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ARC decides rating policy

28 May 2004

ARC decides rating policy

Today the Auckland Regional Council decided its rating policy for 2004/05, as part of its deliberations over its draft regional community plan for 2004-14.

The rating policy brings a reduction in rates for virtually all residential ratepayers. Most business ratepayers will face increases of up to 63% due to the introduction of a 1.5 times business differential.

The ARC also decided today to reduce its average rates increase from 3.2% to 1.9% by making use of surplus funds from this year. This decision marks a further positive impact for all regional ratepayers.

The rating policy decision marked a shift from the ARC’s stated preferred position in the draft plan, and was made in response to public feedback on rating policy received over the past year.

The policy chosen today was outlined in the draft plan as “variation 3” and introduces a new transport rating method as well as a business differential.

The new transport rating method was developed following an extensive public consultation exercise started late last year and offers a fairer way of spreading transport rates across ratepayers. Areas of the region receiving public transport services will be divided into three zones and targeted transport rate levels will be related to public transport levels in each zone.

Outlying areas such as Kumeu, Maraetai/Beachlands and Riverhead will see significant reductions in their rates bills as their targeted transport rates will be halved under the new policy in recognition of the lower level of services in those areas.

Some ratepayers will enter a targeted transport area for the first time this year, including ratepayers in urban Waiheke Island, Waiuku and parts of Manukau. The targeted rate will be phased into those areas over three years to lessen the impact on those ratepayers.

The vote for the new transport policy was won 7-6 with Councillors Diane Glenn, Philip Sherry, Brian Smith, Bill Burrill, Sandra Coney, Paul Walbran and Ian Bradley voting for the policy. Councillors Mike Lee, Catherine Harland, Gwen Bull, Judith Bassett, Craig Little and Michael Barnett voted against the policy.

The vote for the business differential was won 7-6 with Councillors Lee, Glenn, Smith, Burrill, Coney, Walbran and Bradley voting for the policy. Councillors Bassett, Little, Barnett, Harland, Sherry and Bull voted against the policy.

The ARC is set to make further decisions relating to details of the new rating policy on 8 June. The entire LTCCP 04-14 is set for adoption on 28 June.

ENDS

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