Council’s 3.94% Rates Increase


The Auckland Council this afternoon has adopted its first annual plan and confirmed a 3.94% rates increase for ratepayers while confirming additional funding for a number of other projects.

That rate increase is a damn good effort when one remembers the warnings in the early days that a massive rates increase would result in the first year.

Mayor Len Brown says the Council was only eight months old, “and we have now got a plan in place that I believe delivers to the people of Auckland.

“When we inherited the amalgamated Auckland Council, the projected rates increase from all the old councils was a proposed 9.3 per cent. That wasn’t acceptable, so we worked to cut costs and drive efficiencies in the organisation. I’m committed to keeping the rates increase down below four per cent. We’ve done this at the same time as rolling out the biggest ever investment in our region,

“I am especially pleased that due to the hard work put into finding over $81 million in savings, we are able to come back today and announce projects such as the Otahuhu Swimming Pool and Muriwai Surf Lifesaving Club will be going ahead without taking rates over 3.94 per cent,” said Len Brown.

At the meeting Cr Cameron Brewer, George Wood, Calum Penrose and Sharon Stewart voted against the $3.2m allocated to the nine- person Maori Board  for its annual budget. It was lost.

Funding was confirmed for a raft of important projects including:

  • Operating expenditure of $1.9 million towards the Major Events Strategy
  • Operating expenditure of $30,000 for Mika Haka Foundation
  • Operating expenditure of $50,000 for Plan Be Founding sponsor support
  • Operating expenditure of $300,000 for Bruce Pulman Park
  • Operating expenditure of $250,000 for events compliance management Hobsonville Marine Precinct, with capital expenditure of $3.5 million in 2011/2012 and further amounts in later years
  • Papatoetoe Redevelopment, with capital expenditure of $1 million in 2011/2012 and further amounts in later years
  • Capital expenditure of $1.95 million for animal shelters
  • Capital expenditure of $760,000 for the fit out of the Viaduct Events Centre and associated additional user charges income
  • Operating expenditure of $85,000 for Kauri Dieback management costs
  • Operating expenditure of $300,000 for volcanic landscapes
  • Capital expenditure of $371,000 for the Gulf Harbour Breakwater
  • Capital expenditure of $1 million on Muriwai Surf Lifesaving Club facility development, noting that this funding is not required until 2012/2013
  • Acquiring elephants for Auckland Zoo, noting that this will be funded from borrowings from Auckland Council
  • $850K for Waterfront Master Plan and $800K for waterfront activation during RWC 2011 and summer season, noting that this $800K can not proceed until ATEED and Waterfront Auckland have presented together to the council their plans to demonstrate that there is value for money and no duplication
  • Operating expenditure of $20,000 for health services on Great Barrier Island
  • Operating expenditure of $250,000 to investigate the MAGIC centre as proposed by the Maungakiekie Tamaki Local Board
  • Capital expenditure of $200,000 for Otahuhu Swimming Pool

Related Posts

  1. Council Told Find $12.3m For Rail
  2. Fuel Tax Increase Deferred
  3. Big Increase In Rail, Bus Use
  4. Council Seeks More Transport Money
  5. Bus, Train Fare Increase: Only Question is How Big?




  1. greenwelly says:

    Sub 4% is a good start,

    But they have not put out any plan to deal with the huge rating differentials they now have operating due to the old council boundaries, i.e old ACC rates are much lower on a per $ of value basis than the other cities ’cause they got a pile of $$$ from the billions in CBD value.

    The new council is going to have to find some way to harmonise the values otherwise the remains of the old cities will exist forever…..

  2. Matt L says:

    greenwelly - they are meant to be working on a single rating system at the moment and it has been suggested that much of the work that was deferred to keep this rates rise low has been due to it being funded as part of that piece of work.

  3. Matt says:

    There is definitely a plan for unified rating, but until the latest GV data is released next month there’s not much that can be done around determining rates income and thus necessary rating levels.

    One thing that does need work is the business/residential differential. No matter how much businesses gripe and moan, they can deduct rates as an expense and claim back the GST. Residential ratepayers can’t.
    To argue that business shouldn’t pay more is denying the Council the opportunity to gain from the benefits that businesses derive from the activities of the Council. Quality public transport and nicer streetscapes being the two obvious ones in the context of this blog. If business does well because of the environment created by the Council, the Council should be allowed to capture some of that extra value. Since we don’t have any other mechanism by which metropolitan authorities can be paid by businesses within their area, rates is it. In most other countries, local sales taxes exist in addition to property taxes!

  4. Mark says:

    @Matt - the tax deductibiltiy isn’t a valid arguement.

    A 1000 increase in rates still has to be paid - and while it is an expense - the next 1000 of revenue is needed to offset the increase.

    Many businesses struggle to increase revenue - and a rates increase of x dollars offsets the exact same increase in revenue. So it is a very real cost to business.

    Also their properties are far more valuable, so they also get the double whammy of a rate in the dollar on a value that is far higher than a residential property.

    I agree with targted rates ie from a specific group to fund specific projects - as was done for all the CBD upgrades/shared space, there must be a very close co-relation.

    While the CBD is seen to generate a lot - it also hides central govt subsidies for education/hospitals. So while there are major coststo Council for the University precinct and hospital, they pay no rates at all. So as AUT expanded into office blocks, council actually lost rates.

    A share of GST has been proposed in the past - and gets away from a simple property tax. It’s hard to argue why the 20-25% of retired Auckland should go funding major tourist attractions etc - whereas a share of GST is more relevant to money spent - especially getting back some from tourists


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