22 Sep 2010

Council funding reform wanted by farmers

12:47 pm on 22 September 2010

Reforming the way councils are funded is top of the agenda for Federated Farmers, which is in campaigning mode for next month's local elections.

As the voting papers go out, the federation has issued its first manifesto aimed at raising the awareness of candidates and voters of the long-standing gripes that farmers have.

They say the rating system based on property values is unfair and needs to be reformed.

National president Don Nicolson says rates are now among the biggest working expenses for farmers and linked with that, local body funding for roads is also flawed.

The election manifesto says councils should do what their ratepayers have to do: make do with the money they have rather than constantly asking for more.