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Baldock pleased at ratepayer roading relief

Baldock pleased at ratepayer roading relief

United Future transport spokesperson Larry Baldock is delighted to see that United Future’s policy to reduce the local road funding burden on the long suffering ratepayer has been backed up by the findings of the just-released Surface Costs and Charges study.

The study notes that "Rates are fixed charges based on property values and bear no relationship to the use of the roading network by property owners. While it can be argued that most ratepayers use public transport and/or drive cars, using rates to contribute to the cost of roads creates equity issues, particularly as the demography of New Zealand's population is changing".

Mr Baldock asked the Minister of Transport this week whether this means that the Government will consider adjusting the financial assistance rate (i.e. the level of assistance the Government gives local authorities for building and maintaining local roads).

He said this would help to alleviate a heavy burden upon urban councils across the country and particularly upon farming regions.

The Minister of Transport replied “Yes. The financial assistance rate is due for a review, and the member makes a good point. The study in general hints that the future should be less fixed charges and more variable charges”.

Mr Baldock officially released United Future’s transport policy at the AA’s annual conference in Napier today.

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