Fair rates

2009-03-10 00:00

The recent protests over the city’s new rating system, particularly in the northern suburbs, is a healthy sign that local citizens are not about to get trampled on by the municipal bureaucracy without voicing their displeasure.

While the vast majority of citizens recognise the importance of paying rates in order to fund the services and amenities which local government provides, they are completely within their rights to demand that those rates are based on a fair and equitable valuation of their property. The latest valuation roll appears to contain many anomalies which might well see a pensioner in an ordinary house in Northdale cross-subsidising people in more lavish accommodation in other parts of the city.

The argument that the rates randage is so low that such anomalies will make little difference holds no water whatsoever and the municipality needs to ensure that the rateable value of each property has been fairly calculated before proceeding to implementation.

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