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Local Authority Rates Income Increases

Local Authority Rates Income Increases

Rates, petrol tax, licence fees and fines increased $42.0 million to reach $763.7 million in the September 2004 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This was a 5.8 percent increase compared with the June 2004 quarter and reflects the new level of rates struck for the 2004/05 year. This increase was largely offset by decreases in income from sales of goods and services, government grants and subsidies, and dividends. The fall in dividends is typical for a September quarter.

There was a small increase in the seasonally adjusted revenue and expenditure of local authorities in the September 2004 quarter. Total income increased $8.8 million compared with the June 2004 quarter, while total expenditure increased $17.1 million. This resulted in a reduced quarterly surplus of $43.8 million, compared with $52.2 million in June 2004.

Depreciation showed the largest increase of the expenditure items, rising $18.1 million (8.4 percent), from the June 2004 quarter result, to reach $234.0 million. The rise in depreciation is a consequence of upward revaluations of fixed assets, especially assets related to infrastructure such as roads, water supply, and sewerage and stormwater systems. Employee costs, which made up 23.6 percent of local authorities' current operating expenses for the quarter rose 3.6 percent. Compared with the September 2003 quarter, employee costs are up 9.6 percent. These rises were partly offset by a 1.7 percent fall in purchases of goods and services, grants and donations, and all other expenditure.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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