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Public To Be Consulted Over Rates

Auckland City Council last night voted by 11 to 9 to seek the public’s view on an increase rates by 1.8 per cent overall this year.

The increase, which is in line with the rate of inflation, will yield $4.5 million, of which $700,000 is designated for general spending, with the balance to be applied towards advancing transport priorities and the indoor arena concept.

Councillors acknowledged that a second annual step change in the rating differential between commercial and residential would produce a 2% swing this year to domestic ratepayers. When coupled with the general increase, it meant householders would face a 3.8% rise.

They also acknowledged that recent property revaluations would mean the impact of the rates increase on individual households could vary widely across the city.

Commenting on the proposals, Cr Kay McKelvie, chair of the council’s Finance and Property Committee, said “While we could get by without this increase, councillors are aware that in the years ahead significant spending is likely to take place on public transport initiatives. Putting aside $3.5m each year in addition to the $5m from the special airport dividend, will mean we have approximately $20m in three years for those initiatives.”

Detailed proposals for the city’s total operating budget of approximately $375m and capital projects budget of approximately $147m will be contained in its 2000/2001 Draft Annual Plan, which is scheduled for release on 17 April. Public submissions open at the same time and close on 23 May.

ENDS

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