(双语)新西兰房主面临平均地税上涨 15%,看不到缓解的迹象

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题图来源:RNZ / Dom Thomas

Kiwi homeowners are facing an average rates rise of 15 percent over the coming year – and there is no sign of relief in sight.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) came to that figure by collating the planned rate rises of 48 of the country’s 78 councils.

Among those likely to see biggest rates hikes this year are Canterbury residents, who are facing a hefty 24.2 percent average rates rise.

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Hamiltonians are likely to see a jump of 19.9 percent, while Whangārei is looking at a record hike of 17.2 percent.

LGNZ commissioned a report from Infometrics principal economist Brad Olsen to show why rates were rising so much.
LGNZ委托Infometrics首席经济学家布拉德·奥尔森(Brad Olsen)撰写了一份报告,以说明为什么地税上升如此之快。

It found over the past three years, bridges, sewerage systems, and roads had all become more than 25 percent more expensive to build.

Bridges, meanwhile, were an eye-watering 38 percent more expensive.

“Those increases are larger then what headline inflationary gains have been in recent years. With local government they’re not buying usual household items, they’re not buying bananas and similar, they’re buying some of that core critical infrastructure and that has continued to get more expensive,” Olsen said.

He said there was a difference of up to 20 percent between what projects were expected to cost when planned and what they actually cost now.

“To put that in perspective, if a council had five $20 million projects [in its] last long term plan, they would now have to cut one of those entirely to pay for the cost escalation on the other four.”

Local Government New Zealand vice-president and Lower Hutt mayor Campbell Barry said councils were trying to grapple with what projects to prioritise.
新西兰地方政府副主席兼下哈特市长坎贝尔·巴里(Campbell Barry)表示,市议会正试图解决哪些项目需要优先考虑。

“What I would say though, is we already have a $52 billion deficit in infrastructure spending as of right now. So we know the problems may only get worse, and that’s the challenge.”

Local Government New Zealand’s vice president, and Lower Hutt Mayor, Campbell Barry with Infometrics principal economist Brad Olsen.

Local Government New Zealand vice president, and Lower Hutt Mayor, Campbell Barry with Infometrics principal economist Brad Olsen. Photo: RNZ / Libby Kirkby-McLeod
新西兰地方政府副总裁兼下哈特市长坎贝尔·巴里(Campbell Barry)与Infometrics首席经济学家布拉德·奥尔森(Brad Olsen)。照片:RNZ / Libby Kirkby-McLeod

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Hamilton City Council is about to consult the public on its proposed 19.9 percent rise.

Mayor Paula Southgate said there just was not anything left for her to cut.
市长保拉·索斯盖特(Paula Southgate)表示,她没有什么可以削减的了。

“We’ve already been through this budget with a fine tooth comb,” she said.

That included cutting staff numbers.

“We’ve been through a rightsizing exercise with the council. If we cut more staff, it’s my personal view that we will start to cut services.”

The council said it cost $5.60 per resident per day to run the city, but that amount was expected to jump in the year ahead to $6.80 for the same services.

Whangārei mayor Vince Cocurullo said the proposed 17.2 per cent rates increase would enable the council to maintain what it offered ratepayers, and no more.
旺加雷市长文斯·科库鲁洛(Vince Cocurullo)表示,拟议的17.2%的税率上调将使该委员会能够维持其向纳税人提供的服务,仅此而已。

“This is the cost of running our [essential] infrastructure, it’s not about all the extra bells and whistles,” Cocurullo said.

The price of goods and services had risen quickly over the last few years and the council’s income no longer covered everyday costs, he said.

Major increases in construction and insurance costs had contributed to the rise.

Barry said it was time to get serious about ways to pay for local infrastructure that did not involve going deeper into ratepayers’ pockets.

Congestion charging could be an option for a city council which could help. Accommodation levies for those that experience an influx of visitors would be helpful as well,” he said.
“ 拥堵费可能是市议会的一个选择,这可能会有所帮助。对那些经历过游客涌入的人征收住宿税也会有所帮助,“他说。


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He said a share of GST on housing growth, which had been put forward by the government, would also help – but by itself it was not enough.
他说,政府提出的消费税对住房增长的份额也会有所帮助 – 但仅凭这一点是不够的。

“That simply won’t cut the mustard when it comes to the type of costs we are staring down.”
“当涉及到我们正在盯着的成本类型时,这根本不够。(won’t cut the mustard:someone is unable to succeed or meet expectation)

Amalgamating councils or having a smaller number could help, but that was not the quick fix it might seem, Barry said.

“It we reorganised or amalgamated councils and we left them with the same levers that they’re current got, we’d simply be moving the deck chairs around the Titanic.”
“如果我们重组或合并了议会,我们给他们留下了与目前相同的杠杆,我们只是在泰坦尼克号周围移动躺椅(无关紧要)。(moving the deck chairs around the Titanic:
(idiomatic) To do something pointless or insignificant that will soon be overtaken by events, or that contributes nothing to the solution of a current problem. )

Barry said the pressure on local councils had reached tipping point, and with an average rate rise of 15 percent, ratepayers were probably feeling that way too.


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