Local Government Funding and Financing

Last updated: August 16, 2021

Environment & Infrastructure

Local Government Funding and Financing

Published: August 16, 2021

Stage: Ongoing

Priority: Medium

Issue for Business: Impact of rating policy on business costs

Action: The Productivity Commission released its final report on Local Government Funding and Financing well over a year ago. BusinessNZ made comprehensive submissions during the review process and agrees with most of the final recommendations including that business rating differentials should be abolished over time, along with the recommendation that rates on businesses and others should be equal to benefits received.

Outcome: While the Government has not responded in detail to the Productivity Commission’s recommendations, it announced in April this year an independent review to explore the future for local government. The Review Panel, chaired by Jim Palmer, is required to consider what local government does, how it does it, and how it pays for it. From here, they will explore what local government’s future looks like, including: • Role, functions and partnerships • Representation and governance • Funding and financing. While the brief for the Panel is very broad, it will be important that BusinessNZ remains closely engaged in this process. To this end, the Local Government Business Forum (which includes a number of key business organisations including BusinessNZ) is meeting with the Panel early September to outline our initial thoughts. The Panel has issued an interim report on the likely direction of the Review, which will be followed by a draft report for public consultation in September 2022, and a final report will be completed in April 2023. BusinessNZ will submit both formally and informally to the Review as opportunities arise.

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