INDEPENDENT NEWS

Another new Stadium not needed in Auckland.

Published: Mon 20 Nov 2006 09:46 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
Waterfront Stadium huge threat to ratepayer.
Additional Council bureaucracy needed to collect new taxes.
Another new Stadium not needed in Auckland.
Speaking to the ‘No Waterfront Stadium’ meeting at the Aotea Centre this afternoon, David Thornton, organiser of the NoMoreRates campaign, warned the audience of several hundred that the Waterfront Stadium posed a huge threat to ratepayers.
Mr Thornton told the meeting, organised by Rodney Hide and Keith Locke, that
“Government’s proposals for funding the construction of the new stadium shows $169 million will be raised by sponsorship/corporate sales, ASB Trust grants, NZ Rugby Union contribution, and special lotteries. On top of that Auckland City Council has already agreed to give $50 million funded by ratepayers.
“If the total cost – including compensation to Ports of Auckland - is $700 million, this leaves a funding requirement of $481 million.
“The government has said it will contribute half of the balance required to build the stadium.
“The remaining half of this residual cost is to be paid by local councils – who would be given powers to levy bed taxes and an airport departure tax.
“The government says, by levying these new taxes, councils would not need to use rates for their share of the Stadium development costs.
“The important thing to be aware of is that the government is in fact putting the responsibility for that half of the funding requirement straight on to councils - which means that ratepayers become in effect the guarantor for that half share of the balance of costs.
“Councils would need to set up a whole new bureaucracy to collect the proposed new taxes – which could lead to high collection costs, and less than expected income.
“In any event the tourist industry is totally opposed to these proposed taxes.
“If the taxes are not introduced – or produce lower than expected income – ratepayers will be forced to meet the shortfall”.
David Thornton told his audience that another new stadium in Auckland was not needed, and that the existing publicly-owned stadiums in the region were already competing with one another – at cost to the ratepayer.
Ends.

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