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Local Authority Rates Increases - Len Brown

Local Authority Rates Increases

The debate about an effective rating system is now about to start at central government level.

Len Brown, 2007 Mayoral candidate for Manukau City commented today that “While Central Government support is needed to work through the vexed question of what to do about funding sustainability in local government funding, local communities need to be leading the discussion if we want solutions that are relevant and long lasting”.

Len Brown, who came within 600 votes of unseating the incumbent Mayor at the last election, said that while for many it is a tradition to feel aggrieved about rates increases, it is also important to support the proposed independent inquiry into the rating system at this time.

A former Manukau City Councillor for 12 years, Len Brown led the development of a Council policy that capped rates increases to the level of inflation. “This worked well” said Len. “It encouraged financial and planning discipline in the Council organisation.”

In welcoming the independent inquiry into the rating system, Mr Brown said that the timing is good as we have got over the worst of the market-led approach to local government. “We need to get on with the creative debate that connects local government revenue for “common good” purposes with the level of income for individual residents.

“This does not necessarily lead to a dramatic increase in tax” says Len Brown. “There would be an increase in tax for some but I believe a more even spread overall. The argument needs to be well researched as the devil is clearly in the detail.”

In moving ahead with this inquiry into the rating system, we need to debate what we mean by “common good” in a way that makes sense to local communities. Local and central government need to hear the underlying concerns that people in our communities have deep down for where we are going and their desire to make it work collectively for the benefit of present and future generations.”

ENDS

Len Brown
Lawyer
Mayoral Candidate Election 2007
Manukau City

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