Council rates up 8.1% from a year ago; employee costs up 10.9%

Local body rates rose 8.1% in the December quarter from the same quarter a year ago, while local body employee costs rose 10.9% in the year to the December quarter, figures from Statistics NZ show. This quarterly growth in rates compared with growth rates of 9.1% and 9.0% in the previous two quarters so appears to be slowing somewhat. However, rates have risen 65% in in the last 6 years, while employee costs have risen 75.4% in the last six years. Local body Minister Rodney Hide has some work to do. Total investment income for the local bodies fell 13.6% in the December quarter from the September quarter after falls of 6.7% and 16% in the previous two quarters.     

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