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Rates Inquiry Underway

Rates Inquiry Underway

1 November 2006

Federated Farmers is pleased that the long-awaited rates inquiry is about to start, said Don Nicolson, Vice President of Federated Farmers.

Mr Nicolson was commenting on the Minister of Local Government releasing the details of the inquiry, its membership and terms of reference.

“Federated Farmers wants the inquiry to be wide-ranging and broad enough to consider all the issues driving historic, current and future forecast rates rises and we want it to have a truly independent membership, including a ratepayer representation.

“We are therefore concerned that ratepayers, in particular rural ratepayers, do not appear to be adequately represented on the panel. Although the inquiry members seem well qualified for their task and we fully expect that they will be impartial, we feel that the input of a ratepayer perspective would have added considerable value and perspective to the inquiry’s work.

“Despite our reservations the Federation welcomes the inquiry and we are eager to work constructively with the inquiry team on this very important issue.

“Farmers have long called for an overhaul of local government funding, which at present saddles property owners rather than users of council services with the lion’s share of rates,” he said.


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