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Call For Boycott On Payment Of Gst On Council Rate

Call For Boycott On Payment Of Gst On Council Rates

Following the publication of my article on GST in today’s New Zealand Herald I have been inundated with calls from many ratepayers suggesting that residential ratepayers should refuse to pay the GST which is currently charged on all council rates.

The removal or zero-rating of GST would mean an immediate reduction of 11% on the amount residential ratepayers would have to pay to their local and regional councils.

The success of the rates rebellion campaign against the ARC rates rise last year has led many ratepayers to believe that a similar campaign of refusing to pay GST would force the government to either remove or zero-rate council rates.

There is no doubt that such a boycott, by ratepayers right across the country, would cause a great degree of chaos for local authorities who collect the tax for the government.

Both main political parties have indicated that they are supportive of finding an alternative to property taxes [rates] as the principle source of funding for local councils – but they do not support the removal of GST from rates.

But new funding proposals will take some years to develop and be implemented, whereas the removal of GST from rates could be done in a matter of days if Parliament was to approve such a measure.

We will be watching with the interest the progress of the Private Members Bill currently before Parliament which calls for rates to be zero-rated.

If that Bill is not passed then the proposal for another bout of civil disobedience will gather impetus and the RatesRebellion campaign will almost certainly be re-ignited.

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