Council votes for 40 per cent rates rise for some
The Auckland Council has today voted for massive household rates increases of 40 per cent or more next year for some households.
Councillors were deeply divided on how to implement big rates rises arising from new property valuations and a new rating system.
Mayor Len Brown led the case for adjusting rates in one hit next year, saying the council should not continue to tinker around the edges.
Oh how I wish we had John Banks as Mayor. He was great for Waiheke and for Auckland. Never trust those like Labour and their Communist offspring the Greens who tell you they give a damn about the worse off members of society. Brown is oblivious to the suffering he is causing. This is what former Mayor of Auckland and now Councillor Christine Fletcher has to say about yesterday's vote.
I am increasingly of the view that we need to engage the government in the plight of the Auckland ratepayers as Auckland Council is rapidly becoming a mess. We have just experienced a most acrimonious debate in council at the budget committee. Options were provided by officers to councillors to soften the impact of major rates increases. One required support from Government to extend the current rating transition arrangements. The majority of councillors did not support this or any of the other options and appeared not to understand the plight of those living in the areas that will face large increases. Councillors seem disinterested in the fact that capital valuation has no correlation to the value of services provided. Neither did they appear to understand that rises in capital valuations does not correlate to an increase in income and that for most folk there is diminishing income as they become older.
Two weeks ago Council missed the opportunity to use the UAGC to provide some equity in the rating situation in the options that will be put out for public consultation, and now, led by the mayor, council has put its head in the sand by turning down the opportunity to soften the blow on rates increases. I am disgusted by the lack of empathy council has for its citizens.
Today’s 10-year Budget debate at Auckland Council will startle ratepayers when they discover that their huge rates increases, following re-valuation, will see a reduction in service levels, and capital expenditure for suburban areas slashed to make way for an early start to the Central Rail Link.
Council forecasts that about 95, 000 ratepayers will be in for rate rises of between 10% and 20%, and a further 27,000 will have increases above 20%.
The Council also plans to spend almost its entire transport capital budget on the CRL for the next four or five years.
This means that Auckland Transport’s capital budget for improvements in the bus network, including double-decker buses and new bus stations, have all been slashed for the next five years.
The vast majority of ratepayers who live outside the CBD will see nothing for their rates increases.