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No Rate Increases To Pay For Transport Problems

The REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION

The campaign opposing the Auckland Regional Council's rating
policies

MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Statement by David Thornton

NO RATE INCREASES TO PAY FOR TRANSPORT PROBLEMS

TOTAL REVIEW OF RATING SYSTEM MUST START NOW

The likelihood of substantial increases in both regional and local council rates to pay for Auckland's transport solutions may well be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Ratepayers across the region - and across the country - have, for years, been complaining about the unfair system of using property values as a basis for setting rates.

Any announcement this Friday, that rates must increase, will firmly plant the seeds for spreading the Ratepayers Rebellion to encompass local rates as well as regional rates.

The time has come for central government to embark on a total review of the way local government is funded. And that must start now.

If rates on properties are to continue as the basis for local taxation there must be options to reflect the number of the people in each property, their ages, their income, and the benefits they receive for their rates.

Rating policies of all councils must reflect some or all of these options.

In the longer term rates could well be replaced by a form of local GST or direct government funding theough the general tax system

The present burden of the total rates bills - local and regional rates, and water bills - is becoming unbearable for many people, especially when they receive so little in exchange.

ENDS

Contact, campaign spokesman, DAVID THORNTON [Chairman of the Glenfield Ratepayers] david@Kandu.co.nz


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