Pro­por­tional tax

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Edi­tor,

In my time as the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce I have tried to en­cour­age all Porirua cit­i­zens to be­come more ac­tively en­gaged with the ac­tiv­i­ties the var­i­ous govern­ment bod­ies are en­gaged in.

While I rep­re­sent the view­points of the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity, it is clear there is a fun­da­men­tal lack of un­der­stand­ing within the com­mu­nity re­gard­ing how rates are spent lo­cally and why.

The com­mu­nity re­quests ser­vices with­out the full knowl­edge there will be a di­rect re­la­tion­ship be­tween ser­vice de­liv­ery and rates in­creases.

Un­for­tu­nately, the cur­rent rates col­lec­tion sys­tem al­lows coun­cils to in­crease the rates pretty much on a whim.

How­ever, at some point in time, the com­mu­nity as a whole needs to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ev­er­in­creas­ing costs by clearly telling the coun­cil what’s not im­por­tant.

Now is the time to look at both the var­i­ous phys­i­cal bound­aries of coun­cils as well as how lo­cal and re­gional govern­ment is funded.

A na­tional sys­tem which could be ap­plied across the suite of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties would only re­duce the spend of pub­lic money; it would be pro­por­tional to the abil­ity of their peo­ple to pay. The sys­tem should be trans­par­ent and re­move the abil­ity for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to ar­bi­trar­ily in­crease rates.

Good news – this sys­tem al­ready ex­ists and it’s called GST. Cen­tral govern­ment col­lects tax on be­half of lo­cal govern­ment through GST. The GST take is rel­a­tive to the in­come and ex­pen­di­ture of con­sumers.

This means those on a lower in­come who spend less will not be taxed more. In­creas­ing GST from 15 per cent to 18 per cent would erase the re­quire­ment for rates al­to­gether, cre­ate a fairer sys­tem for all and en­sure lo­cal govern­ment fund­ing is pro­por­tional to their com­mu­nity’s abil­ity to pay.

I wish Porirua all the best. This is a fan­tas­tic city with won­der­ful peo­ple liv­ing and work­ing here. I look for­ward to see­ing how you as a com­mu­nity choose to de­velop over the com­ing years.

SIMON CALVERT, Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Porirua

Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Even­tu­ally the po­lice were called, who then called an am­bu­lance for this lady. Ob­vi­ously, she was more than dis­tressed.

I have not seen this be­hav­iour in Porirua, es­pe­cially by group of kids. She was ha­rassed for no rea­son. It was a cow­ardly act by a group of kids.

The Count­down bus shel­ter should be one of the safer places in the city cen­tre. To have a se­cu­rity cam­era from one of the sur­round­ing out­lets cover this area would de­ter such in­ci­dences.

If there were any wit­nesses who recog­nised mem­bers of this group, could they con­tact the lo­cal po­lice. If left unchecked it will oc­cur again else­where in Porirua. If this can hap­pen, what other crimes can oc­cur in broad day­light? D DAHYA,

Porirua. ex­pected to be un­der­taken by Hous­ing New Zealand on up­grad­ing HNZ hous­ing stock.

Aside from ask­ing why PCC in­tended to spend ratepayer money on na­tion­ally-owned as­sets, I feel the mayor and coun­cil­lors owe ratepay­ers an ex­pla­na­tion for di­vert­ing this sum to un­bud­get­ted ac­tiv­i­ties.

Surely ratepay­ers have the right to ex­pect that can­celled projects will re­lease funds for debt re­duc­tion and rate rise lim­i­ta­tion. BRIAN COLLINS,

Pa­pakowhai.

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