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Council’s 10-Year Budget Open for Consultation


Council’s 10-Year Budget Open for Consultation

Auckland Council’s 10-year Budget, released today for consultation, will focus on building infrastructure and providing more transparency about what ratepayer money will be spent on.

The council’s consultation runs from 28 February to 28 March and asks Aucklanders for their feedback on important issues such as investing in critical transport infrastructure through a regional fuel tax and targeted rates to clean up Auckland’s beaches, and to protect its environment. The Auckland Plan to 2050 is also being released for consultation.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said, “Our 10-year Budget sets out the critical investment and new funding mechanisms needed to ensure our city can address challenges such as traffic congestion, housing affordability, and protection of our environment. It outlines how we intend to do this while keeping rates low and reasonable.

“This 10-year Budget will see Auckland Council’s transport infrastructure spend increase from $7.9 billion to over $11 billion for the next decade. The fuel tax will provide up to $1.5 billion, plus government subsidies on a dollar-for-dollar basis, increasing our ability to meet our transport needs.

“Targeted rates addressing water quality and environmental issues will mean that Aucklanders know exactly where their money is being spent. For an average of $1.70 a week per household, we can address years of underinvestment in our environment to clean up our streams and beaches, and protect Kauri from dieback disease.

“It will make our environment cleaner and water quality better. It will make beaches safer for our children and grand-children to swim in.

“This 10-year Budget will see low and reasonable general rates rises. For the rest of the current council term, general rates rises will be held to 2.5 percent. This is needed for council to deliver vital services across the community and to start to tackle the problems Aucklanders want us to fix.

“Tackling congestion and cleaning up our beaches cannot be left in the too hard basket. We need to deal with them now and not leave them for future generations to solve.

“It is important to us that Aucklanders have their say. There are many ways to get involved including Have your Say and community feedback events, and events targeted at specific groups including Maori and Pasifika.

“A wide cross-section of Aucklanders will be surveyed to ensure we get a full range of opinions,” said Mr Goff.

Items for consultation include:

• the introduction of a regional fuel tax to fund critical investment in transport infrastructure
• introduction of a water quality targeted rate to raise $400 million to fund the Water Quality Improvement Programme to significantly reduce wastewater overflows into our harbours
• introduction of a natural environment targeted rate to raise either:
o an additional $123 million to fund additional projects to protect our natural environment and tackle kauri dieback disease, or
o an additional $279 million for kauri dieback and targeted ecological protection
• average general rates rises of 2.5 per cent for the first two years and 3.5 per cent for each year after that
• changes to the rating of online accommodation providers (e.g. Airbnb properties) who let out their whole property as a commercial or semi-commercial business
• disestablishment of the council-controlled organisation Auckland Council Investments Limited with the investments in Auckland International Airport Limited and Ports of Auckland Limited to be transferred to Auckland Council parent.
• the Uniform Annual General Charge increases in line with the general rates increase
• resumption of the Long-term Differential Strategy relating to business and residential rates

Consultation will run between 28 February and 28 March 2018. More information on how to have your say can be found at: AKhaveyoursay.nz

ENDS

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