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Assessment books

Popular records with researchers, these assessment books contain basic information about every property in the City of Sydney that has paid rates in a certain period. Kept separate from their rate book records they can now be viewed online.
Main title:
Sydney City of Sydney Council 2014
Internet www text
While some councils combined the two functions of assessment and rate book records, City of Sydney Council kept them separate. When the City was established in 1842, the body was allowed to levy a rate of one shilling to the pound per year to the value of a building. To determine this value, the City's assessors would visit buildings every 3 to 5 years to record: the owner's name - the ratepayer's name - materials used to build the house - the number of rooms and levels - the building's category - and - the building's assessed annual value. Buildings were categorised into vague descriptions such as house, cottage, hotel, shop, counting-house or factory with little extra details recorded. However, the names of the hotels are sometimes given. Occupants' names weren't usually collected, although some assessors included additional information in the remarks column. From 1879 ratepayers received extra votes according to their properties' values. Some large landlords paid the rates on all their properties and paid them, not in the names of their real tenants, but dummy tenants who were registered as electors. This was not the case for every owner of property in Sydney, and in most cases the ratepayer listed is proably the occupant. However, there is no easy way to determine how common these cases would be. Detailed information about how to use the books is provided on the site.The books record details of ownership, occupation, construction, and value for buildings in the City of Sydney between 1845 and 1948. They also provide valuable information for family and property history which is not available from any other source. A keyword search and advanced search option is provided with further links to topic headings such as City Assessment books - Ward maps and - Data files.
Dewey class:
336.222 ASS
Local class:
Electronic access:
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