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Rotorua's rating system should be overhauled

Tuesday, May 24th, 2004

Rotorua's rating system should be overhauled

Rotorua City Council should undertake a comprehensive review of its rating system, the Employers & Manufacturers Association told the council's hearings on its Annual Plan Monday May 23rd.

EMA recommended the council change its method of calculating rates to one based on capital value rather than land value, and to abolish its differential on businesses.

"Businesses are the lifeblood of Rotorua, so why council persists in charging them $4.30 more in rates for every $1 it charges equivalent value residential property owners makes no sense," said Peter Atkinson, executive officer with EMA.

"Many residential property owners own properties of far higher value than businesses, but it's the business properties that are called on to subsidise the well heeled residential owners.

"We recommend Rotorua adopt the approach of Tauranga. Its council ditched rates based on land value and now apply capital value without any need for charging business differentials.

"EMA also recommended the council seek more of its revenue from user charges and make full use of Uniform Annual General Charges.

"On the plus side the Council's proposed rates rise of 4.1%, including inflation and growth, seems reasonable.

"EMA's presentation was on behalf of the 285 businesses and other member organisations in the Rotorua district. Altogether they employ 5732 staff and have a total payroll estimated at $233 million p.a."


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