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Rates up an average 64.6% since 1999

John Carter MP
National Party Local Government Spokesman

09 January 2007

Rates up an average 64.6% since 1999

Ratepayers across the country will again be disappointed and angry as they face huge rate hikes again this year as a result of Labour's dithering and its failure to stem a tidal wave of costs that local government is facing.

Figures compiled by the Parliamentary library and collated by National (attached and below) show that since 1999, average rates have risen by 64.62%, while inflation for the period has run at around 22%.

"It's easy to see why some households are hurting.

"Last year, in a rush to fend off criticism, Labour threw together a partisan 'rates inquiry'.

"Labour is now saying it will respond to the rates crunch some time before the election, but even if something is announced - it will be too late to have any impact on rates this year.

"Many ratepayers are staring down the barrel of double digit rates increases. Some rises are predicted to be as high as in the early 20 per cent range. This is intolerable, particularly for fixed and low income earners.

"Meanwhile, the rates rebate programme stretches only so far when Labour has passed more than 60 pieces of legislation which have loaded new costs and responsibilities onto local authorities and ratepayers. This buck-passing is tax by stealth.

"More red tape, more compliance, equals higher rates."

Local Government rates increases 1999 to 2007

Rates increases by Council type

Council type % change 1999-2007 Avg rates increase per Metropolitan ratepayer 69.20% Avg rates increase per Provincial ratepayer 52.50% Avg rates increase per Rural ratepayer 41.70% Avg rates increase per Regional Council ratepayer 84.10%

Average rates increase per ratepayer in NZ 64.60%

(Metropolitan areas have a greater impact on the overall NZ average due to their higher population base.)

ENDS

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