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Local Authorities Surplus Recorded

Local Authorities Surplus Recorded

Local authorities recorded a seasonally adjusted operating surplus of $61.5 million for the March 2003 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. Total operating revenue for the March 2003 quarter was $1,049.3 million, a decrease of 2.3 percent, or $24.2 million, compared with the December 2002 quarter.

The decrease was due to a $49.0 million fall in dividend revenue. Partly offsetting the decline in dividend revenue were increases in rates, petrol tax, licence fees and fines (up $13.4 million), sales of goods and services (up $4.9 million), interest revenue (up $4.2 million), and government grants and subsidies (up $2.4 million).

Total operating expenditure rose slightly to $987.7 million in the March 2003 quarter, up 0.2 percent, or $1.9 million, from $985.8 million in the December 2002 quarter.

The latest quarterly rise was due to increases in depreciation (up $6.7 million) and employee costs (up $6.5 million), and was partly offset by decreases in purchases of goods and services (down $10.0 million) and interest paid (down $1.4 million).

Final results from the annual Local Authority Census are now available for the year ended June 2002. Local authorities recorded annual revenue of $4,147.8 million and annual expenditure of $3,791.3 million, resulting in an annual surplus of $356.5 million.

Compared with the 2001 June year, 2002 annual revenue showed increases in investment income (up $126.7 million), general rates (up $99.2 million), grants, subsidies and levies (up $41.4 million), sales of goods and services and all other income (up $39.2 million), fees and fines (up $1.8 million), and petrol tax (up $0.7 million).

Only revenue from water rates declined (down $0.2 million), resulting in an overall increase of 8.0 percent in operating revenue.

Annual expenditure for the year ended June 2002 showed increases in purchases of goods and services and all other expenditure (up $110.8 million), employee costs (up $40.3 million), and depreciation (up $35.0 million).

Only interest paid declined (down $3.0 million), resulting in an overall increase of 5.1 percent in operating expenditure.

Local authorities continued to replace or renew ageing infrastructure, increasing the amount spent on additions to fixed assets to $1,597.7 million for the 12 months to June 2002. This was an increase of $207.6, or 14.9 percent, compared with the previous year, and the highest level recorded in the series.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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