Select Committee on Local Taxation of the City of Dublin: first report, minutes of evidence and appendix

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THE SELECT COMMITTEE appointed lo inquire into the Local Taxation of the City of Dublin, and to report their Opinion and Observations thereon to the House; and to whom several Accounts and Papers presented to the House in the last and present Sessions of Parliament, were referred;—Have, pursuant to the Orders of the House, considered the matters to them referred, and agreed upon the following REPORT : 

TH E subject referred to Your Committee is one of importance, not 

only as it relates to the large sums of Money raised and expended, but as it involves, in a very serious degree, the improvement of the city of Dublin and the comfort of its inhabitants. 
Previously to the Union with Great Britain, the city of Dublin, as the metropolis of Ireland and the seat of the legislature, was the residence of the most considerable persons of the kingdom in wealth and in importance; Its improvement and extension was consequently great. 
Since that event it has, to a very considerable degree, ceased to be the residence of those families, the expen-diture of whose establishments had been under the protecting care iof a local legislature, one very great cause of its improvement. 
It is true, that its advance as a place of commerce, and as the seat of the courts of law, has counteracted in some respects the decline of its wealth and resources; but the increasing poverty of its inhabitants is still most melancholy ami most rapid. 
Your Committee cannot give a stronger proof of this fact than by referring to a return laid before them, by which it appears that the number of houses certified by the collectors of the Paving Tax as insolvent, have augmented since the year 1815 from 880 to 4,719> -and that at the present moment out of 16,138 houses liable to assessment, above one fourth are unable to contribute towards the local taxation. 
On these special grounds, as well as on the more enlarged principles of enforcing a fair administration of public money wherever collected, an equal apportionment of taxes wherever imposed, and a just system of economy in all departments. 
Your Committee have applied themselves with the most anxious attention to the discharge of the duties imposed upon them by the House. 
The Local Taxation of Dublin consists of assessments raised by virtue of various acts of Parliament under the several heads of Paving and Lighting; Pipe Water and Metal Main; Watch and Police; Foundling Hospital; a Tax on Clubhouses and Cards, and a Tax for maintaining the Quay Walls. 
These Taxes are fixed and invariable. 
The Grand Jury Levies fluctuate according to the discretion of the Grand Juries, by whose authority they are imposed, and the exigency of the public service for which they are intended to provide. 
To these two classes of assessment, Your Committee feel it their duty to call the attention of the House.