Disconnect between rates and income must be fixed

Local Government New Zealand’s 10 Point Plan is a chance to stop the widening chasm between the rates some households are charged and their ability to pay, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.

“There is a huge disconnect between rates based on the value of people’s homes and their income, particularly in Auckland. 

“Reforming our rating system has to be a collaboration between LGNZ and central Government. The Government established this system and must be part of its reform if the negative perceptions about the way local councils set rates are to be overcome.

“Regulations passed by central Government which impact on local government always come with costs that are passed onto to ratepayers.

“It is also time to address another bugbear of ratepayers which is the GST charged on rates – effectively a tax on a tax.

“The Government needs to work more closely with councils to ensure local communities are prepared for the future challenges.

“National has a record of riding roughshod over local democracy – such as Environment Canterbury – and LGNZ’s report highlights the need for the Government to listen more to local communities.

“The future funding of local government is an important debate to have and one Labour will engage constructively in,” Su’a William Sio says.