Rates Bills Arriving in People’s Letter Boxes
One thing about social media is the commenting people do on a very hot topic issue. In this case the very hot topic issue is Rates. Just glances through Facebook, Twitter and some Main Stream Media pieces show that there is two thoughts here:
1) Rates Rise = #$%^ or if you are lucky; Rates Decrease =
2) Regardless of rates rises or decreases this also seems to be the mood of most ratepayers: From Daniel Newman, Board Member to Manurewa Local Board; “So my land rates arrived in the post. I don’t know which is worse, the size of the increase or the knowledge that very little of the money invoiced will be spent on local services.”
I would be inclined to agree here. Even though I will get a rates decrease (when my rates bill FINALLY ARRIVES in the post) I am also concerned that very little money from our rates will be spent on local services. And for me that means local services here in Papakura.
There are a lot of things that are both needed, and ‘nice to haves’ down in the southern fringe that is Papakura that our ratepayers money could be spent on. However Auckland Council is fixated on spending inane amounts of money on the CBD and five start junkets in places like Queenstown. I do wonder on the quality of spending our Council is doing with OUR money and whether a massive broom needs to be applied so that a major clean out can be done.
For me council economics are simple:
In boom times you have a reverse of the recessionary times. So decrease in CAPEX and increase in OPEX.
However spending should always be as near as fiscally neutral as possible with my debt policy proposal adhered to so debt does not run away as it is currently. Savings should always be made where possible meaning once your essentials are paid for first, and maybe an odd luxury item if you have some spare cash, the rest of the cash should come back to the ratepayers as savings.
But I suppose we will have to wait and see until 2013 before if us ratepayers would be afforded any real savings coupled with some actual quality spending.