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Lifestyle block owners in the Waimakariri know how much hard work is required to keep on top of things. It’s not for nothing they’re sometimes referred to as life-sentence blocks.

Lifestyle block owners in the Waimakariri know how much hard work is required to keep on top of things. It’s not for nothing they’re sometimes referred to as life-sentence blocks.

Whether it’s chooks, fruit trees and a vege patch, or some sheep and perhaps a llama, it’s a Kiwi dream and often an affordable alternative for those seeking a modest home out of the more expensive urban areas. Not having waterborne sewerage and refuse collection — or even a sealed road — and having to drive further to get the kids to activities or friends are sacrifices many are prepared to pay.

It’s about choice. Something we, as New Zealanders, value.

However, if Government succeeds with its capital gains tax, families selling a modest three-bedroom family home on a patch of land over 4500 square metres with an asking price of as low as $260k will have to hand over 33 percent of the gains to Government, while palatial, multi-million dollar family homes in established, leafy urban suburbs will be tax free.

Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.

If you’ve taken in flatmates or boarders to help pay the mortgage, even to help pay off a family home on a smaller section, you could be handing over a percentage to Inland Revenue as a capital gains tax. KiwiSaver investors and small, home-based businesses will also get caught in the net. Few will have the appetite to face the struggle of establishing a start-up, going without to be one of the 20 percent to make it past the first five years or to keep the business going through the lean years, only to have to hand over 33 percent of the gains made over the lifetime of the business when it comes time to retire.

Government’s proposed capital gains tax would be one of the most aggressive in the OECD.  Shouldn’t we rather be backing our families and small businesses to get ahead by growing our local economy to support more jobs and higher incomes in Waimakariri?

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