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Manukau City Rates Discriminate Against Business

26 May 2004

Manukau City Rates Discriminate Against Business

Manukau City’s disproportionate rating burden on the business sector is archaic and getting harder by the year to justify.

Speaking at a Council hearing today in support of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce submission to the City’s draft annual plan, Michael Barnett, Chamber chief executive, noted the trend for many businesses to be operated from a residence.

“I cannot let pass the injustice differentials impose not just on the business community as opposed to residences receiving the same service, but also within the business community itself.”

Manukau is increasingly becoming a “mixed use” environment, with many businesses home-based. “Clearly they are not subject to the differential that is imposed against businesses operating from the business zone.

To be consistent, Manukau could seek from Inland Revenue or Telecom details of home-based businesses so it could collect the higher rates from these enterprises. “Of course that is impractical and likely to run against privacy considerations,” noted Mr Barnett, “but it highlights the injustice of the Council continuing with a differential policy.”

For many years, the Chamber has encouraged Council to review rating policy and set in place a programme to phase out differentials and to shift the incidence of rates towards user pays.

The Chamber urged Council to change its rating policy to include a process to phase out differentials entirely within a specified timeline.

ENDS

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