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One In Three Aucklanders Are In Default On Rates

Almost One In Three Aucklanders Are In Default On Rates

The claim, by ARC chairwoman Gwen Bull, that Aucklanders are paying their rates reminds one of the extravagant claims of the Iraqi propaganda Minister 'Comical Ali' who kept telling the world that Iraq was winning the war.

The ARC's own figures show that more than 78,000 ratepayers have not paid their rates by the due date.

That figure relates to the total number due of 259.813 ratepayers who should have paid by 18th August - a little over 30% have not paid - or almost 1 in 3 ratepayers have not paid.

And to say that the ARC has collected $16 million more than it had budgeted for is absolutely mind boggling.

How many businesses send out 260,000 bills and expect more than 78,000 not to pay?

The ARC may be getting some of its rate income - much of it no doubt from the commercial sector - but how does it explain why one in three ratepayers have not paid.

Now the ARC is going to set up Rating Support Teams to visit those who cannot afford to pay.

We are all in favour of that sort of help.

But what sort of council is it that sets its rates so unfairly that it needs to set up special teams to help those it has itself deliberately disadvantaged?

What should be concerning the ARC is that the vast majority of those who have not paid are people who could afford to but have chosen not to because of the basic unfairness of the system, and the lack of value they are getting for their money.

ARC spin doctors are trying to put a 'positive spin' on a rates protest of a scale unprecedented in New Zealand local government history.

Gwen Bull may say the revolt is over - the ARC's own figures disprove that.

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