Local Government New Zealand Conference: Taxes, Taxes and Look More Taxes

Mayor wants Government to review rating system

Currently the Local Government New Zealand Conference is being held in Rotorua. This conference is where Councils up and down New Zealand come together to discuss topical issues affecting them. One such issue is the revenue collection methods available to Council we otherwise know as Rates and Development Contributions.

From Mayor Len Brown

Auckland’s Mayor wants action on fairer rating

Mayor Len Brown says the Local Government Funding Review, released this morning by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), backs up his view that it’s time for government action to make the ratings system fairer.

“I have been saying for some time that the current model is intrinsically unfair and we need to pursue more equitable options that better reflect the complex funding challenges councils are facing.

“Aucklanders are feeling the burden of rates and I welcome this review to find more sustainable funding options for the future. This review is a very useful contribution to the much needed debate.”

Len Brown says a government review panel in 2007 also stated that new sources of funding would be needed by 2017 but  nothing happened.

“We’re almost at 2017 and so we’ve done enough talking, it’s time for action.”

Len Brown says the present system is not good for anyone – not good for councils, communities or central government.

The review recommends alternative funding options for increasing community demands on services and infrastructure and incentives to drive economic growth including:

  • road user charges, targeted levies and fuel taxes
  • a plan to advance special zones for growth
  • simplifying the rates rebate scheme
  • charges and taxes on visitors
  • reconsidering limits on community amenities funded through development contributions.

Local Government New Zealand will now work with the government, business and their communities to develop the ideas put forward in the hope they can be “put into practice with appropriate speed and urgency.”


Further Information

The Local Government Funding review is online at www.lgnz.co.nz/home/our-work/our-policy-priorities/3.-sustainable-funding/local-government-funding-review/


Or as another person put it the LGNZ Conference were looking at these options:

Local Government NZ launches its Local Government Funding review. Key proposals include:

  1. Government should share the costs of new imposed standards

  2. Government should pay rates

  3. Government should allow road user charges, levies and fuel taxes should be allowed

  4. Government should permit a share in mineral royalties

  5. Government should allow visitor taxes…

So taxes, taxes and I think that might be some more taxes there. Nevermind the ATEED, and Governance Support Budget Lines were never slashed at the wishes of 27,000 Long Term Plan submitters earlier this year as an idea to save costs and not need as much taxes in the first place.

So to Auckland Council the message is very simple and very clear. Go slash those two Budget lines first as requested by 27,000 submitters THEN we will talk new taxes otherwise NO DEAL.