Labour plans to let local bodies tax you even more

Now this has to be an election winning strategy….for National.

Labour is going to let local councils tax ratepayers even more than they do now under their local body proposals.

Labour plans to reinstate the power for local bodies to raise revenue through extra levies such as a ‘pillow tax’ on visitors and regional petrol taxes.

Labour’s Local Government policy will also require a referendum to be held before any local council amalgamations can go ahead.

Local communities would also have to be consulted before council services were contracted out or privatised.

Local Government spokesman Sua William Sio said Labour was not opposed to amalgamations, but did not believe they were appropriate in all cases.

He said the Auckland supercity model was opposed by many Aucklanders “and designed to take control away from the hands of the many and vest governance in the hands of the few.”

Giving councils the ability to levy additional taxes on ratepayers is fraught with danger. Imagine a mayor with a record of profligate waste, like…oh I don’t know…uhmmm…Len Brown given additional powers to levy taxes on citizens. He’d be laughing all the way to the Ngati Whatua Room.

The Taxpayers’ Union is aghast:

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party’s plan to allow councils to levy new ‘pillow taxes’ and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says:

“It appears that Labour have given into Len Brown’s desire to introduce new taxes in Auckland. Instead of forcing local government to trim the fat, Labour appear to be consenting to Auckland Council’s lavish habits and business class travel.”

“Two years ago Labour’s transport spokesperson called Gerry Brownlee’s increased petrol taxes ‘outrageous’. At the time Phil Twyford said that increased transport costs would hit Kiwi families and businesses tying to stay afloat. Now Labour are trying to use local government as a Trojan horse to tax New Zealanders even more.”

Taxes on petrol went up 3 cents per litre on 1 July, meaning that for every dollar spent on petrol only 57 cents goes into the car.

“Like Labour under David Shearer, we say petrol taxes are already too high. Allowing Mr Brown to raise petrol taxes, while complaining about Mr Brownlee, is bizarre.”

“Everyday the Taxpayers’ Union is finding new examples of waste and extravagance in local government. The focus should be on reigning-in the sector, not allowing councils to invent new ways to tax New Zealanders.”

– NZ Herald


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