Northern Territory Local Government Grants Commission 1987 Report on Distribution of Funds under the Local Government Financial Assistance Act 1986
Tabled Paper 228
Tabled Papers for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
CHAPTER 4 PRINCIPLES AND METHODS In making its assessments for 1987/88 the Commission divided local governing bodies into two categories. The first category includes the larger municipal councils established under the Local Government Act. The second category consists of the smaller urban areas and communities, some of whom have been incorporated under the Local Government Act, but most of whom have been specially gazetted to be local governing bodies for the purposes of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act. The allocation of funds between the two categories for 1987/88 was made, with the concurrence of the Commonwealth Minister for Local Government, in the same total proportions as were used for 1986/87. The allocation of funds between the two categories for future years is a matter that will be reviewed by the Commission in conjunction with the Commonwealth Office of Local Government. The methodology used by the Commission in making its assessments for 1987/88 conforms with the requirements of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act. To the greatest extent possible, it has followed horizontal equalisation principles as set out in Section 9 (2) of the Act and as embodied in the distribution principles agreed to on 25 August 1987. by the Commonwealth Minister for Local Government. In relation to its assessment of relative revenue needs, the Commission sought to take into account differences between local governing bodies in their capacity to raise revenues from the sources of funds available to them. In assessing differences between local governing bodies in their capacity to raise revenue from general rates, the Commission decided that, unlike the situations in most of the States, it was not able to use land values as a reasonable measure of the revenue base. It concluded that differences between councils in unitary land values do not accurately reflect differences in relative- revenue raising capacities. Accordingly, the Commission tried to take direct account of differences between resident populations in their capacity to contribute to council revenues. In forming a judgement of these differences, the Commission took into account relative differences in the extent of commercial and industrial development, personal income levels, levels of unemployment, welfare dependency and other indicators of economic disadvantage. 5