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Changes to Rotorua’s rates will hearten local business

May 14, 2014

Changes proposed to Rotorua’s rates will hearten local business

Rotorua businesses will be heartened by City Council plans to reduce the unfair business differential in the coming year’s rates, says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).

The proposal in the Rotorua City Council Draft Annual Plan for 2014-15 is to reduce the rates bill that businesses pay to 1.9 times more than residential ratepayers pay, down from 2.1 times.

“Its only a slight change but its in the right direction and the many motels, hotels and other businesses on which the city relies, will welcome it,” said EMA executive officer Peter Atkinson at today’s Annual Plan hearing.

“Charging them higher rates than residential ratepayers is like killing off the goose that lays the golden eggs.

“The slight reduction of this burden has never been based on the services businesses receive from the Council, and its simply not true that our small to medium size businesses, which employ a third of the country’s workers, can afford to pay more than residential ratepayers.

“Most businesses in Rotorua are small, and we hope and expect the differential to be phased out altogether in the longer term.

“On behalf of local business in general EMA finds it is encouraging to see the planning of the new council taking Rotorua in the right direction.

“The city’s Plan itself contains a helpful summary and separate column of forecast expenditure in its financial statement.

“We also support the council removing development contributions and looking into setting up two council-controlled organisations (CCOs) - Rotorua Contracting, and Rotorua Tourism, Events and Venues.”

www.ema.co.nz

ENDS

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