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Anniversary Call To Action

1 July 04

Anniversary Call To Action

"It's a year since the Auckland Regional Council voted to axe business differentials and started a rates war with the people of Auckland," said Elaine West, convener of last year's inaugural region-wide rates revolt meeting.

Ms West is also on the executive of RAM - Residents Action Movement.

"On 1 July 2003, the ARC awarded big business interests a rates holiday, which inflicted immense hardship on many homeowners across the region."

"Typically, households faced rate rises of between 100% and 300%, with some going higher than 600%."

"But ratepayers resisted with the biggest rates revolt New Zealand has ever seen."

It's thanks to the tens of thousands of ratepayers fighting back that ARC councillors voted recently to restore a business differential for this financial year."

But it's too late and too little, since it won't go anywhere near reversing last year's unjust rises."

"And to add insult to injury, 1 July 2004 is the date when the ARC charges an additional 10% on the unpaid rates of the tens of thousands still resisting."

"RAM condemns this heavy-handed economic bullying by the ARC," said Ms West. "We are demanding rates justice."

"RAM will return homeowner rates to around 2002 levels, using a fair business differential as our major tool. Putting more money into people's pockets will help small business turnover ­ and rates justice will have been served."

"That is why the Resident Action Movement urges homeowners across the region to get involved and to vote 'yes' to a RAM ticket in the looming ARC election."


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