Walker's case

Judgment Date22 January 1930
Date22 January 1930
Docket NumberNo. 41.
CourtLands Valuation Appeal Court (Scotland)

Lands Valuation Appeal Court.

Lord Hunter. Lord Sands. Ld. Fleming.

No. 41.
Inland Revenue
John Walker & Sons

ValuationValueSubjectsDerating"Industrial lands and heritages"Premises where proprietary whisky blended, bottled, boxed, and dispatchedExceptions"Distributive wholesale business"Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928 (18 and 19 Geo. V. cap. 44), sec. 3 (1) (c).

A company's business consisted in the blending of different whiskies into a proprietary blend. The company's premises consisted of stores, bonded warehouses, a cooperage, and a carpenter's shop, where whiskies, already made and matured elsewhere, were blended, bottled, labelled, boxed, and dispatched.

Held that the premises were not "industrial lands and heritages" within the meaning of sec. 3 (1) of the Rating and Valuation. (Apportionment) Act, 1928, in respect that they fell within exception (c) as being primarily occupied and used for "the purposes of distributive wholesale business."

In making up the Valuation-roll for the year ending Whitsunday 1930 the Assessor for Kilmarnock marked as "Industrial" under the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928,1 a "Workshop" at Strand Street, owned and occupied by John Walker & Sons, Limited, wine merchants. The Valuation Committee having

dismissed an appeal at the instance of the Inland Revenue Officer against this marking, the latter appealed to the Lands Valuation Appeal Court by stated case. [Case 462.]

The following summary of the facts set forth in the case is taken from the opinion of Lord Hunter:"The principal business of John Walker & Sons consists in the blending, bottling, dispatch, and sale of Scotch whisky as a proprietary blend, which is commonly known as Johnnie Walker. Blending consists in the mixing of single whiskies by machinery. The whisky used in the production of Johnnie Walker is distilled and matured before it is brought to the premises in question. These premises are described as consisting of (a) bonded warehouses, which are used partly for the blending and partly for the bottling and labelling of Johnnie Walker whisky; (b) duty-paid stores, used for the bottling, labelling, packing, and dispatching of Johnny Walker whisky on which duty has been paid; (c) a cooperage in which whisky casks are treated or repaired; (d) a carpenter's shop in which boxes for the holding of bottles of Johnnie Walker whisky are made. Of the 350 employees engaged in the subjects 20 are employed in the dispatching department; 220 in bottling, corking, wrapping, labelling, and packing; 12 in the reception of the single whiskies and the operating of the blending vats; 30 in bottle-washing; and 68 in making and repairing cases."

The Inland Revenue Officer contended that the processes of blending, bottling, &c., were ancillary to wholesale distribution, and that the premises were primarily occupied and used for the purposes of wholesale distributive business, or for the purposes of storage, or for purposes which were not those of a factory or workshop.

The Assessor and John Walker & Sons contended that the premises were used for the manufacture of the proprietary blend, and that the whiskies were held on the premises only in connexion with that purpose.

The Committee were of opinion that the subjects were "industrial lands and heritages."

The case was heard before the Lands Valuation Appeal Court on 9th and 10th January 1930.

LORD HUNTER.The question raised in this case is whether certain subjects, situated in Kilmarnock and owned and occupied by John Walker & Sons, ought to be treated as industrial lands and heritages within the meaning of the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928. [His Lordship then gave the summary of facts quoted in the narrative, supra, and continued]

The object of the 1928 Act is to make provision, with a view to the grant of relief from rates in respect of certain classes of lands and heritages, for the distinction in the Valuation-roll of the subjects to be affected, and the apportionment of the net annual values of such subjects according to the extent of the user for various purposes. There are three different classes of subjects affected by the Act,i.e., agricultural, industrial, and freight-transport lands and heritages. The Valuation-roll has to show, by distinguishing mark, what lands and heritages fall into any one of these three classes. The derating benefits are conferred by the

Local Government Act, 1929. In the...

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