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Manukau delayed rate policies too Tough

Manukau delayed rate policies too Tough

Manukau City Council's new rate remission and postponement policies are too stringent to make it worthwhile for landowners to apply for them, says Auckland President of Federated Farmers, Barry McAlley.

Colin Dale, Manukau City Council's City Manager has urged ratepayers to take advantage of a scheme that allows rates to be delayed.

"I am calling for Manukau to bring its policies into line with other councils in the Auckland region and act within the spirit of the Local Government Act", said Mr McAlley

"The Local Government Act 2001 puts the responsibility for setting rates remission and postponement policies onto councils, whereas under the old law, the policy was fixed by central government. This gives councils much more flexibility to apply rating policy equitably.

"The current rating system is largely based on land value. Where the value of farmland is affected by its potential commercial or residential use, the farmer winds up with a grossly inflated rate demand. This can reach the point where the farm business is no longer economic, and is the reason why the Local Government Act provides for councils to make reasonable exceptions.

"Other councils with farmland in similar situations to those in Manukau have policies that ensure their farmers pay no more than their fair share of rates. I urge Manukau City to put into place policies that are fair to all its ratepayers", concluded Barry McAlley.

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