No more cash cows
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.
COUNCILLOR FELICITY FOY