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Fresh Start initiative on council rates

RatesRebellion Formerly known as the Regional Ratepayers Rebellion campaign.

The campaign fighting the Auckland Regional Council's rating polices and rates increases.

MEDIA RELEASE 19 April 2004

Local, regional and national politicians welcome Fresh Start initiative on council rates.

Timetable set for complete rates reform programme by July 2008.

At a public meeting in Glenfield yesterday RatesRebellion spokeman David Thornton launched a Fresh Start initiative by setting a timetable for major reform of council rates.

The Fresh Start programme and timetable proposed is;-

* An immediate change to the ARCs current rating policy by July 1st this year.

* A firm commitment by all councils in the Auckland Region - including the ARC - to produce, no later than December this year, a set of short term measures to relieve the burden of council rates on all residential ratepayers, and especially those on low and fixed incomes,

* These new measures to be implemented in time for next year's rate setting process - and to remain in place for three years.

* During those three years, local, regional and central governments are to work together to produce a new funding system for local government in the longer term

* This long term solution to take effect for the financial year commencing 1st July 2008

* A commitment by all political parties in Parliament to support this initiative and ensure that this timetable is achieved,

The meeting drew an audience of about 75 residents who heard support for the initiateive from MPs present, including Rodney Hide, Murray McCully and Paul Adams.

ARC councillor Ian Bradley and Mayor George Wood also supported the thrust of the initiative.

All politicians stressed that for results to be achieved there would need to be all-party support in Parliament.

David Thornton said "We have talked long enough about rates reform - everyone sees the need for it. Now its time for action, and this Fresh Start initiative sets down a time table, starting at local level, right through to new legislation in Parliament".

ends

Contact, campaign spokesman, DAVID THORNTON david@Kandu.co.nz RatesRebellion website is http://www.ratesrebellion.org.nz

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