Walden knows a targeted rate is the only way he can ever make good on delivering promises he has so far failed to keep, like a swimming pool. I explained this in a blog over three years ago, after Walden had decided to ditch the process whereby Auckland Council would pay for a community pool, the only viable alternative for the island. Instead he opted to go it alone with a school pool, paid for through rates but denying access for ratepayers during school hours.
He is apparently still at odds with the community’s own Swimming Pool Committee who want a swimming pool on Council, not school, land so that the community has access as well as the schools. Either way, rates would go through the roof to pay for the enterprise.
An independent report commissioned by Walden and Auckland Council’s own assessment commissioned by the first Waiheke Local Board both report the building cost will be $5-7million, probably more now that another three years has elapsed. There are approximately 5000 rateable properties on the island so each property would be targeted rated between $1000 and $1400 to pay for the building. Even if this is defrayed over 10 years the annual target rate would be around $200 by the time interest costs are taken into account.
But that is only the thin end of the wedge. Ongoing maintenance would be around $500,000 to a $1million each year, so add another $100 or $200 on top. The average rate bill on the island is around $3000. Add $300-400 on top and you’ve got 10% plus rates rises to add to Auckland Council’s rates every year. Then there’s the entrance fee to pay on top of that. Walden will want his children to have free access.
These spiralling rates will affect renters as well as homeowners as rents will have to rise by 10%pa.
Walden is well known for wasting ratepayers’ money and is the last person on Earth who should be entrusted with being able to tax the community. He has squandered millions already during his four year tenure as Board Chair by undertaking such vanity projects as the bridle bridge to nowhere for his horses, the bridle path to nowhere for his horses and a car park outside the home of his mentor, hard left Green Party List MP Denise Roche. He has diverted funding meant for infrastructure into the trust funds of his favourite groups without any tangible benefits for the community as a whole.
It would be a very sad day for Waiheke if Walden becomes a Tax Gatherer was well as a Tax Spender.
Targeted rate looms to pay for Waiheke school pool
Targeted rate for Waiheke causes a stink