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Regional Council Flip-Flop On Rates

29 June 2004

Regional Council Flip-Flop On Rates A Double-Blow Against Business

When the Auckland Regional Council adopted a capital based rating system last year, it accepted advice that a differential against business could not be justified.

This was because businesses were already paying higher rates for the same services received as residences as a result of occupying higher valued properties.

“For Council to this year turn around and reverse its policy without one shred of evidence that businesses will receive any additional benefits from paying a differential is illogical and ludicrous,” said Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and a Regional Councillor.

“It is very clear that the Councillors who changed their vote from last year to now support a differential did so simply to appease their conscience that last year’s rate increase was too high, and they want to look good in the eyes of residential ratepayers,” he said.

Mr Barnett said the decision yesterday is putting the cart before the horse. The Council yesterday agreed to get further research done on the cost-benefits to business from paying a double differential – one based on capital value and the other based on services received.”

Logically, Council should have acted only when the research findings were confirmed.


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