Gwen Bull's backdown not quite enough
The REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION
The campaign in support of the Petition of Glenfield Ratepayers & Residents demanding that the Auckland Regional Council reset its rates in accordance with Section 119 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2003.
Statement from David Thornton
The announcement by the ARC that it is "committed to a complete review of our rating methods" is great news - it is a total acceptance that the council got it wrong in setting this year's rate.
However, the news that the review is for the next rating period is totally unacceptable.
Having acknowledged that a review is necessary - that review should be carried out immediately, and this year's rate must be reset.
The claim that there are technical and legal difficulties is nonsense.
The new legislation makes it absolutely clear that the council can reset the rate - and in so doing cannot increase the rate for any single rating unit.
In simple terms - no one's rates can be increased above the level which has already been set.
Because of that requirement no further public consultation is needed - the submissions made earlier can be referred to where appropriate.
Nor are there any legal restraints that I can find.
The council can reset the rate by applying a rate to land value, can bring in a business differential of, say twice the residential rate, and a rural differential of say 0.5%. And all of that work has already been calculated and the information is easily available. That proposal along with others was considered by the council earlier.
This will obviously lead to a shortfall in funding and I will be putting proposals forward tomorrow to address that shortfall.
Contact, DAVID THORNTON Chairman of the Glenfield Ratepayers david@Kandu.co.nz Thursday, 31 July 2003