Auckland City Residents & Ratepayers Public Forum
Media Release Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers
Rates and Roads were hot topics at a public forum held in Grey Lynn on 30 November. On December 12, Local Govt delegates around the country will gather to meet with the PM. Predictions are that an Auckland Transport body under Auckland Regional Council supervision and new transport funding measures such as tolls will be announced. Ms West of Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers believes the PM is not being transparent about the state of Govt funds and transport infrastructure options. ¡°Tolling roads is another excuse to elicit more tax dollars from people who are already carrying a heavy indirect-tax burden¡± said Ms West.
¡°Successive Govt¡¯s appear to have siphoned billions of dollars in petrol taxes for the Crown Account. This year alone, an estimated 51%, or more than half the petrol tax dollar will end up in the Crown A/c, while the remaining 49% will target the National Land Transport Fund¡± she said. Elaine West believes that all petrol tax money should go into the National Land Transport Fund, and that Stephen Selwood, the General Manager of the Automobile Assoc (Auckland) has publicly stated such a position.
¡°We already have a transport funding solution¡± said Ms West. ¡°New Zealanders put $18.2b extra income into the Govt purse over the last three years. It makes sense to use transport levies, and an amount of the extra available revenue for transport purposes.¡±
The Public Forum also debated immediate changes to legislation that limited Local Bodies ability to raise household rates above the rate of inflation unless a public mandate was secured. ¡°Opinions both for and against capping household rates was robust¡± said Ms West.
Mr Law indicated that a cap on rates would restrict Council¡¯s ability to supply services the community wanted; a view shared by the PM in a recent letter to ACR&R. Don Chapman of Grey Power said that a resolution favouring capping household rates was already in national circulation, and Grant Morgan cited a rates cap in RAM¡¯s manifesto. Paul Stewart spoke of student hardship and problems in finding affordable and suitable rental accommodation. Elaine West said that the resolution supporting a rates cap was essential to controlling Council fund-raising and spending. ¡°And¡± she said ¡°I think all ratepayers can follow the example of Auckland City¡¯s Mayor who enjoyed a 1.8% rate rise this year. If it¡¯s good enough for the Mayor then it¡¯s good enough for us all¡± * Resolutions are for local/national distribution * Please forward and contact results to - www.elainewest.co.nz or PO Box 147-107, Ponsonby, Akld
PUBLIC FORUM 30.11.03 2.30pm Grey Lynn Community C.entre Convener: Elaine West (Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers ¨C ACR&R) Chair: Barry Wilson
(Pres. Akld Council Civil Liberties)
John Law (Mayor of Rodney District)
Don Chapman (Nat. Vice-Pres. Grey Power)
Paul Stewart (Akld Student Movemt ¨C AUT)
Grant Morgan (Res. Action Movemt)
Stephen Selwood (Automobile Assoc: General Manager, Auckland Elaine West (Auckland City Res. and Ratepayers)
Apologies Prime Minister Helen Clark
Min. of Local Govt Chris Carter
Min. of Transport (Ald co-ord)
ARC ¨C Gwen Bull
Infras. Akld - Richard Maher
Invited (no reply)
Min Resp. for Akld Affairs Judith Tizard (Assoc. Min of Transport)
Min of Transport - Paul Swain
1. That the Govt enact legislation immediately that would limit Regional Councils and Local Body Council¡¯s ability to increase house-hold rates above the annual rate of inflation, unless a public mandate of at least 75% is secured.
2. That road tolls and congestion fees or similar road charges are unnecessary on New Zealand roads unless a public mandate of at least 75% is secured.
3. That Petroleum Fuel charges (excise tax) and other such road user taxes be deposited in the Land Transport
Fund and not in the Crown/General Account.
4. That ratepayer funds do not add to the National Land Transport Fund but remain in the region for which they were intended.
5. That quality public transportation systems be advanced immediately throughout the Auckland region in order to encourage rapid depletion of private passenger transportation and associated congestion (rail/buses where appropriate)
6. That the GST component be removed from land/building property taxes (rates). * FOR DISCUSSION AND ENDORSEMENT: NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION * PUBLIC / POLITICAL DEBATE IS NECESSARY RE LAND TRANSPORT FUNDING BEFORE 12 DEC. PM announcemt. ACR&R ¨C Elaine argues that tolling/congestion fees are unnecessary taxes. AA ¨C Govt must first use all petrol tax for roads; Mayor (Rodney District) ¨C perspective: tolls only if absolutely necessary.
Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers www.elainewest.co.nz PO Box 147-107 Ponsonby Auckland
09 360 277 RESOLUTIONS - changes by public mandate
- LEGAL CAP ON HOUSEHOLD RATES (inflation index) - NO TOLLS or CONGESTION FEES
- QUALITY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
PETROLEUM TAXES (Transport / Crown A/c) RATES QUESTIONS
- Why do we want a cap on household rates?
- Have we approached politicians about capping
household rates - Local Govt (Rating Cap) Bill? ¡Ì - Prime Minister¡¯s response (X to rates cap) - How will householder¡¯s benefit?
- Will Council¡¯s function optimally if rates are capped? ROADS - TOLLS ¨C CONGESTION FEES
Have successive govts maintained NZ roads? X Does NZ govt have enough money to pay for road maintenance e.g. SH1 (Orewa-extension to Puhoi)? ¡Ì - The Prime Minister will most likely announce on 12/12/03 increased methods of road user charges and revenue
collection e.g. tolls, congestion fees. Do NZ road users
need to pay tolls or congestion fees to upgrade roads? X NZ Govt - Total Revenue
National ¨C 3yrs (1997-00) $103.1b
Labour ¨C 3yrs (2000-03) $121.3b Additional $18.2b
LAND TRANSPORT FUNDING
6yrs - Road user charges ¡Ì Motor Vehicle Charges -¡Ì Petroleum fuel taxes x ($5b revenue. $2.4b Crown A/c) Trend figure ¨C 3.5% (6yrs) OF TOTAL REVENUE
2003/04 estim. $1.6b ¨C National Land Transport Fund Fuel taxes ¨C 51% ($573m) goes into Crown A/c and 49% ($555m) goes into the National Land Transport Fund ¨C NLTF (under half of fuel tax goes to NLTF).
RATES ¨C LOCAL COUNCILS = $485m
If petrol tax is returned from Crown A/c (51%) into NLTF then rates $$$$ are unnecessary. ALL PETROL TAX into NLTA = less rates $$$.
Speakers: John Law (Mayor: Rodney District); Elaine West (ACR&R); Don Chapman (Nat. Vice-Pres); Grant Morgan (RAM); Stephen Selwood (AA); Paul Stewart (Akld Student Mtovemt). Chair: Barry Wilson (Pres: Akld Council for Civil Liberties) Public Forum- 30/11/03 Grey Lynn C. Centre 2.30pm. Information is as accurate as possible. Please let ACR&R know if changes are required.