Homeowners wait with bated-breath for new rates
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 6:26p.m.
By Tom McCrae
The rising cost of living in New Zealand's largest city will be made clear this week with rates bills hitting letterboxes.
Aucklanders will get their first rates bill under the new super city system with many facing big increases, and many people are afraid of how much more they'll have to pay.
Rae Wilkin has budgeted for an increase in her rates, but is still scared.
“I don't know what to expect, is it going to go up 3 percent or is it 8 percent? Eight percent is stretching my budget,” says Ms Wilkin.
She got to talk it out with the mayor but is worried because she lives in an area set for a large rise.
“I don't think people are following it, I think they're burying their head in the sand and just not looking and they're going to get one great shock,” she says.
Until now different councils had different ways of calculating rates, but now the city is made up one just one council it is required by Government to have one rating system for the whole of Auckland.
According to council there is an average increase of 3.6 percent across the city, but 256,000 households will face an 8.1 percent increase and 187,000 will get a 4.9 percent decrease.
The worst hit suburbs are Remuera, Mt Eden, Mt Roskill and Howick, while West Auckland, Papakura and Franklin will be the biggest winners.
“Everyone, no matter where they are, pays the same rate if they're sitting in a $400,000 home - whether it's in Greenhithe, Devonport or Papakura, you will pay the same rate and I think people see that as fair,” says Auckland Mayor Len Brown.
But not everyone does, including one of the city's senior councilors.
“We've erred on the side of having winners and losers and I think it's unfortunate because it's going to create a lot of discontent,” says Auckland councilor Christine Fletcher.
Increases are capped at 10 percent a year for the next three years and the new rates will arrive in letterboxes from Thursday.
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3/08/2012 5:28:23 p.m.
How Much wrote:
If not for the 10% cap my Greenhithe rates would go up 46%. Is Auckland now going to have a North/South divide? Money from North subsidising the South. 3.6% Yeah right
31/07/2012 7:27:05 p.m.
Just Me wrote:
When I receive the new rates bill and should it still have a levy for the RWC Eden Park developement almost a year after the event then I shall be highly annoyed.
All in all I think the Auckland Council will go through with rate rises for very little in return.The Law of Diminishing Return for every dollar paid in rates.Auckland ratepayers will continue receiving outlandish rates bills and,to recoup even more monies for say Councillors pay increases,there will be yet more levies upon various items that we no longer have free access to e.g free inorganic collections.
30/07/2012 10:20:14 p.m.
All rate payers should be paying the same rates for their properties - targeting certain areas is discrimination and people need to protest against this.
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