$350 UAGC the best option

Published: Fri 24 Aug 2012 03:13 PM
News Release
24 August 2012
$350 UAGC the best option
Increasing the Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) would simply see more people facing double-digit rates rises.
There have been calls to increase the charge as part of implementing the government-imposed single rating system for Auckland but the Mayor says this would make things worse rather than better.
“The government’s Auckland Council legislation requires a single rating system with the setting of a single UAGC for the region,” says Len Brown.
“Increasing the UAGC would simply mean more people across the region facing 10 per cent plus rates increases.”
Under the existing $350 UAGC, 127,165 residential ratepayers face increases of more than 10 per cent because of the impact of amalgamation.
At $450 that number increases to 129,585 and at $750 that number jumps to 170,847.
“It is also wrong to say that council’s investments have caused people’s increases. The fact is that we could have set a zero-budget and cut things like our investments in trains, libraries and parks, and many ratepayers would still be facing substantial increases.
“The average increase across the region is 3.6 per cent. The fluctuations above or below that mark were locked in the moment the government passed legislation setting up Auckland Council stipulating capital value as the basis for setting rates.
“The amalgamation was a massive challenge in all sorts of ways, not least of all rates, but we have brought in transition policies to smooth out any change and in the end we will have a fairer system where homes of the same value will pay the same rates, wherever they are in the region,” says Len Brown.
Note to editors: A Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) is a fixed charge applied to each separately used or inhabited part of a property, such as a shop that has a flat above, or a granny flat. The UAGC is used to pay for general council services. A UAGC is applied to ensure every ratepayer pays a minimum contribution for council services.
All former councils rating policies included a UAGC. These were set at varying levels. In deciding on the UAGC for Auckland Council a balance had to be attained on the affordability of the UAGC while still seeking a minimum contribution from all rateable properties to fund those services that are deemed to generally and equally benefit the region.

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