Collins' Comments: 28 March 2017

Collins' Comments
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tax relief following flooding

With the recent flooding in Franklin, Hunua, Hauraki District, and Thames-Coromandel District, it is good that Inland Revenue has announced it will exercise its discretion on income equalising.

This will provide relief for farmers who are suffering from the extensive damage caused by flooding in many areas around south Auckland.

The income equalisation scheme allows farmers to manage highs and lows in their income by allowing savings from good years to be put aside and drawn on in less favourable years.

Inland Revenue has decided farmers who are significantly affected by the recent floods in south Auckland and Hauraki can make late deposits from the 2016 income tax year up to 30 April 2017 regardless of when the 2016 tax return is filed or due. Early refunds will also be allowed.

I am very aware of the problems farmers are facing as a result of the recent flooding and I hope this relief, when discussed with their accountants, will be very helpful to them. Click here for more information.

Tourism and Grants

It is great to see a new Sebel hotel is being built in Lakewood Court, Manukau and it is planned to open later in the year. Hotels benefit local residents by providing job opportunities and more potential customers for conference centres, retail shops and restaurants.

Tourism is now a $14.5 billion export earner for New Zealand, with 188,000 people working in the industry. Visitors are incredibly important to our economy and a quality hotel facility near Auckland Airport and south Auckland’s many attractions in Manukau and beyond will ensure south Auckland gets its share of income from them.

The Government has been funding improved tourist facilities with grants and in the last round of funding from the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund a total of $3 million was allocated to 14 projects. This saw the development of important amenities such as carparks, toilets, rubbish disposal and minor water management projects.

Due to the initial success of this scheme, an additional $5.5 million has been made available for further grants for tourism infrastructure developments. This next round of funding could be an excellent opportunity to develop or improve tourism infrastructure in Papakura and surrounding areas.

Budget 2016 allocated $12 million over four years for the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund. Applications for the second round of funding close on 13 April 2017 at 4pm.

If you have a project in mind that you would like to be considered, further information can be found at www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/regional-mid-sized-tourism-facilities-grant-fund.

Seven-month surplus better than expected

Gains from tourism, farming and exports mean the Government’s books are better than expected, with a $1.1 billion surplus for the seven months to January.

Stronger tax revenues, as a result of a healthier economy, are flowing through to the Government’s financial performance. Company tax, in particular, is higher than expected reflecting the good performance of our companies in what is still an uncertain world.

Core Crown expenses were lower than the Budget forecast, reflecting the Government’s ongoing commitment to prudent spending.

A number of variables – the biggest being the Kaikoura earthquake – make the result for the full financial year hard to predict.

The good news is that this Government’s strong economic management means we can afford to step in to help these communities and support them when they are most in need. Click here for more information.