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Wayne Brown Rates Shocker – Proposals Include 38% Rates Hike

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance will go to war with Wayne Brown unless he backs down on putting an option to councillors to increase rates by 37.94% over three years, as contained in the Mayoral options in the proposed consultation document to the Council Long-Term Plan (10-year budget) to be presented to councillors tomorrow morning to vote on whether to put out for public consultation.

Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance Spokesman Jordan Williams said:

“Clearly Wayne Brown has been strong armed by Council officials, left wing councillors, or both. How can a Mayor who ran on a platform of fiscal restraint now propose rate hikes of up to 38% over three years? That’s an extra that’s $1,371 in rates for the average Auckland homeowners. This isn’t a u-turn, it’s an orbit of the moon.”

"Even the Mayor’s preferred ‘core option’ – 20 percent over three years – is outrageous. Wayne Brown was elected to rein in Council waste and redirect spending into higher priorities such as infrastructure investment. The Mayor proposes no such thing, rather reaching deeper into ratepayers' pockets at the time they least afford it."

“Not even in Len Brown’s dreams did he propose rate hikes as large as this. Mr Brown is putting before councillors an option to write wasteful officials a blank cheque.”

Under the Auckland Super City legislation, the Mayor takes the lead role in proposing the Council’s triannual Long Term Plan. The Mayor puts a recommendation before councillors on what to consult on, which, in effect, boxes in what final decisions can be made (it would be highly unusual, and legally risky, for a council to vote for a final plan that falls outside of options that were publicly consulted on).

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The options the Mayor has put forward in a 773-page document released this afternoon, to be voted on by Councillors tomorrow.

See page 51 of this PDF (page 88 of proposed consultation document) – screen shot of rate options and impact on rates of “average value residential property”.

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