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Rodney should cut high business rates

Tuesday, July 6th, 2004

Rodney should cut high business rates to attract jobs

Solutions to Rodney's commuter population issues aired today are in its own hands, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

If Rodney were to cut the extremely high differential it charges business ratepayers and promote this as a competitive advantage it could attract more business and jobs, said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Rodney's ambition to create more jobs locally to cut down traffic congestion from commuters heading south to Auckland and the North Shore is laudable.

"But the problem is of its own making and the solution in its own hands.

"Rodney charges most of its business ratepayers 4.3 times more than residential property owners and has made no attempt to explain its reasoning for this. Because of it we believe the council is not complying with the Local Government Act.

"Furthermore, this year's average rates increase is to be 4.4 per cent with the total for next five years expected to be 27 per cent, on top of rising property values.

"Rates went up over 33 per cent in the past five years, so for the decade rates will rise 60 per cent.

"Rodney should also move to rates based on capital or annual value."

ENDS

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