Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Constraints Needed On Local Government

"The pattern of proposed rate increases around the country is alarming", Roger Kerr, New Zealand Business Roundtable executive director, said today.

"Despite local body election commitments by many candidates to hold rates, rises approaching double digit levels in some major cities are planned. This will hurt exporters and bring forward action by the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates.

"For years rate increases have been running ahead of inflation whereas they should generally be less than the inflation rate. Any increase in the level of rates payable per dollar of rateable property is a real increase and not an inflation adjustment because the rating base increases over time. We do not see central government increasing income tax rates or GST year after year.

"Real increases in rates higher than expected real economic growth (perhaps 2-3 percent in the year ahead) expand local government's share of the economy and squeeze the private sector. The overall welfare of the community is reduced when councils use resources in projects that yield a low return.

"Some councils are shifting the burden of rates away from businesses, which generally remain grossly overcharged. This is welcome. But increases to residential ratepayers could be minimised if councils limited their activities and controlled their spending better.

"Legislation currently before parliament would encourage councils to expand their roles rather than focus on their core business. It also guts the financial management disciplines on councils that were put in place following the model of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The Local Government Bill is strongly opposed by business organisations which are concerned about its impact on investment and jobs.

"The behaviour of many councils under current legislation suggests there should be stronger checks on their roles and their spending and rating decisions, not weaker ones as the Bill proposes", Mr Kerr concluded.

For further information:

Mr Roger Kerr
Executive Director
New Zealand Business Roundtable

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media Mega Merger: StuffMe Hearing Argues Over Moveable Feast

New Zealand's two largest news publishers are appealing against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Elsewhere:


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>

ALSO:


Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>