Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Auckland Council must lead way in developing fairer system

12th August 2013

[statement by David Thornton]

Council rates are fair to no-one.

Auckland Council must lead way in developing fairer system.

The list of council rate increases payable by high-profile Aucklanders in today’s New Zealand Herald serves to demonstrate the inequality of the council’s rating system.

There are many individuals in that list who are reputedly wealthy enough for big rate increases to be of little concern. On the other hand half the people on the list actually enjoy a decrease in rates, including some ‘rich-listers’.

But there are many thousands of ordinary Auckland ratepayers for whom increases of more than the 2.9% average are a burden rapidly becoming unbearable.

In fact 74% of Auckland residential ratepayers face increases above the 2.9% ‘average’ claimed by Mayor Len Brown.

The 2.9% in fact refers to the percentage increase in total rates income the council aims to collect.

Rates are regarded as a tax and most taxes are directly related to income or consumption – Income Tax, GST, Excise duty, Road User charges etc.

Council rates are not directly related to either income or consumption.

They are based largely on estimated property values on a certain date, in the case of Auckland, July 1st 2011.

This suggests that the question of ‘value for money’ is not a consideration when rates are set.

Worse is yet to come for Auckland with a general property due revaluation next year.

This will lead to more changes in rateable values, leading to a wide range of higher and lower rates increases depending on where you live.

At a time of low inflation and modest salary increases the effect of council rates increases can be significant for many families.

I asked the Council earlier this year to institute its own inquiry into the current rating system with the aim of developing a fairer system.

With more than a third of the nation’s population the Auckland Council is in a prime position to take up this challenge to develop a system which is fair to most, and focuses on ability to pay and value for money.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether We Should Be Betting Quite So Heavily On Astra Zeneca’s Covid Vaccine

According to this week’s Speech from the Throne, maintaining public safety during the pandemic will remain the government’s top priority. Next year will (hopefully) bring the rolling out of a free vaccination against Covid-19 to New Zealander. Currently, there are three possible vaccine contenders but the effectiveness of the vaccine will be only one of the factors determining which vaccine will pre-dominate. On the basis of the cost per dose, and the ease of manufacture, storage and distribution, the Astra Zeneca/Oxford University vaccine will almost certainly be the prime choice for New Zealand, at least initially... More>>


New Zealand Government: Speech From The Throne

It is my privilege to exercise the prerogative of Her Majesty the Queen and open the 53rd Parliament.
In the October election, New Zealanders elected a majority Government for the first time under our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system... More>>

Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>


Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>


New Zealand Government: To Declare A Climate Emergency

The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today. “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every aspect of our lives and the type of planet our children will inherit ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>


Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels