ARC turns down rates reform call

Monday 29 March 2004

The Auckland Regional Council has voted to stick with the same rating system that hit households with increases as high as 657 per cent last year.

By The Landlord

Councillors, who face the polls in seven months, yesterday voted 7-5 to keep the status quo after promising a review in the face of a ratepayer revolt. The boundaries for the public transport rate will not change either.

The ARC has now twice rejected the idea of introducing a business differential leading to lower rates for households.

Charging businesses 1 1/2 times the residential rate would have saved nearly 300,000 households between $5 and more than $500.

Instead, the council is planning to raise rates by 3.2 per cent. The public will have the opportunity to make submissions on the rates increase, including options for a business differential, from April 5 to May 3. Last year, councillors ignored most submissions and introduced the system, with strong backing from business.

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