8 Sep 2009

Federated Farmers renews call for rates reform

1:45 pm on 8 September 2009

Federated Farmers has renewed its call for rates reform after a new survey revealed that some farmers' rates bills have doubled this year.

The survey of more than 500 farmers shows rural property rates increased by an average of more than 12% this year, well above the 2% inflation rate.

Two farms, both run by Maori trusts, will be paying $100,000 in rates and six more will pay over $50,000.

Areas which have had big increases are Invercargill, Tasman, Marlborough, Gisborne and Waikato, Federated Farmers president Don Nicholson, says.

Mr Nicholson says some sheep farmers in the southern Invercargill zone are paying rate increases of well over 100%, and in the Tasman area increases of 35% to 40% are not uncommon.

He says it reinforces the need to move away from using land valuation as a basis for setting rates and is a signal to Government that it needs to push on with local government funding reforms.