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Ratepayers Flogged Over Transport Costs

Media Release

15 July 2003

Ratepayers Flogged Over Transport Costs

New Zealand First has warned that ratepayers in many parts of the country face huge increases in their rates bills to meet spiralling transport costs.

Deputy Leader Peter Brown says other local councils will follow the trend set by the Auckland Regional Council, which has changed its rating system to extort rate increases of up to 600 percent from some ratepayers to help pay transport costs.

“The ARC chair Gwen Bull has admitted the increase is needed to help tackle Auckland's traffic congestion and public transport problems, yet the Government is still siphoning off millions of dollars of petrol tax money that should be spent on roading and transport.

“In the Rodney area, a retirement home faces an ARC rates increase of 600 percent and these people are hardly likely to put much demand on the transport infrastructure.

“These ratepayers are now being taxed three times to pay for transport - through income tax, petrol tax and rates. Now they are being slugged extra while the Government wallows in a huge surplus, ready for election year pork barrel politics.

“Many people, especially those on fixed incomes, are groaning under the financial burden of local council rates and those in the ARC area have the right to feel especially aggrieved.

“New Zealanders are being taxed out of their homes and it is time the Government fixed this situation by using the petrol tax for what it was intended,” said Mr Brown.


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