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Public Transport Benefits In Rates Strike


29 June 2000


PUBLIC TRANSPORT BENEFITS IN RATES STRIKE


Public transport initiatives aimed at reducing congestion will benefit directly from the 0.52 per cent overall rates increase announced today.

Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker says he is pleased that Council has been able to boost spending on public transport initiatives flagged in the Strategic Plan.

“We have been able to keep the increase to a minimum without a reduction in planned spending because of strong growth in the city’s rating base,” says Cr Bruce Hucker, who presented the report of the Combined Committees at today’s meeting.

“More residential building activity and higher than expected valuations means the Council will get $4.1 million more in rates in the coming year than was initially anticipated,” says Cr Hucker.

Auckland City’s draft budget for 2000/2001 called for an overall rates increase of 1.8 per cent.

“I am pleased that we have been able to reduce the anticipated increase to ratepayers and still boost our spending in the vital area of public transport.

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“The Strategic Plan outlines a number of key public transport initiatives that need to happen in Auckland, and this was reinforced in the submissions we received on the draft Annual Plan.

“This budget allows for $4.8 million to go into a fund for public transport projects and seed funding for the proposed Arena of New Zealand on the waterfront. By preparing now to meet these costs, we can reduce the need for large rates rises in the years ahead, and progress the projects that the people of Auckland have told us they want,” says Cr Hucker.

Auckland City received 470 individual submissions on the draft Annual Plan, along with 8,277 submissions related specifically to Metrowater.

“I am especially proud that this budget enables us to hold pensioner rentals at 25 per cent of a tenant’s income, put nearly $850,000 towards an extensive anti-graffiti programme, and allocate $40,000 to the New Venture Trust to support employment initiatives.

“I am also pleased that funding is allocated to reduce the costs for children taking part in community arts programmes. Enabling young people to participate in such programmes is key to building stronger communities in our city,” says Cr Hucker.

Changes to the rating differential mean the effect of the overall 0.52 per cent rates increase amounts to an average increase of 1.9 per cent for residential properties, 0.07 per cent for non residential properties, and an average decrease of 2.92 per cent for CBD non residential properties.

ENDS
For further information
Please contact: Cr Bruce Hucker
Telephone (025) 722 294

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