Now you are getting your trams, get ready for sneaky taxes to pay for them

The hipster generation tell us we all want trams, other modes of public transport and cycle lanes.

The government are laughing at them now, because they consider those to be an improvement to the value of houses near them, and are planning a sneaky little tax based on the alleged uplift in value for being near the toys.

NBR reports:

The government is pushing ahead with plans to impose land value capture charges on people who benefit from large transport infrastructure projects in Auckland.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford expects to have the plan in place by the end of the year.

Papers obtained by NBR under the Official Information Act say value capture “is the public recovery of a portion of the increased property and other value created as a result of transport infrastructure investment.”

In a February 13 report to Mr Twyford the NZ Transport Agency said imposing some form of value capture mechanism did come with risks. If levies were placed on a new development, that might undermine the very purpose of the infrastructure to enable more development. There could also be disagreement between local and central government and that could discourage development.

Mr Twyford agrees there are risks.

“You wouldn’t want to use something like land value capture so heavily that you kill the golden goose.” End quote.

But hey, let’s see how much tax we can get from the golden goose before it croaks. Excuse me, though, if I don’t just laugh at all the transport wombles who want dedicated lanes for the their e-bikes, new buses and trams. Now they get to pay again for them with increased taxes and now a land value capture tax. Suffer in ya jocks.

Twyford is desperate to tax Aucklanders even more… and other cities: Quote:

Mr Twyford says value capture could be applied in other cities, not just Auckland.

“We need to invest much more aggressively in the infrastructure that enables economic growth in our cities. We can’t do it all through the tax take and so we need to find new, innovative ways to generate revenue that can support growth and I think land value capture could be one way that we do that.”

[…]

Mr Twyford dismisses concerns about imposing more costs on people who own property near large infrastructure projects.

“What about the basic fairness of people who happen to own land next to infrastructure that’s been paid for by the taxpayer getting a massive windfall gain for nothing that they have done? Isn’t it fair that they should pay even a small percentage back to the public good so that more infrastructure can be built?” End quote.

What about the massive disruption while these projects are being built? Disruption to businesses, properties, commuters and home owners? Will they get a tax credit for that disruption, or just a massive tax hike because the government unilaterally decided to build a train line next to their house and now they get to pay more taxes? Good luck selling that, Twyford.

He’s also forgotten that these bus routes and tram lines will largely go through poorer areas, and because taxes have now gone up on those properties the landlords will put up the rent… exacerbating the crisis in housing even further.

These fools have no idea how markets work. The landlords will justify it the same way the government are justifying it. Well, you want to live close to the new public transport infrastructure, therefore you have to pay a higher rent.

It will be another own goal for Twyford.


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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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