Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Council congratulated for finances though stuck in the past

Hamilton Council congratulated for finances though stuck in the past


Though the Employers and Manufacturers Association has congratulated the Hamilton Council for outperforming its financial targets and getting its finances back into shape, it also said the Council seems to think it is still operating under the former Local Government Act.

At today’s Council hearings on its Annual Plan EMA’s Peter Atkinson advised the council it has a rare opportunity to change over its rating system to one based on capital value.

“Hamilton Council’s goal to balance its books by 2017 looks achievable, and we warmly congratulate the council on this,” Peter Atkinson told the Council hearings today.

“Saving $15 million this year and keeping debt down is a creditable achievement,” he said.

“But the 3.8 per cent increase in rates proposed is too high.

“While we strongly support the Council’s plan to review its rating system there appears no willingness to remove the business differential.

“Such a change would result in a fairer and more efficient rating system by aligning rates more closely with the benefits that ratepayers receive, and also with how other councils finance their activities.

“In not giving this due consideration the Council seems to be operating under the old Local Government Act.

“The role of local government used to be to achieve the ‘social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the community’ but these words were replaced in the 2012 Act by the words: ‘to meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.’

“Using rates differentials previously was said to be to help achieve a fair and equitable distribution in the general rate between categories of land having regard to matters of ‘social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the community,’ but this is no longer the basis for setting rates.

“Since this is the case, the existing Hamilton business rates differential policy must also be called into question. A re-think is required.


“EMA also supports Council introducing a Uniform Annual General Charge in the interests of its residents and ratepayers.

“Council’s response in the Plan to its ‘unsustainable’ debt levels which we support, includes the following:
· Return to surplus by 2017

· Limit debt levels to about the same level for the next 10 years
· Cut operating budgets by $11.7 million and reduce staff numbers
· Increase some user charges to bring in an extra $3.5 million per year
· Sell some assets and review others for possible sale.

“In our prescription these steps should be followed by moves phased over several years including:
· A capital value system of rating
· Reduced business differentials
· Introducing a Uniform Annual General Charge
· Water by metering
· Sewerage by volumetric measurement.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news