State farmer Landcorp wants more taxes:
Conflict has emerged over Government-owned companies being able to influence Government-led inquiries.
State-owned Landcorp New Zealand, which owns and operates a large number of farms, is facing criticism for welcoming environmental taxes on the sector.
Andrew Hoggard of Federated Farmers says he feels Landcorp are “trying to push themselves out to be a bit holier than thou” and are “throwing other farmers under the bus quite frankly”.
Pāmu is Landcorp’s brand name and it has made a submission to the Government’s Tax Working Group saying it’s not opposed in principle to a well-designed capital gains tax, a levy on fertiliser products containing nitrogen and a price on water usage.
It’s all very well for the state farmer to advocate for more taxes when it doesn’t have to operate as other businesses do, needing to make a profit to survive.
Federated Farmers says many reject these new taxes.
“There’s already a lot of regulations from regional councils focusing around a lot of these issues, managing it that way. Coming in with taxes is sort of like just doubling up,” Mr Hoggard said.
National’s Agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy says rural communities will oppose new taxes on farmers.
“This will go down like a cup of cold sick in rural communities that the Government’s farmer is out there proposing more taxes on hardworking farmers of New Zealand,” he said. . .
Landcorp’s advocacy for taxes on fertiliser, water and capital gains will add to the already negative view most farmers have of the company.
It has the might of the state behind it yet makes a very poor return on capital, when it makes a profit at all.
Improved technology, including fertigation and chemigation – applying what’s needed, where it’s needed, when it’s needed through centre pivots – will do far more for the environment than more taxes.