Auckland City’s 11% Rate Hike Plan
10 February 2005
Auckland City’s 11% Rate Hike Plan – “Don’t Play This Game With Us!”
“We know that Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard and his fellow Councillors are not stupid enough to impose a double digit rate increase on ratepayers – so why put up the proposition in the first place?”
Responding to Mayor Hubbard’s announcement of the City’s proposal to strike an average 11% rate increase that will vary between 7% and more than 20% on specific rate payer groups, Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce said that inevitably there will be strong submissions opposing the increase and Council will respond by cutting back to a lesser amount.
“Why play this game, when the market clearly expects rate rises to be kept within inflation (3%), and which the previous Council achieved each of the last three years?”
“It’s stupid economics, bad politics and smacks of a Council that doesn’t have a clear strategy of what it wants to do and the funding needed to do it,” said Mr Barnett.
The fact that most of the increase will apparently be used to improve public transport lacks credibility. “In December 2003 the Government gave Auckland an additional $1.62 billion to help fix our transport problems – how much more does the City need?”