Businesses bear burden of proposed interim transport levy

Auckland Council’s proposed Annual Plan has outlined key changes for businesses, particularly regarding the Interim Transport Levy. The council has put forward an option for deliberation that would grant the interim transport levy to collect more from the business sector, in line with the general rate, and reduce the encumbrance on other non-business ratepayers.
Currently, the interim transport levy requires nonbusiness (residential, farm and lifestyle) ratepayers to pay $113.85 (including GST) annually for each separate dwelling; business ratepayers are required to pay $182.85 (including GST) annually for each separate business. The new option however would increase the share of the interim transport levy to be met by businesses from 14.7 per cent to 32.7 per cent for the 2016/17 period, and 32.3 per cent for the 2017/18 period.
The new business interim transport levy would also be shared among businesses on the basis of capital value rather than a fixed charge.
The implementation of such changes could mean that businesses with a capital value of more than $180 million could be wearing a levy of more than $48,000.
Kim Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Employers and Manufacturers Association, believes that the proposed change is another tax by stealth on businesses, one that is out of order in terms of what has already been debated. “We have no issue with businesses bearing some costs, but it is unacceptable to think that they can shoulder the bulk of the transport levy. In some cases this could be an increase of more than 100 per cent.”
“This proposal, also seems to over-ride other strategic initiatives such as the Auckland Transport Alignment Project, aimed at deciding the framework and funding model for the city’s transport woes.” The consultation surrounding this issue will run from 15 February – 15 March this year, with the proposed option very likely to face some opposition.
Pukekohe Business Association has also urged businesses to oppose this option, stressing that it is important for all of their members to submit on the issue.

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