A positive development for Auckland ratepayers concerned they may be adversely affected by the move to a single rating system in the wake of last year's local government amalgamation.
Auckland Council's Strategy and Finance Committee has voted for a remissions system to assist ratepayers who may face big increases as a result of the introduction of the new system next year.
The committee wrapped up three days of discussions today on budgets and policies, including transition to the new rating system, for inclusion in the draft Long-term Plan (2012-2022).
It has proposed the remission of all rates over the following limits:
$1,000 and 20 percent of the current rates of business properties with the maximum remission of $6,000
$300 and 15 percent of the current rates for residential properties
$500 and 15 percent of the current rates for farm/lifestyle properties
“We know that the new rates system will result in some significant changes for some ratepayers and transitioning it in this way will reduce the impact of those increases,” says Committee Chair Penny Webster.
“Administratively it is also much simpler for both council systems and for ratepayers.”
The application of the policy will mean an adjustment in the rates requirement which will be spread across other ratepayers.
“It will mean that the rest of the ratepayers will pay more than they would have before the remission was taken in to account.”
The Mayor says amalgamation and the move to a single rating system based on capital value is something out of Auckland's control.
"Auckland Council is determined to ensure the introduction of the single rating system is fair and balanced. We have to ensure that the system is affordable for all Aucklanders and that is why the remission system is so important."
The number of properties expected to be eligible for a remission in the first year is 173,000 for residential, 5,800 business and farm/lifestyle 3,800.
This is expected to decrease considerably over the next few years.
The council’s governing body will meet on November 30 to adopt a draft LTP which will then be audited.
In February 2012 councillors will adopt the draft LTP, which will then be published for public consultation. This is when Aucklanders will be able to have their say on the priorities identified.
The council will adopt the Long-term Plan (2012-22) in June 2012.