Annual Plan passed by Governing Body
From Auckland Council:
Auckland Council agrees 2016/2017 budget
Auckland Council today agreed its 2016/2017 Annual Budget, agreeing to an overall general rates increase of 2.4 per cent.
Following a public consultation on four key rating issues as well as local board priorities, the council agreed the overall budget which includes the following key items:
- keep the Uniform Annual General Charge at $394
- keep the Interim Transport Levy at the same level of $113.85 for residential ratepayers and $182.85 for business ratepayers
- retain the general rate differential for farm and lifestyle properties at the present level of 80 per cent of the urban residential rate
- amend the Maori freehold land rates remission as outlined in the mayoral proposal.
The council will also step in and pick up the subsidy that will not be provided by the government and the New Zealand Transport Agency after June 1, 2016 that allows older people to travel free on public transport.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown, who led the budget process, says that this was always going to be a budget of minimal change.
“I am firmly of the view that after five years of upheaval in the rating system since amalgamation it is time for some stability,” he says. “Aucklanders made it very clear what they wanted during the consultation process and I think they will understand and respect the decisions made today and the sentiment behind them.”
Councillor Penny Webster, Chair of the Finance and Performance Committee, says that the agreed budget will still provide the required level of investment that Auckland needs.
“Our challenge with this, and every budget, is to keep up with the investment required to manage the unprecedented growth of the city, while keeping rates rises affordable.
“This budget addresses that requirement and the $1.2b of investment for 2016/2017 will enhance Auckland and ensure that the region remains the fantastic place it is to live and work.”
Notes to editors:
- The rates increase of 2.4 per cent breaks down to a 2.6 per cent increase for residential ratepayers and 1.7 per cent increase to business ratepayers.
- Full details of the budget will be available on the council website in due course, but in addition to the overall spend on capital expenditure and operating expenditure, the budget also includes a number of other items, including:
- providing Auckland Transport with additional capital funding of up to $30 million in 2016/2017 and $20 million in 2017/2018 to support early acquisition of land for future capital projects excluding light rail (note: this was amended to give highest priority weighting for public transport projects over roading projects)
- delegating authority to the Chief Executive, Group Chief Financial Officer and Chair of the Finance and Performance Committee to draw down up to $100 million per annum from its diversified assets portfolio in order to manage debt within prudent limits
- The budget will be finalised and rates struck on 30 June.
Budget 2016 for the Government is in two weeks.