Local body Rates are feudal relic and should be abolished. There is no obvious and equitable link between taxation (of property) by local government and the delivery of services to all its citizens.
Reform could be in the areas of:
- Central Government apportions 2% (as example) of your lowest income and business tax threshold to your local government (with all other current block grants and subsidies removed)
- Central Government apportions and transfers 2.5% (as example) of the GST collected by business located within the local authority.
I don't know how much money this would yield in practice, or if it would cover all expenditures currently required from local governments.
The competences of local government need looking at too, e.g. do they have to provide more than town planning, sewage, planning and foot paths? Why do they have to provide social housing, community development, libraries and roads when all that should be done, IMO, by central goverment, i.e. libraries would become branches of the National library; Transit NZ (or whatever it's called now) should be doing all roading instead of just state highways; etc