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ARC Rates Rise Proposals 'Obscene'

GLENFIELD RATEPAYERS & RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (INC)
MEDIA RELEASE
8 April 2005

ARC RATES RISE PROPOSALS 'OBSCENE'.
HOMEOWNERS DEPRIVED OF RIGHT OF APPEAL.

Ratepayers across the Auckland Region can expect ARC rate rises of between 10% and 70% if proposals in the council's draft Annual Plan are adopted.

In what it calls a 'smoothing' exercise' the ARC is introducing a system of 'estimates of projected [property] valuation' on which to base rates for 2005/6.

This will mean rate increases of 10% to 37% throughout North Shore City, and between 20% and 70% in Rodney District. Parts of Waitakere will see rises of over 9% up to 42%.

Glenfield Ratepayers chairman David Thornton finds it ''..incredible that the ARC should bring in these huge rate increases so soon after an election which was largely fought in the backlash of the huge rate rises of 2003. These latest increases can only be described as obscene, and will highten the distress of thousands of ratepayers who have to live on fixed and low incomes."

David Thornton believes that even those ratepayers who can afford the higher rates will still be dismayed at the proposed new method of 'estimate of projected valuation' which effectively rules out their right to object to 'government' valuation of their properties. "The usual 3-yearly revaluations can be challenged' says David Thornton, "and there is a proper process of appeal. But under this new system the right af appeal does not exist. The result is that we will be taxed on valuation 'guesstimates' for two years out of three.

"This latest ARC rates policy underlines the undisputed and urgent need to abolish property taxes as the main source of local council funding".

ENDS

[NOTE. David Thornton is also spokesman for the Rates Rebellion campaign which led the 'rates revolt' of 2003/4 against the ARC]


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