The Mayor’s proposed motorway toll would require a law change so instead Len Brown wants to add to the rates distress being felt by all Aucklanders by introducing a transport levy of ‘a few dollars a week’ according to a report on Stuff today.
The average residential ratepayer pays $2600 a year in rates. Every $1 a week added to the bill adds roughly 2% to residential rates. I hear from sources close to Council the Mayor wants to tax everyone with a targeted transport levy of $100 or roughly $2 a week i.e. a 4% rates rise.
This extra tax would stay even if the Mayor persuades the government to introduce a motorway toll.
Aucklanders should pay a levy of a few dollars a week on top of their rates to kick-start transport developments in the city, Mayor Len Brown believes.
The suggestion will come in the mayor's report to Thursday's council meeting on Auckland's draft 10-year budget, it is understood.
Feedback on the draft budget in March and April showed that around half of Aucklanders want significantly more investment in transport, and support the council's $10.3 billion accelerated transport plan.
A similar proportion of people are prepared to pay a $2 per trip motorway charge to fund it.
However tolling Auckland's motorways would require a law change by central government plus the setting up of a complex tolling system on the city's network of state highways.
Brown is believed to be in favour of collecting an interim transport levy from ratepayers until that infrastructure is put in place.
At the same time core services are being cut to the bone.
Extravagant transport projects such as the Central Rail Link have the ability to bankrupt the city and that is exactly what they are doing.
If the latest reports are correct then we have an outrageous rates rise in the offing. This will only increase the calls for the Government to step in and put Auckland into statutory management before the Mayor sends us all bankrupt.