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Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
Another TAX for growers to add to their list
With the recently introduced Auckland Regional Fuel Tax (ARFT), Auckland growers now have increased fuel costs to pay for. Not only is there increased cost for the transport of produce and goods within the region for growers, there is also the increased cost for off road farm vehicles which has been pointed out. It has dawned on me that I am even being taxed more to mow my lawns! Unfortunately, it is not a simple case of being able to sell your product for more to recoup your increased costs, if only it was that easy.
For growers, close to but not in the Auckland region I would be concerned how the ARFT could potentially start to affect you. Over the past month I have done a quite a bit of travelling in Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, thus refuelling in multiple destinations. As I was driving to Rotorua last month I decided to fill up in Matamata (Diesel), this turned out to be a great idea, it cost $1.39 per litre compared to $1.56 per litre in Pukekohe. During the return trip I decided to top up again in the Waikato and thought I would do so in Tirau but to my amazement the price was $1.51! I thought “wow in two days the price has risen in the Waikato!” Yeah right! I decided not to fill up but to drive back through Matamata to see what the fuel price was, to my relief still $ 1.39. What is going on! Is this just good competition between fuel companies.
Last weekend I was in Tauranga and noticed the price in the Bay of Plenty was as low as $1.34 and as high as $1.44 per litre. I drove back to Auckland on Monday morning only to notice that the closer I got to Auckland the difference in diesel prices at different stations. In Paeroa there was over 7 cents different in price between 3 suppliers only two kilometres apart. The further north the higher the price. Without, making any accusations and only from observation, the question I have is the ARFT causing a ‘knock on” effect with fluctuating pricing from surrounding regions. Personally, I have travelled a lot in these areas in the past ten years and it could be I have not taken much notice before but I don’t recall seeing such a difference in the price of fuel in the regions.
There are two things you can’t avoid in life – death and taxes. I understand the need to pay tax, it is what provides the pivotal services we all need. However, I question the fairness of the ARFT and the different playing field it appears to have created. I understand how improvements to the Auckland transport system, paid for by the ARFT, will potentially benefit Aucklanders and the rest of New Zealand but I also understand the need to be fair to prevent resentment.
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Article Written by Stefan Vogrincic, Consultant, Grower2Grower