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Media release from the Taxpayers' Union

MEDIA RELEASE

LGNZ PUSH FOR LOCAL INCOME TAXES, FUEL TAXES AND REGIONAL GST

2 FEBRUARY 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Taxpayers’ Union is furious that council lobby group, Local Government New Zealand, is spending ratepayer money on a campaign promoting local income taxes, regional fuel taxes and regional GST-style regimes to increase the tax burden of local councils. LGNZ launched a review document on various options for new taxes this morning.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“New Zealand’s average rates bill has doubled in the last 20 years, tracking at twice the rate of inflation. Instead of focusing on the quality of councils' spending decisions, this campaign is using ratepayer money on propaganda promoting new taxes.”

LGNZ is a taxpayer funded lobby group representing the interests of councils. Nowhere in the discussion paper do we see a disciplined analysis of why local government spending is out of control.”

"This campaign is so blatant that LGNZ spin doctors are sending Mayors draft opinion pieces so local politicians can 'leverage local media' and promote these new taxes. The Taxpayers' Union has been forwarded some of the emails by elected officials who are concerned LGNZ is overstepping the mark."

Responding to LGNZ President, Laurence Yule’s comments that  The goal is not to increase the overall tax burden for New Zealand, but rather to determine whether a different mix of funding options for local government might deliver better outcomes for the country,” Mr Williams says:

“Mr Yule is telling the public that the goal isn’t to increase the overall tax burden, but today he released a report, not on ways to save money, but on ways to tax more."

Average rates per capita since 1994 (source): 

ENDS

ENQUIRIES:

Jordan Williams
021 762 542

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is an independent activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It’s here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.

The Taxpayers’ Union operates a 24 hour media line for comment on taxpayer issues. Representatives are available on (04) 282 0302.

High resolution images and logos are available on request or online at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/resources