INDEPENDENT NEWS

Ratepayers Pay Four Times For Roads

Published: Wed 15 Oct 2003 09:47 AM
Ratepayers Pay Four Times For Roads
New Zealand First has accused the Government of cynically manipulating road funding so it can siphon off billions in petrol taxes while local councils charge motorists tolls – even on existing roads – to finance new roading projects.
Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters claimed that citizens were being taxed four times to pay for transport - through income tax, petrol tax, rates and tolls.
“New Zealanders are being taxed to pay for roading and it is time the Government fixed this situation by using the petrol tax for what it was intended, the roads of New Zealand.
“Close to 55 cents on every litre of petrol bought at the pump goes in tax but only 17.725 cents goes to the national roads fund.
“New Zealand First had the answer when in government. In 1998 we started a process of reducing the proportion of road taxes going into the consolidated fund. That process would have seen the full amount available for roading within ten years but was stopped by National. It should be re-activated.
"Motorists are already paying huge taxes and it is easily possible to manage an annual programme whereby petrol tax receipts are diverted to developing transport infrastructure.
"Local councils are likely to be forced into tolling new roads because of the part funding programme being introduced. Tauranga needs an injection of $400-500 million for roading projects and the Government obviously wants local motorists to fund this through tolls.
“This is yet another example of this arrogant administration passing the buck so that councils and other authorities will take the heat for adding yet another tax,” said Mr Peters.

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