December 05, 2022

Ratepayer Victory! Wayne Brown to keep rates below inflation

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is praising Mayor Wayne Brown’s commitment to keeping rates below inflation but warns that his proposed savings package isn’t bold enough.

Mayor Wayne Brown has announced that he intends to propose a 4.66% overall rates increase in the 2023/24 financial year. This is likely to keep rate increases well below the Consumer Price Index. During the 2022 election, Brown refused to sign the Ratepayer Protection Pledge to keep rates below inflation and rule out any new targeted rates.

However, it is better late than never, and we welcome Mayor Brown’s decision to adopt our policy of no rate increases above household inflation. At a time of great hardship for those on low and fixed incomes, any rate rises that outpace inflation would be grossly unfair.”

While the Ratepayers’ Alliance is tentatively supporting Mayor Brown’s budget proposal, it is concerned that the proposed $130 million savings package is much too small. It is noted that $60 million of the savings are expected to come from the Auckland Council parent with only $25 million from Auckland Transport.

Given that Auckland Transport spends half of our rates, we expected the Mayor to demand much greater savings from the CCO. AT claims it will find the savings from IT and insurance costs. But we know AT spends over $20 million on communications and marketing alone. That should be halved!