Phil Goff’s first rates proposal

Yesterday Mayor Phil Goff released his proposal for rates in Auckland for the 2017/18 financial year, which starts on 1 July 2017. The proposal includes several things related to some of the issues we talk about that I thought I’d cover off. Firstly, though the high-level stuff. The Mayor is proposing a 2.5% general rates increase to honour his campaign promise on rates. But given how much investment Auckland needs, especially in infrastructure that is simply not enough and so he’s also proposing a couple of new ways to raise revenue, this includes: Raising up to $30 million from a new visitor levy to replace ratepayer funding currently spent on attracting …
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Transport Land Sales a One Way Street?

Today the Auckland Council are deciding on the rates for the coming year. While looking through one part of the document (29.1MB) I came across one aspect that caught my attention. Auckland Transport want to buy $80 million of property in advance so that they’ll have it available when it comes time to actually build the infrastructure they’re planning. For his part, the mayor is proposing that AT only get $30 million in the 2016/17 year and $20 million in the 2017/18 year. There’s a brief explanation of what is proposed on page 214 and a more detailed report on pages 251-254. That more detailed report gives us these details about what AT would use …
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The Value of Well-Designed Cities

When it comes to the debate about housing and development, there’s been plenty of discussion about the physical impacts of decisions we make, for example the height and bulk of buildings. There’s even been to a lesser extent a discussion on the capital costs of development, the costs of building or upgrading roads, pipes and other infrastructure. Some of this is quite evident now with the Transport for Future Growth consultations currently underway. One area that hasn’t really been discussed at any level – other than probably some obscure high level planning papers – is the impact our development choices have on rates and operational costs. In many ways this is …
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Rates for Crown-owned land?

Last month, Local Government New Zealand called for charging rates (i.e. local government property taxes) on Crown-owned land. The idea’s also been supported by the Productivity Commission and ACT’s sole MP, David Seymour: Local Government NZ, which represents the country’s 78 local and regional authorities, is holding its annual conference in Rotorua. Its members – including Auckland Council – have voted to investigate the possibility, practicality and principle of local authorities extending rates charges to land owned by the Crown. The same topic has also been covered by a review by Local Government NZ (LGNZ) of local government funding. A manifesto on this will be presented today. […] Act Party …
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