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Local Authority Revenue Rises

Local Authority Revenue Rises

Local authorities' seasonally adjusted operating revenue rose 1.6 percent, reaching $1,101.5 million in the September 2003 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. The increase in operating revenue was due to rises in government grants and subsidies (up 14.2 percent to $133.5 million), sales of goods and services and all other income (up 6.6 percent to $219.9 million), and rates, petrol tax, licence fees and fines (up 5.9 percent to $701.3 million). Partly offsetting the increases was a sharp decline in investment income (down 52.5 percent to $46.9 million), which is influenced by the timing of dividend receipts. Total quarterly revenue in the latest quarter is up 7.8 percent compared with the September 2002 quarter.

Total operating expenditure for the September 2003 quarter increased 3.9 percent, largely due to a 9.4 percent increase in purchases of goods and services, grants and donations, and all other expenditure (reaching $550.3 million). This was partly offset by decreases in interest paid (down 17.3 percent to $33.5 million), depreciation (down 0.5 percent to $217.0), and employee costs (down 0.2 percent to $246.4 million). Compared with the September quarter a year earlier, when total operating expenditure of $996.0 million was recorded, the September 2003 quarter showed an increase of 5.1 percent.

Local authorities reported a seasonally adjusted operating surplus of $54.3 million in the September 2003 quarter. This was down on the $75.7 million surplus recorded in the June 2003 quarter. The latest result was due to expenses rising faster than income.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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