county; also of all alienations or partitions which may be made, and in all other matters and things discharge the duties of my office agreeable to law, with diligence and imparcialiAnd the said newly pa

ty, to the best of my skilt and judgment. So help me God.!! And in case of the death, refusal, or disability Their duty to act, of the said commissioners, or either of them, lienations or the county court as aforesaid shall, at any time, ap- partitions. point others in their place. That it shall be the duty of the said commissioners, in all cases of alienations op partition within their said county, from the time of delivery to the sheriff of the book for collection in any one year, to the same time in the next succeeding year, to go upon the land so alienated or divided, and valu. ing the same at a price equal to other lands in the said county similar in soil and situation, shall give a credit to the person disposing of the same, and charge the purchaser or receiver with the tax payable thereon, and in like manner in cases where lands have not been lieretofore valued, or where lands which now are va cant and may hereafter be taken up, the said county Also, in cas. commissioners shall, and they hereby are required es of lands 10 value the same, and charge the owner thereof not before

valued, or with the tax in manner aforesaid. county. commissioners shall annually, within two tented. months after delivery to the sheriff of the book or list for collection, make return to the auditors office of all alterations in the county book by addition, alienation, or partition as aforesaid, that corresponding en tries may be made in the book for each coupty kept at the said office, and shall make such additions or alteratioos in the list or book by them to be delivered for the collection of the current year. The said commissioners shall also, and they are hereby required to correct

former erupon application and full proof to them made, to correct all errors which may have been made by the former commissioners, either with respect to the quantity of land or to the ownership thereof, and eharge or give credit for the same; and for every entry of alteration ar alienation, the said commissioners may demand and receive the sum of five shillings. IV. And to enable the county commissioners to make

Lists of con full and just valuations and returns as aforesaid, Be it

veyinces & enacted, That the clerk of the general court shall, on partitions to or before the first day of May in every year; trans, be furnished mit, and the clerk of the county court deliver, to the

to county

commission. said commissioners, a list of all conveyances or parti- ers; tions within the preceding year in the respective courts admitted to record, certifying the quantity and sitaation

rors.

.

of the landiŝo conveyed, & if the purchaser or seller shall not before the said first day of May, have satisfied the

said commissioners as to the just value of the land, the C! we same shall be charged as land of the best quality in the

sáid county; and in eases of land whichi may now be vacanty the register of the land office shall, and he is hereby required to transmit, on or before the first day af April, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eightyfour to the commissioners of each countv-a list of all grants issued from his office, or made out for vacancies within the said county. since the finst day of Januarytast, and in like manner ber

fote the first day of April mzeach suceeeding year, À nd lists of of all grants issued or made out within the year pres All patents. ceding, to be by them valued and charged as afare

said, for which valuation they shall be paid by the Det publie, at the rate of two shillings and six pence for *** every hundred acres contained in the said grant; and

in cases of partition, by will or inheritance, the same fee may be demanded frons the persoon entitled to such partition as where the same is done by conveyance."

Vi And whereas alienations or partitions may have Certain ali.

been made since the valuations of the present year, or enations and partitions to may be made before the first day of May next; Be it be valued. enacted, That the said county commissioners shall,

and they are hereby authorised and required, to value all such alienations or partitions, and charge the own

er with the tax arising from the same, together with Allowances

the fecs, ir

ir manner as heretofore is directed; and the to county said commissioners shall be entitled to receive from the commission public, the sum of twelve pounds, for copying the

book or list annually, to be delivered to the sheriff, apd for delivering the same; and the sum of eight pounds for the return to the auditors-office, of such alterations or additions as may annually take place witbin the county; the fees chargeable to the public shall be paid by the treasurer on the auditors warrants

at tire time of making the annual return to the audiPenalties on ters-office as aforesaid. The said examiners failidge to various of perform the services by this act required, shall forfeit gers, for her and pay the spoof two thousand pounds eache the y.

register of the land oftice shall forfeit and pay, for > every offence, the sum of fifty pounds; the county

commissioners for every offence, ibe sum of two hup dred pounds eaches the elerk of the general court or

ers.

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