Waiheke rates rises are 75% above the Auckland average. The average rise for our residents will be 5.3%, only Orakei (5.6%) tops the extravagant rates rise facing Waiheke residents in order to pay for Auckland’s burgeoning debt.
Your new rates bills will be arriving in the mail this month. Businesses are facing a 7.1% rise while residents face a 5.1% increase. The average rate increase is 2.9% across the region, BUT, for most property owners in our community, myself included, we are being hit with a rise 75% higher that the average as we come to the final year of the regional rates equalisation. Yet, Auckland is failing to live within its means now. The Supercity has been paid for by increasing debt by over $1billion dollars, so, if you are one of the 514,000 Aucklanders who pay rates we share in the debt of over $14,000 per person. This is unsustainable.
Waiheke is one of the most deprived regions of Auckland yet we pay the 9th highest average rates out of 21 local board areas. With a median household income of only $38,000, second lowest in Auckland, annual rates now represent 7.4% of gross income.
Before people start blaming the local boards, as part of Council, for this extravagance let’s be clear who sets the rates. It is the Mayor and Councillors. And where is all this money going? To pay for transport schemes and growth, very little of which will benefit Waiheke.
All we can do as your local Board is see that we get our fair share of that money to spend on our community. To date we have been successful. The Board has oversight of $10.5million in this financial year (including the library) and around $5 million in the next financial year. That is why you need a Board that understands sound financial management. In particular we have been successful in writing into our 10 year budget nearly $1million p.a. of discretionary budget controlled by the local board, more than six times previous Waiheke community boards. This means we can undertake small local improvements that directly benefit this community without having to go cap in hand to the Governing Body. In this way we have been able to keep our commitment to local decision making. Yet, at the same time, we have kept within our allotted ‘budget envelope’. Sound financial management is the key to being a successful local board.
With a BA in Economics and a Masters Degree in Business Administration as well as founding and running two of the most successful businesses on the island, the Rainbow Copy Centre (now Copy Expresso) and the Waiheke Marketplace, I can be trusted to get the best value for ratepayers money.
Vote Jo Holmes for Waiheke Local Board. I get value for ratepayers dollars by sound financial management.