Govt silly to reject Regional Fuel Tax

Last Thursday Finance Minister Steven Joyce announced that the government was “ruling out” using a regional fuel tax as one way to fill the $4 billion transport funding gap that was identified by ATAP. He noted a few reasons for this decision: And second, I stress that we are not interested in introducing a regional fuel tax.…
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The regional fuel tax

One aspect of the government’s proposed changes to the Land Transport Management Act (LTMA) is the repeal of a provision which allows regional councils to introduce regional fuel taxes. Already the process to create a regional fuel tax seems quite complex, as the government was able to unilaterally cancel the Auckland scheme back in March 2009, delaying projects like electrification, Penlink and integrated ticketing – which had been banking on that money.…
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Can transport be an election issue?

Auckland’s poor transport outcomes over the years are probably the result of one over-riding factor: that while we vote on transport matters in local elections, local governments don’t have much money, central government holds the purse strings. Yet when it comes to national elections, we tend to have much bigger issues on our mind (taxes, health, crime, education, the economy etc.) than transport when casting our vote.…
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Shedding some light on this $30 million “funding gap”

My previous post, which commented on an NZ Herald article relating to operating costs of Auckland’s rail system, noted the somewhat bizarre emergence of a $30 million funding gap. While my previous post asked the question of “where the heck did this funding gap come from?” it is fair to say that Joyce has mentioned it a few times now – most recently in his interview on the TV3 programme “The Nation” a few weeks back.…
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Electrification – a solution

Auckland’s rail electrification project has had a torrid history. For years the previous government put it off, put it off, refused to stump up any money, put it off some more… and then finally came up with a solution where Aucklanders would pay for the project via a regional fuel tax.…
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Where is the funding for our electric trains?

Back in March when the government cancelled the Regional Fuel Tax that was going to pay for Auckland’s rail electrification, Steven Joyce affirmed the government’s commitment to paying for electrification in other ways. Initially it seemed like the whole country was going to pick up the bill via a 6c a litre tax, although subsequently we’ve realised that this tax will be going to Steven Joyce’s pet roads of National significance, rather than being spent on rail.…
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Electrification: the beginning, not the end

It has been an interesting year so far for Auckland’s public transport – probably a good year to start writing a blog on the topic actually, considering all the goings on that have happened. Probably the biggest story of the year so far was the cancellation of the Regional Petrol Tax back in March, which put most of the public transport improvements that we can expect in the next few years, into doubt.…
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