Feds Kapiti and Wellington says no to roading rates rip-off
Federated Farmers fears when the Kapiti Coast District Council says it is interested in equity and affordability, it only means equity and affordability for urban residential ratepayers.
Last week Federated Farmers’ representatives made a submission to the council’s draft Long Term Plan (LTP) hearing opposing a proposal to change from a flat rate to a property-value rate to fund roading.
This will take the council further away from its stated aim of equity and affordability, says Federated Farmers Wairarapa president Jamie Falloon.
"This is pretty crude consultation when a huge impact like this is not discussed and considered with affected parties well before a hearing process for the LTP. This is a failing of many of the councils in our region."
What is proposed is "imposing an inequitable and more expensive rate take on rural ratepayers," Jamie says.
Under the new proposal, instead of paying the flat roading rate of $235, a farmer in Waikanae will be paying $1,727 based on the capital value of their property.
"An increase of $1,492, from this one rating change alone, is not equitable nor affordable."
This is on top of the existing land-value road rate which would see this farmer paying a total of $2,341 - just toward roading alone.
Jamie says equity is best provided when every ratepayer pays the same dollar amount - which is the principle behind the flat roading rate.
The big benefit of the flat rate was that it recognised that the transport network has an equal benefit and public good component, and therefore ratepayers should contribute an equal amount.
"Every person benefits generally from an ability to get around the district and from goods and services getting around, regardless of whether or not they drive on particular roads, or what the value of their property is."
Federated Farmers members also told the hearing panel of other ways they voluntarily contribute to public roading, such as clearing slips off rural roads, trimming roadside trees and keeping drains free flowing to prevent flooding.