Thieving bastards, Labour wants to tax you for the “improvement” to your property of being near a railway or cycleway

(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Labour seem intent on being a one term government and losing Auckland.

Grant Robertson has expressed his delight at considering a tax on property if it is near one of their cool transport projects…because apparently it will have improved in value.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has signalled that property owners benefiting from the building of the Auckland rail links could be subject to a special “value capture” tax.

Speaking at the Auckland Chamber of Commerce/Massey University annual finance lunch at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland, Robertson said the Government was investigating “innovative” ways to bridge the funding gap to pay for the rail and roading infrastructure the country needs, especially in Auckland.

An “innovative” way to bridge…oh you mean piles of new taxes.

“Between the balance sheets of the Auckland Council and the Government, we still don’t have enough,” Robertson said.

“Minister Phil Twyford and I are actively looking at opportunities for how to do that.”

They’d have more if they didn’t splash cash around the Pacific.

Those options included “value capture” which the Productivity Commission championed early last year.

This is a process under which a special tax is levied on property owners deemed to have benefited from the building of infrastructure.

“If we are going to make big investments in things like [Auckland’s City] Rail Link, and a series of different rail links, people will benefit from that. How do we capture the value of that, and use that to fund the development?” Robertson said.

Oh great. So, the council embarks on an expensive, unfunded project, they block roads, redirect traffic for months on end. Cause traffic chaos and carnage, then also add in cycleways, remove carparks and generally disrupt your life, your home and your business for years on end. Then they turn around and say, that your business, property, building etc has now improved in value because you have no carparks, and a cycleway or a train station…so we are going to tax you.

Boy, they have a cheek. This is a sure fire way to turn people off infrastructure projects and kill community support.

Worse still, they will tax you on unrealised improvements.

In March last year, the Productivity Commission gave an example of how that might work.

If the land value of a property benefiting from a new rail link increased in value from $100,000 to $250,000 over five years – a 150 per cent increase compared with a rise of 120 per cent in land values in the wider area – a tax could be levied on the $30,000 gain attributable to the infrastructure improvements.

The tax could be levied alongside of rates, the commission suggested.

That is an unrealised value, and now you have to find some cash from your after tax income to pay their new tax. Welcome to the advance Venezuelan plan to tank the economy.

This is daylight robbery, and far from increasing the tax take it’s likely to crash property values in the dead zone of increased taxes as no one will want to live there and pay the new taxes. Those properties will become boat anchors. That in turn will reduce people using that infrastructure and not only is there no way to pay for the infrastructure there is also a massive white elephant no one uses as well.

What concerns me is who determines whether or not there is an improvement in value, and then who determines where the value starts and ends. Imagine a situation where on one side of a street it is deemed to be a higher value and you pay the tax and just metres away on the other side of the street they are tax free. You may laugh, but you are letting bureaucrats determine this…so outcomes like that are highly likely.

Robbo has no idea. What this speech signifies is that they don’t have enough money for all their promises and the budget is likely to signal tax increases despite their promises. They will try and blame the former government and sell it that way. Good luck with that strategy.

Mind you, there is something delightful in watching all those virtue-signalling wankers on the left who push rail and cycleways having to pay massive taxes on their inner city properties because they have cool new infrastructure.

 

-Fairfax

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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