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Mayor Challenges Rating System

6 August 2004

Mayor Challenges Rating System

Mayor of Rodney John Law believes the rating system of funding local government is outdated.

“People are concerned about rates and the fact that they keep increasing but the issue is to challenge the system itself because ratepayers can’t continue to shoulder the burden of ever-increasing costs and standards that have to be met as we strive to design sustainable communities. Drinking water, sewerage, roading networks, walkways, cycleways, sports and recreation facilities, libraries, community centres and achieving architectural excellence are just a few of the challenges.”

“The easiest way to reduce rates is to take GST out. This is after all a tax on a tax. Secondly and more importantly is removing the cost of roading and footpaths from rates. This would reduce rates by approximately 30 per cent. Adding a few extra cents on the cost of petrol and diesel is a much fairer way of funding transport infrastructure. In other words we need a user pays system. Ratepayers are not the exclusive users of our roadways. To remove the transport infrastructure burden from rates would only require a change of policy from central government.”

“I’ve been putting this argument to central government and MPs from all parties for the last 18 months in order to influence the current debate and policy change in a way that favours the interests of ratepayers,” the Mayor said.

ENDS

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