Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Business alarmed at Whangarei Council's rating

Business alarmed at Whangarei Council's rating practice, rates increase

Whangarei District Council attracted stick today from the Employers & Manufacturers Association who said the Council charged its business ratepayers one of the highest differentials north of Taupo, and was increasing rates by more than double the rate of inflation.

"The Council is obliged to spell out to its ratepayers why it needs to do this," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

Every year the EMA analyses the Annual Plans and related funding documents of all the major councils in the northern region.

In the Whangarei area the EMA has 280 member businesses with about 5600 staff with a total payroll estimated at $174 million a year.

"We were alarmed to see the Whangarei District Council is planning to charge its commercial and industrial ratepayers a general rate five times more than residential ratepayer's pay, on land of the same value," Mr Thompson said.

"In its Draft Annual Plan the Council provides no explanation for doing it.

"We are strenuously opposed to imposing a differential rate on properties used for business purposes.

"There are no tax or GST advantages of rates for business. Neither is there any evidence that business has a greater 'ability to pay'.

"Over 92 per cent of New Zealand businesses employ fewer than 10 people. Neither these businesses nor their owners enjoy incomes above the average income of other New Zealanders, and they should not be treated unfairly.

"Most councils have revised their thinking on the practice and are starting to drop the differential because they are a strong disincentive for businesses to grow and generate more jobs.

"The five per cent increase in rates overall is also too high, over double the rate of expected inflation this year.

"Though we disagree with some of its decisions, nevertheless we found the Council's funding policy analysis very clear and commend it for that.

"Other things we recommended to the Council included:
* let the private sector own and operate the proposed new landfill and waste stations,
* consider selling its shares in the Whangarei airport,
* ask what its objectives are in subsidising the housing costs of some elderly people in the area,
* increase its income from Uniform Annual General Charges to the maximum of 30 per cent permitted by law.

Comments: Alasdair Thompson tel 09 367 0911 (b)
09 303 3951 (h)
0274 982 024
Gilbert Peterson Communications Manager
DDI 64 9 367 0916 Fax 64 9 367 0903

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Principals' Federation:
End Of National Standards

Today the Minister of Education announced that the Government has stopped the controversial National Standards system of assessment and declared them an arbitrary measure which did not raise children's achievement as the previous Government intended.

"This is such a win for all the principals who never believed in national standards and who, for the past decade, have argued for what is morally right for our nation's young people and their learning," said Cormick. More>>


Public Good: People’s Report On Public Broadcasting And Media Presented

The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media, was crowdfunded and was informed by an extensive consultation, seeking the views of both those working in Media as well as gathering input both online and in person from ordinary Citizens. More>>


RBNZ To RNZB: PM's Press Conference

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern was joined by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Minister for Children Tracey Martin to announce the appointment of Adrian Orr as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank and the name change of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children to ‘Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children’. More>>


'Taming Globalised Capital': Why Is Labour Supporting Investment Rules In WTO?

‘Today, we learned the new government has added New Zealand’s name to a proposal designed to lead to foreign investment rules in the WTO at this week’s ministerial meeting in Argentina,’ said Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government… More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>





Featured InfoPages