ARC sends threatening letter to ratepayer rebels
The REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION
The campaign opposing the Auckland Regional Council's rating policies.
Contact, campaign spokesman, DAVID THORNTON [Chairman of the Glenfield Ratepayers] david@Kandu.co.nz
MEDIA RELEASE Statement from David Thornton 11 February 2004
ARC SENDS OUT SECOND THREATENING LETTER TO REBEL RATEPAYERS - BUT ONLY SOME
FAULTY DATABASE MEANS THOUSANDS OF RATEPAYERS HAVE STILL NOT BEEN SENT A BILL
The Auckland Regional Council has now sent out its second 'reminder' letter demanding 'payment within 7 days' from some of the almost 100,000 ratepayers who have withheld all or part of their ARC rates.
The council threatens it will 'notify your mortgagee and seek payment from them' if payment is not received within seven days.
This action goes far beyond the resolution of the Special Rates Committee last week - a decision which is still to be ratified by the Council at its meeting on 23rd February.
This letter has not been sent to ratepayers in Manukau City and Papakura because the ARC's database for those councils is incorrect in relation to a substantial numbers of properties. This problem is the subject of a complaint lodged with the Auditor-General.
Some ratepayers in those areas have only just been sent their bill, while thousands more are still waiting for a bill.
The tone of the second 'reminder' letter is a continuation of the bullying tactics of the first 'reminder' letters which were sent out more than four months ago.
We have been advising 'rebel' ratepayers that the ARC cannot demand payment from mortgagees until 1st November this year - and that no further penalties can be added until 1st July this year.
We believe that the ARC should take no further action until the Auditor-General has established whether or not the ARC's database complies with the requirements of the new Rating Act.
Its seems grossly unfair that the ARC should be sending threatening letters to some ratepayers when there are literally thousands of other ratepayers who have not yet even received a bill.
The whole rate-setting and collection process has been and continues to be a disaster which warrants a full investigation by the Auditor-General as the watch-dog for ratepayers.