No more cash cows

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

I am writ­ing to sup­port the ar­ti­cle ‘Farm­ers tired of be­ing mugs’ (Fe­bru­ary 7).

I agree that farm­ers should be ask­ing ques­tions about why their rates are so high. Why is the me­dian cost of rates from 544 Fed­er­ated Farm­ers sur­vey re­spon­dents more than $21,000? Why are the rates in the Far North so high?

In my per­sonal opin­ion, a rat­ing re­view is well over­due. I have been push­ing for a rat­ing re­view since I first be­came a FNDC coun­cil­lor, and sup­port my fel­low elected mem­bers that sup­port it be­ing com­pleted ASAP.

I also have a per­sonal view that us­ing cap­i­tal value in­stead of land value-based rat­ing should be one of the first ques­tions asked of ratepay­ers.

Why should rates be paid on the ba­sis of land value, and not in­clude the im­prove­ments on the prop­erty? These im­prove­ments/build­ings al­low for more in­ten­sive use of the prop­erty and coun­cil in­fra­struc­ture. For ex­am­ple, why should a six- bed­room house pay the same rates as a one-bed­room house?

Also, why should a farm with only metal road, no foot­paths, no coun­cil sewer or wa­ter con­nec­tions pay more rates than a su­per­mar­ket that de­mands high traf­fic road­ing, sewer, stormwa­ter and wa­ter con­nec­tions?

I agree with the coun­cil pri­or­i­ties high­lighted by Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, with the top pri­or­ity (87 per cent of re­spon­dents) shown to be road­ing. I sup­port FNDC elected mem­bers gain­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of ru­ral and agri­cul­tural is­sues.

I con­sider the mat­ters raised in this ar­ti­cle to be very valid, and I look for­ward to the FNDC full rat­ing re­view this year, and, as part of this process, the as­sess­ment of how a change to cap­i­tal­based rat­ing could re­sult in a more fair and eq­ui­table rat­ing sys­tem.

I have my fin­gers crossed that the out­come of the rat­ing re­view will be no more cash cows.



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