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Council consults on annual plan initiatives and rate rises

13 Mar 2017 12:32 pm

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Mahurangi residents are being urged to have their say on Auckland Council’s annual budget, which is currently open for submissions.

A consultation session will be held at the Matakana Village Markets on Saturday March 18, from 8am to 1pm.
The consultation focuses on issues around rates, growth and local priorities as part of the third year of the Long-term Plan. The main topics for consultation are:
  • Level of rate rises and rating stability
  • Targeted rates on accommodation providers
  • Allowing the use of targeted rates on new developments alongside existing growth charges to pay for new infrastructure
  •  Living wage for Council staff.
Residents are being asked what level of rate increase they support – 2%, 2.5% or 3.5%. Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers believes the cost savings required to achieve a two per cent rate increase, while still being able to build what is needed, should be found by addressing Council over spending and wastage.

“Ratepayers need to consider whether or not they want Councillors to put pressure on Auckland Council to keep rates low by making savings within the organisation,” Cr Sayers says.

He says residents should also look carefully at the proposed targeted rate on Auckland accommodation providers.
“Tourism Industry NZ chief executive Chris Roberts believes the average rate increase for accommodation providers will be 150 per cent and because it is a rate, and not a tax, it can’t be put on customers’ bills. Some industry officials say accommodation providers will have to pay the extra rates out of their profits or borrow the money to survive.
Plus, Council says the extra $20 to $30 million raised annually will go into easing traffic congestion and yet, fixing Hill Street is not identified as a project. Instead, the money raised is earmarked to fund city traffic projects.”
Info: shapeauckland.co.nz and via social media. Consultation closes on March 27, at 4pm.

Questionable venue

Auckland Council has chosen an odd venue for its only consultation meeting on the annual budget north of Kumeu. It will be held at the Saturday morning market in Matakana, a place that is frequented more by tourists and visiting Aucklanders than locals. It should also be noted that the markets aren’t held in Laly Haddon Place as publicised on the Council website.

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