Press Release – Dick Quax
Many Howick rate payers will get an unpleasant surprise when receive their rate demand from the Auckland Council next week, says Councillor Dick Quax.
The average rate increase across the region is 3.6% but the average increase in Howick is 6.94%.
Whilst Mayor Len Brown has gone out of his way to describe the rates as “fair” Howick Councillors Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart are concerned that not enough has been done to modify the rate impact in the Howick ward.
Len Brown and a majority of councillors voted against a proposal to increase the level of the Uniform Annual General Charge. Had they voted in favour of an increase in the UAGC, rates would have been more evenly spread across the region.
Cr Stewart and Quax were party to a proposal for Council to adopt an alternative budget would have lowered rates by 1 per cent. This was also voted down by the majority including the mayor.
These rate increases are set to continue over the next ten years with council forecasting a cumulative increase of 56%. Debt is also set to rise from the present level of $4.5 billion to $12.5 billion over the ten years. By 2022 twenty five cents in every dollar will go towards paying interest on the debt.
In addition to this the Mayor has proposed alternative funding for some of his favourite projects which could see the introduction of a regional fuel tax, road tolling and congestion charging.