Monday, 14 April 2014

LGNZ’s Alternative Funding Mechanisms Can Get Stuffed

I note councils around the country are at it again to get someone,anyone, to pay through the nose for their borrowing and over-spending.  They call this “looking for alternative funding mechanisms.”

Basing rates on property values alone may soon no longer be sustainable as the sole taxation form for many councils, says Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

Why will basing rates on property values alone no longer be sustainable as the sole taxation form for many councils? The answer is as simple as its corollary conclusion is obvious: because they’re spending too damned much and don’t wish to be stopped.

Instead [of reining in council spending, LGNZ] would investigate other forms of taxation such as local consumption and local income taxes as "complementary alternatives."

Ever since Sandra Lee changed the Local Government Act to give councils the ironically named “powers of general competence” their spending has gone up and up and up – and no Local Government minister with balls has emerged since to reverse this gift, let alone emasculate altogether the congenitally incompetent.  (Someone stick a toe up Nick Smith’s arse and ask him why he won’t stir in this direction.)

So as their powers of general incompetence continue to morph wildly, so too do the many  “alternative funding mechanisms”they contemplate to keep up with them –“complementary alternatives" in addition to the rates, service charges, levies, development contributions and general overcharging done whenever ratepayers and property owners are coerced into their company. They give them many labels…

“Local consumption taxes.”

“Local income taxes.”

“Funding tools.”

“Congestion charges.”

“Visitor charges.”

“Payroll taxes.”

“Capitation payments from central government.”

Many euphemisms to describe putting-our-hand-in-someone’s-pocket-and-rummaging-around-until-we-come-up-with-some-large-notes.

I say: Watch out. There are thieves about – they take many forms, and use many euphemisms their wonders of thievery to perform.

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