Campaign on council funding welcomed

2 Jul 2018

A better system for funding local government is essential for our economic future, says BusinessNZ.

Chief Executive Kirk Hope has welcomed the Local Government Business Forum’s campaign for a better system of funding councils.

“Many councils have funding and debt pressures that prevent them from providing essential local infrastructure needed by their communities.  Some councils are compounding the problem by not prioritising expenditure on core council services.

“Issues that need to be resolved include whether new systems of funding are needed to supplement or replace property rates and whether better guidance of council expenditure decisions is required.

“The recently announced Productivity Commission Inquiry into local government funding and financing may help achieve clarity and needed reform.

“Business will relay their concerns about inadequate infrastructure and core services delivered by local government, inappropriate council spending, over-reliance on business rates, and the unfairness of differential rates that charge business ratepayers significantly more than domestic ratepayers.

“It will be important for the perspectives of business and ratepayers to be heard in this inquiry, and for Government to take action on its findings, for us to gain a better funding system for local government.”