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Bill another Blow to the Rural Community


Local Government Bill another Blow to the Rural Community

The rural community has been delivered yet another pre Christmas blow with the report of the Local Government and Environment Select Committee on the Local Government Bill, says Federated Farmers Vice President Charlie Pedersen.

"Farmers and businesses who pay the lion's share of the rate take actively sought a first principles review of the functions, powers and funding of local authorities involving those that foot the bill, said Mr Pedersen.

"Government has failed to heed the concerns of business and we are faced with open season on the ratepayer's purse as Councils embrace their new powers of general competence.

"Subject only to broad consultative requirements, councils will have the same rights and freedom of action consistent with the general law, as individuals and corporations This power is totally inappropriate for a government sector that relies on a tax applied on the value of land and improvements to it.

"A five year review of the impacts of the Bill is welcomed, but I would caution that a lot of damage can be done in that time. Farmers simply do not have the numbers to defend our businesses from the popular ability of council to tax the few to benefit the many.

"The Government will learn too late that it has underestimated the negative impact this Bill will have on the engine room of the economy."


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