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Auckland Council rate increases and re-valuations next year

28th October 2011

Auckland Council rates increases plus re-valuations combine to threaten huge rate rises for many Auckland Ratepayers from next year.

Home-owners should object to new valuation.

Voters should demand legislation to curb rate increases.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown announces he wants next year’s rates increase to be no more than 3.5%.

In his election campaign Len Brown said ‘I am committed to keeping rates low. My background is to keep rate increases close to the rate of council inflation and I have delivered no increase in water rates.’

What he means is that the total amount of money the Council wants from all its ratepayers will be 3.5% more than the current year - if that meant each individual ratepayer would only have a 3.5% increase there would be few complaints.

However that is not the real situation.

Figures in the New Zealand Herald reveal hugely different rates changes around the region ranging from a decrease of 15% for Waitakere ratepayers up to an almost 16% increases for Albert-Eden-Roskill residential ratepayers.

Business ratepayers are also affected with businesses in Waitemata and the Gulf getting an average reduction of almost 13%, while businesses in Franklin will get stung for 50% plus.

And these are averages for each area which means individual ratepayers will be paying both higher and lower percentages.

This disparity right across the region is caused by the effect of the mass revaluation carried out on 1st July on top of the requirement in the new Auckland legislation for rates to be based on capital value – as opposed to the land value basis used by several of the old councils,

What is emerging is a clear picture of a revenue gathering system which has no consideration at all for an individual ratepayers ability to pay.

The Independent Rates Inquiry recommended in August 2007 that council rates should account for no more than 50% on council income. Auckland ratepayers will probably be contributing above 63% - well over$1.3 billion in the 2012/2013 years.

The real message ratepayers are getting is that the Council is spending too much – and is planning to spend even more without knowing where the funding is coming from, except to relax in the knowledge that its ultimate backstop is its ability to raise rates at will.

Ratepayers need to start fighting back against the rising tide of rate rises – and the first step should be for every ratepayer to lodge an objection to their valuation – as they entitled to,

And in this election year – demand that your candidates support new legislation to place a limit of the level of rate rises councils can impose.


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