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Coverage of LGNZ's efforts to impose new taxes

Coverage of the Taxpayers' Union response to LGNZ's efforts to impose new council taxes such as local fuel, sales and even income taxes.

Taxpayers' Union fuming over council plan (3 News, 2 February 2015)

A ratepayer-funded plan which suggests imposing more taxes to raise cash for councils has the Taxpayers' Union fuming.

Rates are the primary source of income for local authorities, but in a discussion paper released today, Local Government New Zealand suggests other funding sources.

The report lists imposing road tolls or bringing in taxes on income, certain types of expenditure, fuel, or certain transactions as options.

But Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams says the average rates bill has doubled over the last two decades, and the paper is only about how to tax more.

"Instead of focusing on the quality of councils' spending decisions, this campaign is using ratepayer money on propaganda promoting new taxes," he said.

"Nowhere in the discussion paper do we see a disciplined analysis of why local government spending is out of control." [...]

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Council Digesting Report (Rotorua Review, 4 February 2015)

ROTORUA Lakes Council (RLC) won’t rule out a raft of possible new taxes that have been outlined as options in Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) funding review discussion document.

LGNZ, a lobby group made up of 78 councils, including RLC, has issued the document which outlines options for addressing shortfalls in local government funding.

The options, which it says would sit alongside rates, include a local income tax, local expenditure tax, regional fuel taxes, transaction taxes and what it calls ‘‘selective taxes’’. RLC chief executive Geoff Williams said the document was intended to stimulate a discussion about possible funding opportunities and constraints in New Zealand, and declined to rule anything out.

[...]

Unsurprisingly, Yule’s claim that the discussion paper was not meant to pre- empt an overall increase in taxes was met with some scepticism by lobby group The Taxpayers’ Union.

‘‘Mr Yule is telling the public that the goal isn’t to increase the overall tax burden, but he released a report, not on ways to save money, but on ways to tax more,’’ said Taxpayers’ Union executive director Jordan Williams.

‘‘New Zealand’s average rates bill has doubled in the last 20 years, tracking at twice the rate of inflation. Instead of focusing on the quality of councils’ spending decisions, this campaign is using ratepayer money on propaganda promoting new taxes. Nowhere in the discussion paper do we see a disciplined analysis of why local government spending is out of control.’’ The LGNZ funding review document is available at lgnz.co.nz and submissions are open until March 27.

Read more.

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Also: Council funding reform plea shot down (NZ Herald, 3 February 2015)

 


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