On September 6 2022, Property Council submitted to the Department of Internal Affairs regarding the targeted consultation on Fire and Emergency Levy Exemptions.
The consultation, with key stakeholders such as the Property Council, concerned which types of property should be exempt from paying the Fire and Emergency Levy.
Why this matters to our members
Property Council advocates for regulatory and tax settings that are both fit for purpose and fundamentally equitable. Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) provides a crucial public service to the property sector and wider New Zealand. It is critical that FENZ is funded with an equitable, fit-for-purpose funding regime. The current approach is inequitable and contrary to the legislative funding principles established in the Fire and Emergency Act 2017. As such, and given the significant burden of FENZ levies on the property sector, this topic is of key importance to our members.
Our submission acknowledged the practical need for a limited number of fire-insured assets to be exempt from levies. However, we were concerned that a mistargeted levy exemption regime could ‘open the floodgates’ and result in more exemptions being added over time, shrinking the asset base that contributes to FENZ. This would plausibly increase the cost of levies for properties that continue to insure and also result in an increased number of fire-insured assets that choose to self-insure. As such, we recommended implementing a levy exemption regime that is as limited and targeted as possible.