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North Shore spin can't confuse facts

North Shore spin can't confuse facts

North Shore Mayor George Wood should come clean and acknowledge the ARC has taken a principled approach in adopting a Capital Value rating system for its general rate and in seeking to target transport rates, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"North Shore City Councillors could learn a lot from the ARC," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"No matter how what spin they put on things, the simple fact is the North Shore City Council has persisted in charging commercial property owners a general rate which last year was 9.3 times higher than it was for residential property owners for an equivalent property value," Mr Thompson said.

"When all rates and charges are taken into account, North Shore City business ratepayers pay 28% of total rates and charges though commercial properties represent only 10% of North Shore's land value.

"This year the ARC rate was increased dramatically by 34% with almost all the increase going to pay for passenger transport improvements.

"But the reason why North Shore City residential ratepayers have taken a big hit from their ARC rate is because, unlike the North Shore City Council, the ARC knows it cannot justify forcing business ratepayers to subsidise residential property owners.

"Saying that business should pay more in rates because the cost can be claimed against income for tax purposes would be like a petrol station saying vehicles owned by businesses should pay more for their petrol than other vehicle owners.

"What a nonsense that would be! Only a council monopoly backed by special legislation can get away with such perverse behaviour.

"On behalf of our 550 business members on the North Shore which employ some 13,400 people and have an annual payroll of over $500 million, EMA again urges local residents to consider the injustice of North Shore's rates policy that requires businesses to pay a general rate 9 times greater than residential properties.

"The North Shore Council is plainly anti business and job growth.

"Under the ARC rating system business ratepayers have a fair and equitable deal for the first time. These are now being collected directly on the basis of a principled rating policy instead of being levied by various local city councils applying punitive differential rates."

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