ASHBURTON BOROUGH EXPENDITURE.
To the Editor. Sir,—l notice with surprise a letter in this morning’s issue ' of the Guardian; calling attention to our borough income and expenditure, and comparing the same with the .Rangiora accounts for the past year. I should not have taken any notice of this letter had it not been for the support given to the writer in the leading article in the same issue, and the figures being so manifestly incorrect. In your article you state that the income of the Borough of Rangiora for the past year was L 2,459 6s. sd.,and place the departmental expenditure at L 319125. To the latter item must be added fire prevention L 35 Bs., and valuation LlB, to bring the figures up to corresponding departmental expenses debited against our local expenditure. This will make the item L 373 10s. But the fact that the first item of L 2,459 6s. sd. includes L 930 Bs., balance in hand from the previous year, appears to be entirely overlooked ; this must therefore be reduced to LI, 528 18s. sd. as the income of the Borough of Rangiora for the year, and the departmental expenses will thus bear a proportion of 25 per cent, to the income. '' >
Now take our local balance-sheet for the same period. The income, as shown, is L 3,245 10s.. Id. (exclusive of the grant for water supply, L 4,357 19s; 4d.; which in itself entailed a considerable amount of work on our official staff) while the departmental expenses are LBl3 6s. Fire prevention, L 95 Os. 6d.; nuisances, L 24 17s. lid.; valuation, L4O (the LOO shown in the balance-sheet being for two years)— L 973 4s. sd. , or 30 per cent on the income. This includes an exceptionally heavy year in printing, advertising, fire prevention, and the extra office work connected with the water supply. If we compare the rates received by the , Rangiora Borough with our own, they are Rangiora, L5lB Os. 3d.; Ashburton, L 2,204 11s. lid. Thus the Rangiora departmental expenses bear a proportion of nearly 75 per cent, of the rates received, while Ashburton is barely 45 per cent. ■ The result of these figures is that the departmental expenses of the Rangiora Borough are 25 per cent, of the income, and the Ashburton 30 per cent, while we have to credit the Ashburton department with the extra work connected with our water supply, and the necessarily heavy expenses in the formation of a new borough. —I am, &c., W. H. Gundry, Late Borough Auditor, Ashburton, May 9, 1880. [We are grateful to Mr. Gundry for having put us right in our comparison of Ashburton with Rangiora, which we made from figures supplied to us, and not from a complete copy of the Rangiora balance-sheet. Mr. Gundry’s own figures, however, do not attack the general scope either of our correspondent’s letter or own remarks—viz.,’ that the departmental expenditure of the Borough of Ashburton is high—his own figures shewing that it. is 30 per cent, on the income, quite heavy enough, in any case. Besides, though L 2,204 11s. lid. are the rates actually received . during the year covered by the last balance-sheet, we scarcely think Mr. Gundry means to say that that amount is what we can expect to raise every year from rates? — Ed, -4.G.]
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