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Local Authority Revenue Declines

Local Authority Statistics: September 2001 quarter

Seasonally adjusted local authority operating revenue decreased $20.0 million or 2.0 percent in the September 2001 quarter to $958.2 million, according to Statistics New Zealand. The latest quarterly local authority survey showed the fall was due to reduced investment income, which was caused by decreased revenue from dividends. The decline in revenue was partly offset by increases in rates, petrol tax, licence fees and fines, government grants and subsidies, sales of goods and services, and all other income during the current quarter.

Investment income declined $59.0 million during the September 2001 quarter, falling from $100.3 million in the June 2001 quarter to $41.3 million in the September 2001 quarter. The decrease was driven by a $57.2 million drop in revenue from dividends and a $1.8 million decrease in interest income.

Government grants and subsidies to local authorities increased 15.4 percent or $15.8 million to reach $118.5 million in the September 2001 quarter. Part of the increase can be attributed to increases in transportation funding, particularly regional passenger transport funding.

Local authority purchases of goods and services, grants and donations, and all other expenditure rose 4.9 per cent during the September 2001 quarter. This is the largest increase in expenditure recorded since the December 1999 quarter.

Overall, local authorities continue to record positive seasonally adjusted operating results, with a $59.3 million surplus of operating revenue over operating expenditure reported for the September 2001 quarter. The surplus, however, shows a sharp decline when compared with the previous quarter which recorded a $112.0 million surplus.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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