Council budget & rates approved in quick time

Auckland mayor Len Brown cut short the debate on the council’s budget & rates yesterday when he told councillors at the governing body meeting little had changed in the annual plan, so the only new decisions were on the look & substance of the documents.

The mayor has tried over the first 6 years of the super-city council to prevent relitigation of issues through the committee process and into the governing body’s meetings while the minority – notably Cllrs Cameron Brewer, Christine Fletcher, Dick Quax & George Wood – have sought new ways to relitigate.

Cllr Fletcher tried for “a short discussion” on the uniform annual general charge and Cllr Wood insisted he had a right to speak, that just because issues had been debated at committee level didn’t mean they shouldn’t be debated again by the governing body.

Mr Brown stopped them both: “There has been very little by way of change in this annual plan (and) we have had the debate around the annual plan,” he said. As for the rates proposal, that was debated thoroughly in May.

“I accept every year there will be a debate on the uniform annual general charge because it is the equity lever. The community had a massive debate during the long-term plan consultation. Then we had another debate in May, the most extensive debate outside the interim transport levy. The vote was clear.”

The approved recommendations were for an average general rates increase of 2.4%, a uniform annual general charge of $394/property, the interim transport levy to continue and the farm/lifestyle block differential to be unchanged.

The 2.4% average general rates increase plus transport levy will work out at an average rise of 2.5% for residential & farm/lifestyle ratepayers, 1.9% for businesses.

The transport levy is $182.85 including gst for business properties, $113.85 for residential, farm/lifestyle and properties with no road access.

The proposed urban residential rate in the dollar of capital value is $0.00253439 and business $0.00693795.

Governing body agenda
11, Annual plan, adoption of the annual budget 2016-17
12, Rates setting 2016-17

Earlier stories:
27 June 2016: Council to set rates on Thursday
13 May 2016: The rating numbers council will vote on today

Attribution: Council governing body meeting.

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