Six councillors yesterday wrote to Mr Brown, saying a transport targeted rate adds significantly to a level of rates that is already difficult for many Aucklanders to afford.
Last week, the council voted for a $114 targeted rate for every household to top up spending on transport.
The combined impact of the general rate and targeted rate for households is an average 9.9 per cent rates increase from July.
The councillors - Cathy Casey, Chris Darby, Mike Lee, John Watson, Wayne Walker and Ross Clow - believed savings could be found to reduce the targeted rate.
They produced figures from Mr Lee showing a difference in rail operating costs of $60 million to $70 million between Auckland and Wellington. "The chief executive has been directed to report back on potential savings and operating costs for rail.
Notice the attention of these self-serving, job fearing few turncoats is on the transport targeted rate, not the whopping general rates rise. These Councillors have just woken up to the fact that they have been sold a pup. They have been happy to squeeze the middle income ratepayers in the better off suburbs so they could keep the rates low for their own voters, but they had not twigged that the transport levy is a poll tax, and applies equally everywhere. It has the effect of lifting rates of less well off suburbs in the west and south by proportionately more, hence the overall rate rise in Otahuhu of nearly 17%.
Last night a mayoral spokesman said Mr Brown had received the letter and would consider its contents.
"The council consulted extensively with Aucklanders and we were clear in that consultation that the user charges options would require government legislation and support but that a targeted rate or levy would be needed in the interim.
"The majority of people supported a fully funded transport network and recognised it would cost more money. There was clear preference for the option of a motorway toll as the best way to pay for this investment. Council is working with government to seek support for that option."
It’s a bit late in the day for the likes of the economically illiterate Mike Lee, who is on the Board of Auckland Transport, to complain he could suddenly find easy savings of $50-70 million in the transport budget. He should have been doing that ages ago.
He should have been applying a bit of financial accountability to the Central Rail Link the single biggest vanity project of them all that is sucking the life blood out of core Council services and infrastructure.
Ploughing ahead with a multi-billion dollar project without the backing of central government and expecting Auckland ratepayers to foot the bill is the height of irresponsibility. Tinkering around the edges to save face and possibly his job speaks volumes about Lee and the nature of those Councillors who have colluded in this letter.