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Still time to comment on ARC transport rates

Still time to comment on ARC transport rates

2 December 2003

Which ratepayers in the region should pay transport rates, and in what proportion? This is the key question the Auckland Regional Council has been asking the community during a review of the transport portion of its rates.

The opportunity for the public to participate closes this Friday (5 December), so there is still time for the public to get involved and to provide comments and feedback about how the ARC’s transport rates should be spread across the region.

Since mid-October, more than 5,500 people have participated in the review – either by filling out a questionnaire, attending one of nine open days held throughout the region, attending a workshop, writing a letter, or participating in the on-line forum on the ARC’s website (www.arc.govt.nz/forums/).

The questionnaire, which forms a key part of the review, was included in the ARC newsletter RegionWide, which was distributed to all households throughout the region as an insert in local newspapers in mid-October. Copies have also been available from some libraries, Citizens Advice Bureau, by phone from the ARC - phone 366 2000, option 1 - and via the ARC website. The questionnaire is also included in a more in-depth discussion document - ‘Spreading the Transport Rate: Issues and Choices’.

“Comments and views from the wider community are an essential part of this review, and it is pleasing to see so many people participating,” says ARC Chairperson Gwen Bull. “There has been considerable debate over transport rates in recent months, and this review is about implementing a system that is fair to everyone.”

Some of the questions and concepts that need to be considered include: Should public transport costs be spread regionally? Should urban ratepayers pay more of the transport rates? Should some property owners within urban areas be rated more than others? Should properties be rated differently depending on how close they are to the railway line? Should we have a business differential, and charge businesses more? Should we charge a flat rate to every property for part of the transport rate?

Feedback and comments from the public will help enable ARC councillors to decide on an option that will then be included in the 2004/05 Draft Annual Plan. The Draft Annual Plan will be open to formal submissions in April 2004, and following submissions and hearings, will be adopted in June 2004.


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