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Auckland fuel tax a step closer

Auckland fuel tax a step closer

Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed the government’s introduction of legislation today to allow Auckland to apply for a regional fuel tax.

Mayor Phil Goff said, “I am pleased the Government is introducing legislation now as it will allow us to implement a fuel tax when the Interim Transport Levy expires. There are still some details we need to work through with the Government, but this is welcome first step.

“Worsening traffic congestion is a significant issue in Auckland. A fuel tax will provide up to $1.5 billion to invest in critical transport infrastructure in Auckland.

“Aucklanders understand that with huge population growth and hundreds of extra cars on the road every week, the response of doing nothing simply leads to more congestion and gridlock, and billions of dollars in lost productivity.

“A fuel tax is cheap to administer, contains a user-pays element for road usage and raises twice as much money as the Interim Transport Levy, which expires on 30 June this year.

“It can only be spent on transport infrastructure and people prefer that transparency around its use.

“The equivalent rates increase needed if there were no fuel tax would be an 8-9% rates increase on top of the general rates increase of 2.5% plus any other targeted rate.

“Aucklanders can’t expect other New Zealanders to meet our share of the contribution towards solving our transport problems.

“During the Mayoral election campaign, I told every meeting that if people wanted a solution towards stopping greater congestion they would need to contribute towards it. I strongly advocated for a regional fuel tax and said that if people thought they could get something for nothing they should consider voting for someone promising that, but that I did not believe that was honest.

“Council is currently consulting on its 10-year Budget and half of public submissions on the regional fuel tax so far received support it.

“Aucklanders will soon get another chance to have their say on how we tackle congestion in Auckland when we consult with residents on the proposed transport projects we want to fund,” said Mayor Goff.

ENDS

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