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

 

Parliament Today:

Employment: Locked Out Wairoa Talley Workers Win Case

Thursday’s Employment Court decision should see AFFCO Talley’s Wairoa locked out workers back at work in the next two weeks, says the NZ Meat Workers Union. More>>

Meanwhile:


ALSO:


EMPLOYMENT BILL REPORTED BACK:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news