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Tauranga Council earns brickbat, and big bouquet

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Tauranga Council earns brickbat, and big bouquet

Tauranga City Council was urged today to think further about better ways to fund the city's growth pains before bringing down its proposed 14 per cent rates rise.

The Employers & Manufacturers Association (EMA) told the council's planning hearings that it was important to try and smooth the funding load required from rates for the city's many new projects.

"We urged Tauranga's Council to look at whether a better balance could be struck between funding the necessary growth through borrowing as well as from revenues from rates," said Peter Atkinson, EMA's executive charged with presenting the association's submission.

"The 14 per cent rates rise proposed is over the top because it will bring too much of a sharp shock.

"At present 43 per cent of Council revenues come from rates, which is already high.

"Tauranga City is developing an enviable reputation for policies and practices attractive to business and jobs, and we can see the merit in the Council projects envisaged.

"EMA congratulated the Council for setting its rates on the basis of Capital Value with no business differential, making the most use of Uniform Annual General Charges (UAGC), and for its policies on Development Levies."

Mr Atkinson noted EMA has 444 members in Tauranga. Altogether they employ 6,486 staff with an annual payroll of $280 million.

ENDS

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