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ARC rate increase for most defies all reason

The REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION
The campaign fighting the Auckland Regional Council's rating polices.

MEDIA RELEASE
4 March 2004

ARC RATES POLICY MEANS INCREASE FOR 89% OF RESIDENTIAL RATEPAYERS THIS YEAR AND DEFIES ALL REASON.

By refusing to change its rating policies for the coming financial year the Auckland Regional Council has missed an opportunity to reduce the rates for 383,128 residential ratepayers.

An officer's report to councillors shows that if a business 'differential' of as low as 1.5 was introduced, together with a recasting of the transport rate to make it more closely aligned to actual availability of public transport, about 93% of residential ratepayers would have their regional rates reduced.

The rate decrease would be achieved after taking into account a proposed 3% increase in total rates required. The figures were given in a report to the council dated 16th February.

There would be increases for nearly all business ratepayers - but those increases can be offset by deduction for taxation purposes.

The savings vary across the region and some - but not many - residential ratepayers would have rate increases under this option.

However this option was rejected by the ARC with 7 of the 13 councillors voting in favour of keeping the status quo which will see rate increases for 89% of residential ratepayers.

The ARC decision not to adopt this new policy option defies all reason because the officer's report clearly states that businesses get more benefits from rates than other ratepayers.

The report also states that last years changes move the burden of rates too far from the business sector to the residential sector.

This decision will bring despair to the many thousands of ratepayers who believed that the ARC would change its policies after the huge protest of last year.

But it may also bring renewed resolve to create an even bigger protest this year.

ends


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