Auckland Council's annual budget has been approved setting a rates increase and new targeted rates in motion.
At the External Governing Body meeting on 29 June the body set the rates for the financial year resulting in a 3.5 percent rates increase, the introduction of the Climate Action Targeted rate and updates to the waste management targeted rates.
Cr Daniel Newman said he would have preferred a different rate path and did not want to have the Climate Action Targeted rate introduced this year.
“My opposition this year has been largely premised on the timing and the design of the rate which comes in the middle of the worst cost of living crisis in a generation,” Newman said.
Cr John Watson said that in some parts of Auckland there would be four targeted rates.
“There is a cumulative effect taking place there,” Watson said.
“In terms of the community, there is increasing need. There is increasing difficulty in meeting costs that are compounded by the cost of living increase.”
Cr Christine Fletcher said the cost of living crisis was one council was grappling with.
“Generally the outlook is very pessimistic,” Fletcher said.
Mayor Phil Goff said that when Covid-19 ripped $900 million out of councils budget, they had to look at all the tools available.
“Are our rates excessive? Well, ask the people of Tauranga, they are paying 13.7 percent in the coming year. Wellington is paying 8.9 percent,” Goff said.
“We have taken into account that people are under pressure but we do not want to be like New York. They went into disaster because council after council, mayor after mayor refused to increase the revenue and the city went bust.”
Ratepayers will receive the first instalment invoice from August 1.