Road funding revamp could hit ratepayers

The Southland District Council says the Government's proposed changes to road funding could see it lose $1.5 million a year, which ratepayers would have to pick up.

The Government is reviewing funding from the national land transport fund.

A council report said it would receive less funding under most of the proposed changes.

Council chief executive Dave Adamson said the council spent $26.3m on roading projects in the 2012-13 year, of which $13.3m came from the New Zealand Transport Agency.

"We believe, under the scheme, we will lose about $1.5m a year if we did the same amount of work as this year. We would have to make it up from rates."

The $1.5m would equate to about a 4 per cent rate rise, he said.

Transport Agency planning and investment regional manager Bruce Richards said it was too early to say what the specific impacts would be on individual councils because no final decisions had been made.

"Every decision we make which potentially benefits one council may negatively impact on another, and vice versa."

The agency was talking to councils around the country before making a decision.

It was "worth noting" that one of the five options in the document would result in the district council getting more funding, he said.

The council is writing a submission on the proposed changes.

The Southland Times