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Farmers Demand Action on Rates

2 February 2005
Farmers Demand Action on Rates

Farmers facing spiraling rates bills were given scant encouragement for change from the Prime Minister's Statement to Parliament yesterday.

“Despite assurances given by the Minister of Local Government last year, and supportive statements from the Minister of Finance, there is no indication of any meaningful review by the government of the major problems with land and capital value rates. The Government seems to be prepared to continue to allow property owners alone to carry the cost of local government almost entirely on their backs. Property doesn’t use the services local government provides, people do."

"Rates set on the basis of property values are punishing individual farmers who continue to pay more than any other community group for services funded by rates. We've had all the platitudes from the government about the hopelessly flawed and inequitable rating system, yet farmers are left hanging year after year. 2005 appears to be no exception,” Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Vice President Charlie Pedersen said.

Federated Farmers’ 10K Rates Club - for farmers with general rates in excess of $10,000 – has over 130 farmer members collectively paying $2.3 million in rates, an average of $18,205.

"It is disappointing that the concerns of rural ratepayers weren't addressed in the Statement to Parliament. When will the government have the courage do something to address the real problem of our archaic system of funding local government?" asked Mr Pedersen.


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