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ARC incurs needless expenditure

ARC incurs needless expenditure

The Auckland Regional Council’s decision to use a private consortium to collect its rates has resulted in needless additional capital and operating expenditure for the region’s ratepayers, says Councillor Douglas Armstrong, chairperson of Auckland City Council’s Finance and Corporate Business Committee.

Last year the ARC invited proposals from parties interested in managing the collection of the regional levy.

Previously, each local authority has collected the ARC rate, including Auckland City Council which collected just under half of all regional rates.

Councillor Armstrong says as a result of its decision, the ARC is having to pay for the creation of a completely new database of all regional ratepayers, as well as the issuing of separate rates assessments and invoices. The ARC is also having to pay a private sector company to provide call centre services.

“It would have been a far more efficient and sensible approach to expand the existing facilities of one or more local authorities.

“My discontent is not based on the income Auckland City Council once received from the ARC for processing its levy.

“I am very disappointed the ARC decision has resulted in unnecessary duplication. It dismisses the experience and knowledge of local authorities which have undertaken these services for many years. It has also resulted in a large and substantially unnecessary increase in overheads that amounts to approximately $3 million per year for the ratepayers of the region. This represents over 10 per cent of the ARC’s rate increase,” Mr Armstrong says.

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