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Thinking on transport charges needs tune up

Thinking on transport charges needs tune up

Business in the Auckland region would oppose passenger transport taxes levied on the basis of property values, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Business can't support the Auckland Regional Council's proposals to introduce property based taxes to fund passenger transport as reported," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"After decades of under funding, business and everyone else in Auckland expects to have to pay more for road transport developments. But how we pay for them is very important.

"The use of passenger transport has no bearing on the value of anyone's property hence property is not an appropriate basis on which to levy taxes for passenger transport.

"The operating costs of passenger transport should be met in the first place by user-pays charges. To the extent that subsidies are required to help fund capital investment to establish better transport systems, they should be met by uniform annual charges levied equally across all property owners.

"The EMA supports the introduction of tolls on Auckland's motorway network, including the use of higher tolls in peak times to better reflect road usage patterns, and to encourage the use of passenger transport.

"We also support higher fuel taxes provided they are levied throughout New Zealand equitably, and provided none of the extra revenue finds its way into Government's consolidated fund. Another proviso to our support for this measure is that a greater proportion than comes from Auckland is returned to Auckland, to help catch up for the decades of under funding in the region.

"We don't support a fuel tax levied only on road users in the Auckland region. We should be careful what we wish for. A regional fuel tax would penalise Auckland's growth, businesses and road users."

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