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Review of ARC rates system demanded - as promised

Full review of ARC rates system demanded - as promised


The campaign fighting the Auckland Regional Council's rating polices and rates increases.

Tuesday, 4 November 2003

Gwen Bull Chair Auckland Regional Council AUCKLAND

Dear Gwen,

Review of ARC Rating policy and system

In a Media Release of 31st July you made the following statement;

"We are hearing the concerns expressed by various groups and individuals about our rates this year. As a Council we want to be solution based and are committed to a complete review of our rating methods for the next rating period"

Later in the same statement you repeated that commitment

"We are absolutely committed to working with the ratepayers of the region to develop the best possible rating model for next year"

Last week your council commenced a review of the transport rate only - not the complete review promised in your 31st July statement.

The residential ratepayers of this reason have expressed huge opposition to the ARC total rating policy - that opposition has been shown in numerous ways, not least the 100,000 plus ratepayers who are still withholding all or part of their rates. We have received copies of many letters sent to the ARC which show that many of those who have paid have done so under protest or out of sheer fear.

Despite the fact that your council has stubbornly refused to reset the rate this year some ratepayers believe that the weight of the "Rebellion" campaign would at least cause the ARC to rethink its whole rating system. And your statement of 31st July was accepted as the ARC's clear intent to carry out such a review.

At open days last weekend, and in the special issue of 'Regionwide' distributed last week, it is obvious that you are only intending to carry out consultation on the transport rate.

This is a total betrayal of your 31st July promises.

Ratepayers are demanding a complete review of all rating - including business differentials, land value rating options, a uniform annual general charge, methods of payment, instalment payments and collection arrangements.

This total review must not be confined to just the transport rate - and it must start immediately if a new system is to be in place before next year's rate is set.

We call on you to honour your promises and to undertake meaningful consultation with the community with an open mind.

Yours sincerely

David Thornton On behalf of the Regional Ratepayers Rebellion campaign

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