8% rates rises

The Dom Post reports:

Local government rate rises are a cause for deep concern, according to Business New Zealand, with an “astonishing” 7.9 per cent annual rise in the national bill.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said last night that local authority spending was out of control and a 7.9 per cent rate rise was not acceptable.

“We need to do much better to get rates under control,” he said.

Statistics New Zealand figures made public yesterday showed general rates rose $242.6 million in the year to June 2008, a rise of almost 8 per cent.

Estimates from Statistics NZ showed the national rates bill rose another $195.8m this year, up about 5.4 per cent.

In five years, the national rates bill has risen by $1.1 billion, about $700m more than if rates had stayed in line with inflation.

I note Len Brown has said he wants the new Auckland Council to battle poverty and get rid of inequality in Auckland. I shudder to think of how many tens of millions will be added to the rates bill to fund this.

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