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

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news