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Christchurch City Council Rating Policy Flawed

Christchurch City Council Rating Policy Flawed

Fundamental flaws in Christchurch City's Rating Policies are resulting in the significant overcharging of farming ratepayers by the Council.

In a submission on the Christchurch City Council's draft annual plan today Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Deputy Director Policy Gavin Forrest stated that Christchurch City Council's people related services should be funded via a uniform annual charges (per property charges) rather than on the basis of their Capital Value.

"Rather rural landowners should continue to pay a lower rate in the dollar in recognition the lower level of services provided by the Council, said Mr Forrest.

"The Council's rating policy demonstrably fails to meet the requirements of the Local Government Act and its own funding policy.

Services such as Public Accountability, Community Relations, the Convention Centre and the Council's Entertainment Facilities, the Library, Leisure Facilities, the Art Gallery, and Parks and Waterways, are clearly people related services and should not be funded on the basis of property values.

"Rural rate payers are being significantly overcharged for services that benefit the whole community and in many cases they have trouble in accessing. The Council is to be congratulated for recognising this fact by not raising the overall proportion of rural rates.

"However, based on the Federation's detailed calculations the Council needs to reduce rural sector rates by 40-45% over time. This could largely be achieved charging people related services by way of a uniform (per property) charge - including a charge for each apartment rather than one charge per apartment block.

"People, not sheep and cabbages, as is currently the case, should pay to use the people related services such as the library and the city's swimming pools."

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