1. The question for decision is whether the annual value of buildings which are in existence for only a portion of the year, can be arrived at by distributing the gross rent for the period during which they are in existence over the period for which they are assessed.
2. I am of opinion that Section 82(2) of Act V of 1920 does not permit this. It declares, 'the annual value of land and buildings shall be deemed to be the gross annual rent at which they may reasonably be expected to let from month to month, or from year to year.'
3. The words 'gross annual rent' and 'reasonably be expected to let' do not permit the valuation to be fixed with reference to a shorter period than one year. Rule 15 in Schedule IV provides for the exemption of buildings which are first completed or occupied within the last two months of a. half year. It is a rule, of thumb which does not work in every case to a nicety so as to adjust the tax to the exact circumstances of every case. But so is the case also with profession tax and tax on vehicles. The practice of a profession or the ownership of a motor-car for over 60 days in any half year makes the individual liable to pay tax for the full half year.
4. This is not a case in which there is a claim for a vacancy remission, so, that I do not decide whether an unconstructed house can be said to be vacant within the meaning of Section 87 because the site is unbuilt upon.
5. I am of opinion, that the learned District Munsif was right in thinking that the Guntur Municipal Council was acting within the authority of the Act in, calculating the gross annual rent upon the rent at which the plaintiff's house might be expected to let, irrespective of the fact that it actually was not in existence for the whole year. The Civil Revision Petition is dismissed with costs.