Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Rates due tomorrow but council leaves people in the dark

Rates due tomorrow but council leaves people completely in the dark
 
The second quarterly instalment of rates for 2012/13 is due to be paid by 5pm, Monday 26 November but more than 50,000 Aucklanders will be slammed with a 10% late penalty fee partly because no reminder to ratepayers has been communicated, says Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer.
 
“The council spends millions on public relations and marketing each year but staggeringly not one dollar has been spent on reminding ratepayers to pay their second instalment. Anyone would think the council is more interested in protecting its $20.6m expected in late rates penalty revenue this financial year, than providing a good faith reminder service to ratepayers.”
 
Mr Brewer said figures he’s obtained from the finance department revealed that 58,925 ratepayers were stung with a 10% penalty fee after missing the first instalment deadline of 30 August.
  
“Many Aucklanders, who haven’t remembered or simply can’t afford to pay, will find their rates suddenly up a staggering 20 percent. That’s because over 133,000 of Auckland ratepayers have had rates increases this year at the full 10 percent cap, and now some of them face a further 10 percent in penalty fees for late payment.”
 
Mr Brewer said it was disappointing that even the region-wide monthly council publication ‘Our Auckland’ which hit letterboxes last week did not mention that rates were due, nor does the homepage of the council’s own website.
 
"People have got to be personally responsible for paying their bills on time, but council also has a public service responsibility and has many channels to get a reminder out cost effectively. Interestingly only a few months ago the council paid $198,000 on a marketing campaign on to get the political message out that rates were somehow "fairer all round" but then has done nothing to remind Aucklanders to actually pay their rates on time.
 
"The council could reduce the number of Aucklanders forced to pay late penalties but given the extra revenue is worth over $20m per annum there seems to be little motivation.
 
"The best way to minimise the numbers penalised is by reminding people to pay their rates on time as well as keeping rates affordable. However having over 10% of Auckland ratepayers paying late penalties is sadly seen by some as a good revenue stream. The council can do a lot better to inform its ratepayers and it should," says Cameron Brewer.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news