INDEPENDENT NEWS

NoMoreRates ask PM to remove GST from rates

Published: Wed 18 Nov 2009 10:47 AM
NoMoreRates.com
THE NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN TO REFORM THE COUNCIL RATING SYSTEM
Media release       17 November 2009
Statement from David Thornton
NoMoreRates ask PM to remove GST from Council rates
I have today emailed Prime Minister John Key asking that GST be removed from council rates as from 1st July 2010.
In my letter I point out that big rates increases are clearly signalled,  arising from just three issues,
The cost of fixing leaky homes in the Auckland region is likely to cost ratepayers an additional 4% rates increase.
In the last day or two it has been confirmed that local councils in the Auckland Region, and other parts of the country, will be funding Rugby World Cup from rates.
And Auckland ratepayers live in fear of even more rate rises to pay for the changes to Auckland Governance.
I told the Prime Minister, “These three issues alone have the capacity to demand very significant rates increases over the next few years.
And it will be residential and some rural ratepayers who will bear the brunt of these increases.
While businesses and farmers will also pay higher rates at least they will not pay the additional GST on those rates”
My email also said  “The country is looking forward to substantial increases in tourism earnings from the Rugby World Cup and as a result of New Zealand’s exposure to the world through its other sporting achievements.
The Government stands to gather substantial additional taxes from visitors, not least GST on spending by tourists”
I asked the Prime Minister what additional benefits would ratepayers get from huge increases, “What additional services will all residential ratepayers receive for paying out on leaky homes? What additional services will all residential ratepayers receive for staging the Rugby World Cup?
I urge you most strongly to consider removing the GST element from council rates by way of exemption or ‘zero’ rating from 1st July 2010 – the start of the financial year when new rates demands will include provisions for leaky homes, governance changes and Rugby World Cup.”
Finally I pointed out how little it would cost Government to take this step, “This will mean a small reduction in the Government’s GST income – recently estimated at about $160 million – but will bring significant relief to hundreds of thousands of ratepayers”.
Ends

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