Auckland rates jiggery pokery

Auckland ratepayers could excused for being bamboozled by their rates and taxes and levies.

Mayor Phil Goff is claiming he is fulfilling a promise to keep rates rises below 2.5%.

RNZ: Auckland ratepayers could face 6.2 percent hike

Mayor Phil Goff has unveiled an ambitious mix of new rates, revenue-shifting and even council asset sales to boost the spending on critical infrastructure.

Mr Goff has defended the proposed changes as being in line with his election pledge of keeping general rates rises at 2.5 percent.

“It’s exactly what I promised – I said to people right across the community I want to get rid of the interim transport levy that’s costing everybody regardless of how often you use the roads, and replace it with a regional fuel tax,” he said.

The rating cake has new layers, built on a basic general rate rise of 2.5 percent, as Mr Goff pledged in his election campaign. The 2.5 percent is proposed only for the next two years, then rises to 3.5 percent.

But it is not that simple.

An additional 2.8 percent would come in a water quality targeted rate, aimed at accelerating significantly some big infrastructure projects to clean waterways and beaches.

Another 0.9 percent is added by a natural environment levy to deal with threats such as kauri dieback, possums and weed infestations.

Those rises are partly offset by ending, as scheduled, the Interim Transport Levy of $114 on households and $183 on business.

For an average priced home around $1 million this will slice 4.8 percent off the higher rates, leaving an overall increase of 1.4 percent.

That percentage increase will rise progressively for homes valued higher than $1m, and decrease for cheaper homes.

However, that levy will then be replaced by a 10 cent-a-litre regional fuel tax, which the government has told RNZ should be in place in time for the council’s next budget mid-2018.

It seems that few if any ratepayers will pay less, or less than 2.5%, and some will pay disproportionately more.

An additional variable is the impact of recent property revaluations, which affect how big a share of the city’s rates burden is apportioned to each property.

Many lower-priced suburbs in the west and south already face higher than average rates rises because of that process, and extra costs could be imposed via the proposed 6.2 percent increase, and the cost of the fuel tax, if they cover high mileage.

There will be ‘consultation’:

Aucklanders will be asked their views during consultation early next year on the budget, but will struggle to get a clear picture of how they are directly affected.

It looks likely many will struggle to understand the convoluted changes, and some may have real trouble paying for the increases.

Just as well everyone will get tax relief which is legislated to take effect from next April – oh, hang on, the Government are scrapping that.

13 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  November 30, 2017

    Its not hard to understand. Lefty Len lied about how much he was putting rates up by. Lefty Phil lied about cutting costs and keeping rates below 2.5% increase. This is why you don’t vote for the Left.

    • PDB

       /  November 30, 2017

      Years of left-wing spending & wastage has left Auckland Council in a deep financial hole & the concept of the ‘super city’ abused by those people in order to do so more quickly.

      • Blazer

         /  November 30, 2017

        blow out in expenditure=thanks National for the ‘Super City’…simply..brilliant.

        • phantom snowflake

           /  November 30, 2017

          IIRC was (also) Kitty’s mate Rodney’s ‘Legacy Project’.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  November 30, 2017

          We’ve been through this. Rodney Hide implemented the Super City as part of his ministerial duties, but the Super City was a Labour Party initiative the National Party carried on with.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  November 30, 2017

            And before the knee jerk it was the Natz what done it response, name me a Labour minister who wants to reverse it? I’ve heard a few endorsing the Super City & none speaking against it.

            • Blazer

               /  November 30, 2017

              name those who endorsed… it.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  November 30, 2017

              Phil Goff, Bob Harvey. I can’t be bothered looking for others, but as Goff said, no-one seriously wants to turn the clock back on this.

              “We are one city. It didn’t make sense to govern it as seven different cities … I would hate to be confronted with the challenges Auckland faces at the moment with huge growth and dealing with eight separate councils,” Goff says.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  November 30, 2017

              “By the late 2000s, the Clark Labour Government had had enough and set up the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance.

              After hearing more than 4000 submissions, the commission concluded regional governance was weak and fragmented and community engagement was poor.
              It recommended bold change to revitalise local government to help steer Auckland towards a secure, prosperous and sustainable future.

              Following the Royal Commission’s recommendations – six local councils and 23 seats, including three Maori seats – the National Government under Local Government Minister Rodney Hide came up with the current model of one council, 21 local boards and a mayor with some executive powers. There were no Maori seats, but an Independent Maori Statutory Board with nine members who sit on major committees but not the governing body.”

            • Blazer

               /  November 30, 2017

              Goff and Harvey are not Labour M.P’s…Harvey never has been one.Can’t be bothered ..alright.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  November 30, 2017

              HFD you claim that the Super City was a “Labour Party initiative”, yet your (unattributed) quote only identifies it as a recommendation of the Royal Commission. Also, I’m going to stick my neck out and say that going by my memory Bob Harvey was opposed to the Super City proposal at the time.

  2. NOEL

     /  November 30, 2017

    Land Value increase the rating on farms and the like and was replaced by Capital Value which affects the asset rich and income poor.
    Time for a new template that evens out the rate take so all are contributing uni-formally for most of the rate bill.