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Zero Rate ARC Increase Mooted

Zero Rate ARC Increase Mooted

Two leading Auckland Regional Council members will attempt to persuade their colleagues to support a zero rate increase for ARC ratepayers when the Council meets to discuss budgets on March 2nd.

Craig Little and Michael Barnett, members of the Advancing Auckland ticket, say there is currently a small proposed increase for the 2004/2005 financial year but the ARC should show some serious understanding of the problems which the new ARC rates caused people last year, and have no increase this year.

Mr Little says with a total rate requirement of about $110 million a year, the Council could easily live within its existing rate income with only a minor trimming of some departments’ budgets.

“ We need to show Aucklanders that we understand how significant the effects of rates can be, and we can best do that by cutting our spending by only about $4 million this year,” he said.

Mr Barnett wants the ARC to have a serious look this year at alternatives to the current system of charging property owners for all ARC costs including public transport services.

“There has to be a better way, and a much fairer way, of apportioning a wide variety of costs across the 450,000 households and businesses in the region. We have not got it right at the moment, and it is our responsibility to get it right as quickly as we can,” he said.

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