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Call to Mayors for rates reform

Call to Mayors for rates reform

Ratepayer Rebellion campaign seeks councils support for new system to replace property rates

As a result of the Regional Ratepayers Rebellion last year there has been a vastly increased awareness of rating generally throughout the region.

We have written to all Mayors in the Auckland region asking for their councils support for a research programme from which to develop an alternative to property rates as the major source of council funding.

We believe that people generally are prepared to pay for local services, but they are looking for a system of funding which is fair and affordable.

In many cases local and regional rates are neither fair nor affordable and the time has come for change.

While this unfairness applies throughout the country the heightened awareness in the Auckland region gives us all the opportunity to tackle this issue in the knowledge that ratepayers in the region are looking for leadership in aiming for a fairer system.

As a start we have asked all leaders of political parties in Parliament to press for the removal of GST from council rates, and we are now awaiting their response. We hope that Auckland Mayors and councils will support our call for this removal of GST.

However that would be a short term relief proposal - the real need is for an entirely new look at funding to find a workable and equitable system of financing for the wide and important services provided by councils for their local communities.

Preliminary discussions are taking place with two universities with a view to establishing a research programme from which alternative funding systems can be developed.

We are seeking the support of all councils in the region - support for the review itself, and then financial support for the programme of research and development.

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