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(1)As from the date of the first new valuation, the rating authority of each urban rating area, in lieu of the poor rate and any other rate which they have power to make, shall make and levy for their area a consolidated rate which shall be termed " the general rate."
(2)As from the appointed day the rating authority of each rural rating area shall, in lieu of making a poor rate for each parish, make and levy a general rate for the whole of the district.
(3)Subject to the provisions of this Act, every general rate shall be a rate at a uniform amount per pound on the rateable value of each hereditament in the rating area, and shall be made, levied and collected, and shall be recoverable, in the same manner in which at the commencement of this Act the poor rate may be made, levied, collected and recovered, and all the enactments relating to the poor rate which are in force at the commencement of this Act, including (subject to the provisions of this Act) enactments relating to appeals against a poor rate, shall, so far as not repealed by this Act, apply to the general rate :
(a)In the case of any general rate made in a rural rating area in respect of any period before the date of the first new valuation, the rating authority shall, notwithstanding anything in this subsection, give effect in the collection of the rate to any exemption or abatement to which any person would have been entitled in respect of any hereditament if the rate had been a poor rate; and
(b)notwithstanding anything in the Distress for Rates Act, 1849, the justices shall not issue a warrant of commitment in default of distress for non-payment of the general rate against any person who proves to their satisfaction that his failure to pay is due to circumstances beyond his control, but where the justices in pursuance of this provision refuse to issue a warrant the rating authority may, unless the justices at the time of so refusing think fit to remit the payment of the rate (which they are hereby authorised to do), subsequently renew the application for a warrant of commitment on the ground that the circumstances of the person have changed.
(4)A rating authority shall have power to reduce or remit the payment of any general rate on account of the poverty of any person liable to the payment thereof.
(5)Where any amount, other than an amount which falls to be raised by means of a special rate under this Part of this Act, is, by virtue of any precept or otherwise, chargeable separately on any part of a rating area, the rating authority shall levy that amount on that part of the area together with, and as an additional item of, the general rate.
(6)Expenses incurred under the Public Libraries Acts, 1892 to 1919, by the library authority (not being a county council) of a library district being a parish shall, instead of being defrayed out of a rate raised in manner provided by paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section eighteen of the Public Libraries Act, 1892, be levied in the library district by the rating authority together with, and as an additional item of, the general rate.
(7)Section one hundred and thirty-three of the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845 (which provides that until the completion of the works the promoters of the undertaking shall make good any deficiency of poor rate caused by the lands being taken), shall have effect as though for the references therein to the poor's rate there were substituted references to the general rate, and as though the amount required to be made good by the promoters of the undertaking were in the case of lands situate in an urban rating area one-half of the deficiency in the several assessments to the general rate. The assessment on which any payment made by promoters under the said section is based shall be inserted in the valuation list and any such payment shall be taken into account for the purpose of ascertaining the proceeds of any rate.
(8)The provisions of this Act relating to the general rate shall apply to any consolidated rate, by whatever name called, made for any area under any local Act on or after the date of the first new valuation.
(9)Every hereditament in the rating area, whether liable to be rated or not, shall be included in every rate in the rate book.
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