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Much to applaud in Manukau's rating policies

Monday, 24th May, 2004

Much to applaud in Manukau's rating policies, plans

Manukau City was congratulated today by the Employers & Manufacturers Association (EMA) at the Council's hearings for planning to cut the level of Manukau's rates increases, and for adopting a coherent and reasonable set of principles on which to base the city's rating policies.

Over 1030 businesses and other organisations in Manukau City are members of EMA. Altogether they employ more than 29,348 staff and have a total payroll of $1,100 billion a year.

EMA's submission was based on consultation with the association's regional Infrastructure Committee, EMA members located in Manukau City and senior EMA staff.

"EMA commends Manukau City for the modest increase in rates this year of 2.1%," EMA's chief executive Alasdair Thompson told the Council's hearings.

"However Council said last year it would change to a new basis for setting the city's rates and it has not done this.

"The present Land Value basis for Manukau's rates is the poorest option for aligning council benefits with the funding required to deliver them.

"Council should also be moving faster to implement the funding principles adopted last year; amongst these is a proposal to move to a Capital or Annual Value basis for rates.

"In particular we are concerned that while Council's principles clearly prefer user charges when a beneficiary is identifiable, it is continuing to rate businesses in the city's inner area 6.5 times more than residential property owners, and 3.5 times more in the outer cordon.

"Businesses do not benefit from Council's services anywhere near this extent. EMA oppose differential rating of business properties and urge Council to wind back its differentials.

"We also recommend that rentals of Council supplied housing be urgently reviewed.

"The work on completing the region's roading network is highly commended."


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