Annual Plan passed
Yesterday the Finance and Performance Committee and later the Governing Body of Auckland Council confirmed the Annual Plan 2017/2018. The Annual Plan is the yearly Budget document setting out revenue and expenditure.
From the Office of the Mayor Phil Goff:
Mayor’s annual budget a win for Aucklanders
- Rates increases reduced to 2.5%
- Living Wage lifts Auckland Council employees on low pay
- Funding to coordinate action on homelessness
- Broader revenue base for Council through targeted rate on accommodation and large developments
- $200 million boost to spending on infrastructure with $2 billion in capital spending this year
Auckland ratepayers will receive relief from double digit rate increases of previous years after Auckland Council today voted to adopt Mayor Phil Goff’s Annual Budget 2017/2018.
The Annual Budget confirms a 2.5% rate increase for the financial year 21017/2018.
“This is a budget for the people of Auckland,” said Mayor Phil Goff.
“Passing on efficiency savings and lower interest rates to ratepayers has allowed Council to reduce planned rate increases.
“It has also been possible to ensure lower rate rises because we have sought new measures to broaden our revenue base and take some of the pressure off ratepayers,” the Mayor said.
“With the targeted rate on accommodation we are asking accommodation providers to meet half of the cost of tourism marketing and events which previously fell totally on Auckland ratepayers.
“It’s only fair that those who benefit directly from events that promote tourism share in that cost.
“The other advantage of the targeted rate is that the money freed up creates capacity for an additional $100 million increase in capital spending on transport infrastructure.
“This will be used to help fund much needed projects such as mass transit between the CBD and airport.
“The targeted rate on development will also take pressure off the general ratepayers and will help create the infrastructure needed to bring forward new housing development.
“This year’s budget also seeks to help some of the most vulnerable Aucklanders,” said Phil Goff.
“A living wage for Council employees will help our lowest paid people to meet the high costs of living in Auckland and ease pressure on their families.
“It will help cut the high 25% a year attrition rate among our lowest paid workers and increase productivity.
“A fund to coordinate Council, government and NGO action on homelessness will help us implement a ‘housing first’ policy. In other cities, this policy has had a proven track record of getting people permanently off the street and into homes.
“I want to thank my Councillors for having passed a budget that relieves the burden on ratepayers, broadens the Council’s revenue base and increases investment in much needed infrastructure. The additional $200 million in this budget will raise capital expenditure on infrastructure to $2 billion this year. This budget also starts to address the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our city,” Phil Goff said.
Finance and Performance committee chair, Councillor Ross Clow said that the decisions made have been both balanced and responsible.
“Reaching this point has taken a great deal of work,” he says.
“Top of this council’s mind is dealing with Auckland’s growth and the investment required, while reducing the burden on ratepayers as much as is possible.
“I feel we have got the balance right with this budget. It is a good budget for Aucklanders.
“We had some hard decisions to make, but we are committed to ensuring service levels do not drop, while maintaining a balanced and financially prudent budget.
“I am pleased we now have an agreement in place and can move forward to the conversations around the Long-term Plan.”
The decisions are now due for final adoption by the Governing Body on 29 June. The agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items are available on demand.
The $200m extra for infrastructure has not been broken down line by line post Committee. Greater Auckland and myself have asked for the line by line from Council and will report on it next week.
The continued growth pressures on Auckland will strain finances for years to come as Government dithers (see: Auckland’s Lost Opportunities). However, if we can get our ducks lined up properly (see: Auckland Growth Trajectories Have Exceeded All Planning Documents. Crunch Time for Authorities) then pressure returns to Wellington to help Auckland properly.
The new Rates set in July 1.