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Federation wins rates remission against urban sprawl

Federation wins rates remission against urban sprawl

Federated Farmers is thrilled that common sense has prevailed in the Horowhenua District Council’s unanimous decision to adopt a rates remission for farms being rezoned as urban.

“Due to the urban sprawl, farmers are increasingly being rezoned as urban, and consequently being faced with enormous rates bills, but thankfully the Council listened to us and has taken a more common sense approach,” says James Stewart, Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president.

“Federated Farmers suggested a similar rates remission policy to its neighbouring Kapiti Coast, in order to avoid unnecessary costs to farming businesses, which would reduce their competitiveness with other farmers in the region.

“The Council has taken a sensible and thoughtful approach here, recognising that farms require a completely different rates model to its urban dwellers. These farms, though no fault of their own, have come closer to cities due to being caught up in the urban sprawl and are being rated on their subdivision potential.

“Rate payers should pay for what they get and their rates should reflect the actual economic use of their property not its unrealised capital gains. I congratulate the Council for addressing ours, and other submitters, concerns that were raised during their Annual Plan.

“Without rates remissions farms are likely to be forced into subdivision to make way for the increasing population, at the loss of productive land use. This is why Federated Farmers believes that urban centres should be building up not out.

“Farmers should not be penalised for where their farm were brought generations ago, and districts wanting to support their rural counterparts should look at councils, such as the Horowhenua District Council, who have used a rates remission to do this,” concluded Mr Stewart.

ends

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