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Mrs Bull agrees to RAM's call for ARC debate

RAM media release 3.5.04

Mrs Bull agrees to RAM's call for ARC debate on higher business differentials

ARC chair Gwen Bull has agreed to RAM's call to table before the full council some higher business differential options than are contained in the ARC's draft plan.

A business differential means that businesses pay a higher rate in the dollar than homeowners. A differential of, say, 5 means that a business pays five times more than a homeowner on a property of the same value. Apart from Franklin, all territorial authorities across greater Auckland levy a business differential, ranging from a high of 9.35 by the North Shore City Council to a low of 1.4 by the Waitakere City Council.

Last year, the ARC's ruling faction axed the business differential, which was the major reason why homeowners' rates went through the roof. A long campaign to restore a decent differential has been waged by RAM - Residents Action Movement.

"Mrs Bull has now agreed to table for discussion at a full meeting of the ARC a range of business differentials between 4 and 6," said Grant Morgan, spokesperson for RAM.

"This is an important breakthrough. Up till now, the ARC's majority have refused to formally consider any differential above the miserly level of 1.5, which would go nowhere near reversing last year's unjust rate rises."

"Now at least there will be a full ARC debate on options which would deliver rates justice for the grassroots," said Mr Morgan.

Mrs Bull agreed to this council discussion at a public debate with RAM last Saturday, 1 May.

This debate, hosted by RAM, was attended by 40 people despite appalling weather conditions.

"I appreciate Mrs Bull making her time available for a debate with RAM, even though we continue to disagree on fundamental ARC policies," said Mr Morgan. "I also appreciate the ARC chair agreeing to a full council debate on higher differentials than are in the draft plan, even though I don't expect the ARC's corporate councillors will back the higher differentials."


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