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Rates due with most paying much more than 2.9%

30 August 2013

Rates due with most paying much more than 2.9%

“With the 2013/14 rates due today, the overwhelming majority of Aucklanders will have to pay between 4% to 10% more than last year, despite Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s constant promotion of a 2.9% region-wide average increase. What’s more nearly half of Auckland’s eastern suburbs are set to pay the full 10% rates cap for the coming year,” says Auckland Councillor for Orakei, Cameron Brewer.

Auckland Council’s finance department has confirmed to Mr Brewer that 47.1% of Orakei residential ratepayers, or 13,918 households, are set to pay the full 10% rates cap. Over two thirds of Orakei ratepayers face an increase of at least more than five percent, with the average residential rate increase 5.7% - which is nearly twice as much as the regional average.

“In dollar terms, the average annual residential rates bill for the Orakei ward is now $3,456 compared to the regional average of $2,241, with the average Orakei residential ratepayer set to pay $186 more in rates than last year. The average Orakei ratepayer pays over 54% more than the average ratepayer in the Auckland region.”

Mr Brewer says local businesses don’t fare any better with the average increase for business ratepayers up 5.2% or $691 more for 2013/14, with 27.6% of local businesses up for an increase more than 10%. The average annual business rate for businesses in the Orakei ward will be $13,948.

The total rates take from the Orakei ward is up $6m to over $115m on the previous financial year.

“Given the huge amount the eastern suburbs pay to the wider region, the Orakei Local Board and I will continue to fight for a greater return on our ratepayers’ investment.

“Sadly, all Aucklanders can see are on-going cost increases and debt blowing out by about $1b a year despite the 2010 council amalgamation. What’s more user-pays rubbish is imminent, toll roads look set to come, and regulatory fees just keep going up. At the same time, council is no longer mowing its roadside verges. So costs go up but service levels do not.”

“I will also continue to push for a higher Uniform Annual General Charge which is the fixed charge component of your rates. A higher UAGC would help many struggling in higher valued properties. It would more fairly spread the load of rates across the region to better reflect that Aucklanders generally enjoy equal access to the council’s amenities, activities and services regardless of their property value,” says Cameron Brewer.

ENDS

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