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Council makes initial decisions on proposed rating

Council makes initial decisions on proposed rating policy

“The Council has chosen the simplest rating policy which will allow all ratepayers to contribute to the activities of the regional council based on the value of their property,” says ARC Chair Gwen Bull. “All aspects of the rating policy will be included in the Draft Annual plan 2003-04, and we will be inviting the public to make submissions as part of the annual planning process, and wlll be releasing more details as they come to hand.”

The Council has proposed adopting capital value as the basis for general rates, and has also proposed that there will be no uniform annual general charge (UAGC) and no business or rural differentials. The only targeted rates (rates that are ring fenced to cover costs for specific services) the Council proposes for this year are for passenger transport and biosecurity.

Councillor Bull says, “The Council has had a series of comprehensive briefings and workshops with detailed modelling, with the aim of developing a new rating policy which is equitable and simple.

“We can assure ratepayers that we have looked carefully at the impacts of various options on all ratepayer groups and have determined that these major decisions made today are in the best interests of regional ratepayers.”

The formula for charging passenger transport rates is closely aligned to the current policy, and ensures that ratepayers living in areas with public transport services contribute more than those without such services.

The biosecurity rate pays for the animal and plant pest control activities of the regional council. As the benefits are closely allied with land activities, it is proposed that the rate continues to be based on land value.

The Auckland Regional Council has been developing its new rating and funding policy as a result of legislation passed by Government in March this year, which requires all regional councils to provide ratepayers with separate bills and a greater level of information about their activities. The ARC rates were previously included as a one-line amount in local council rates demands.

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