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Local Authorities Report $63.3 Million Surplus

Local Authorities Report $63.3 Million Surplus

Local authorities recorded a $63.3 million seasonally adjusted surplus of current revenue over current expenditure in the June 2002 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This was down on the March 2002 quarter surplus of $204.5 million, which was boosted by a one-off dividend receipt.

The latest quarterly local authority survey showed a fall of $118.2 million in total revenue in the June 2002 quarter compared with the March 2002 quarter. The decrease was the result of a large drop in investment income, which returned to more normal levels after the large dividend revenue recorded in the three months to March 2002. Sales of goods and services rose 4.1 percent in the latest quarter, largely offset by a 1.7 percent fall in revenue from rates, petrol tax, licence fees and fines.

Total expenditure rose 2.4 percent in the June 2002 quarter compared with the March 2002 quarter, primarily as a result of a 4.0 percent increase in purchases of goods and services.

In the year ended June 2002, total revenue increased 7.3 percent to reach $4,126.0 million, while total expenditure rose 4.7 percent to $3,790.7 million, resulting in an annual operating surplus of $335.3 million. This can be compared with the $226.7 million surplus in the June 2001 year.

The major revenue component, rates, petrol tax, licence fees and fines that made up 60.2 percent of total revenue increased 2.9 percent. Sales of goods and services and all other income rose 5.7 percent, and government grants and subsidies, which are mainly for roading and passenger transport purposes, increased by 6.1 percent. Investment income rose due to a large increase in dividends received from local authority trading enterprises, which were $319.5 million in 2002 compared with $156.0 million a year earlier.

Expenditure items to increase were: employee costs, up 6.8 percent to reach $898.7 million; depreciation up 6.9 percent to $781.0 million; and purchases of goods and services, grants and donations and all other expenditure, up 3.7 percent to $1972.5 million. Interest paid fell 5.1 percent to $138.6 million. Brian Pink Government Statistician

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