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City Prepares For Last Rush Of Submissions

Transport remains the “hot” issue for Aucklanders making submissions on Auckland City Council’s draft 2000-2001 Annual Plan.

More than a third of the 200-plus submissions received so far call for transport improvements, ranging from rapid transit and new roads to improved street signs, cycle lanes and walkways.

The Council expects the number to double by the time its consultation on the draft Annual Plan closes next Tuesday (23 May). Submissions will be considered by the Council at its June meeting, before the plan is adopted.

Chairperson of the Finance & Property Committee, Cr Kay McKelvie, says the Council is looking particularly for people’s views on its proposal to increase rates by 1.8 per cent, the rate of inflation.

A substantial portion of the increase would be put into a new dedicated public transport fund. The Council has already put aside $5 million from a special airport dividend received earlier this year.

“Our aim is to have approximately $20 million in the fund in three years, so that we are in a position to fund major public transport initiatives when they have been finalised.

Some of the $4.4 million generated by the proposed rate increase may contribute to development of an indoor arena at Quay Park.

Cr McKelvie says the Council is also seeking public feedback on its proposal to provide more assistance to community groups. The proposed budget allocates an additional $1.5 million for community development activities and community arts programmes.

Consultation on the draft Annual Plan closes at 4.30pm on Tuesday (23 May) and submissions will be considered by the Council in June, before it adopts the final Plan.

Cr McKelvie says it is important that people understand that a 1.8 per cent rates increase would not necessarily result in a 1.8 per cent increase in people’s rates bills.

In response to submissions to previous draft Annual Plans, the Council plans to lower businesses’ share of the total rates bill. As a result, the overall increase for residential ratepayers would be 3.7 per cent. CBD non-residential rates would decrease by 1.9 per cent overall, while other non-residential rates would increase by 1.3 per cent overall.

The impacts of these increases on individual rates bills would vary according to changes in those properties’ valuation, as a result of last October’s citywide revaluation.

Ends

For more information contact

Cr Kay McKelvie
Ph 846 7076 or 025 279 6448

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