Re­lief to have medal re­turned

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

pay­ments – for ex­am­ple, govern­ment-owned land, high­salaried adults still re­sid­ing in the fam­ily house­hold and ten­ants pay­ing rents that do not re­flect the full cost of rates due to mar­ket forces.

It is un­fair also that the level of rates for an in­di­vid­ual property is de­ter­mined by its val­u­a­tion. That has no cor­re­la­tion with the num­ber of people re­sid­ing in a dwelling or the use of lo­cal ser­vices and scarce re­sources, such as wa­ter.

An­other is­sue is that not only are coun­cils faced with the prob­lem of gen­er­at­ing in­come from ratepay­ers to pro­vide core ser­vices for all res­i­dents and vis­i­tors, but they were a few years ago re­quired to take on the Govern­ment’s re­spon­si­bil­ity for the eco­nomic and so­cial well-be­ing of all its cit­i­zens.

Surely that is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Govern­ment in a coun­try with only 4.5 mil­lion people.

There was a time when coun­cils pre­dom­i­nantly pro­vided ser­vices to property, which was funded by ratepay­ers.

Coun­cils are now ex­pected to pay for an in­creas­ing ar­ray of ser­vices and the ever-grow­ing as­pi­ra­tions of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, pro­vid­ing fa­cil­i­ties that are of­ten only used by a small per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion or tourists.

De­spite the ever-chang­ing role of lo­cal govern­ment, charges on property own­ers still re­main the prin­ci­pal source of rev­enue.

In prop­er­ties of sim­i­lar value, a sin­gle house­hold oc­cu­pant should not be pay­ing more than a fam­ily of eight.

Rates are not meant to be a means of so­cial en­gi­neer­ing and the chal­lenge for govern­ment politi­cians is to find an al­ter­na­tive to property taxes to en­sure that ev­ery­one fairly con­trib­utes.

My sug­ges­tion, as rec­om­mended by a com­mit­tee that A big thank you to the per­son who found and handed in our lost medal to the RSA in Ti­tahi Bay.

Our grand­daugh­ter wore

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