INDEPENDENT NEWS

Mayor takes action to keep rates down

Published: Tue 11 Sep 2012 04:09 PM
News Release
11 September 2012
Mayor takes action to keep rates down
The Mayor is taking action to keep next year’s Auckland Council rates down.
The current forecast rates increase for 2013/14 is 5.2 per cent, but Len Brown has made it clear he wants rates increases held to well below four per cent.
“When the new Auckland Council was established we faced 9 per cent plus increases. We got that down to 3.6 per cent this year. I am confident we can find savings to keep rate future increases down for Auckland families.
As a result, the Chief Executive has requested staff and council controlled organisations (CCOs) identify options for reducing rates equivalent to three per cent of their net operating budgets.
“That does not mean there will be a blanket three per cent cut across the board,” says the Mayor. “The intention is that elected representatives have options to consider. Some will be implemented, others will not.”
"However times are tough, and across the council we all have to tighten our belts. That includes all the CCOs, all council departments and all local boards.”
“I am determined that rates increases should be as low as they possibly can. We have already announced $1.7 billion in savings and efficiencies across the organisation over the next decade, but more work needs to be done.”
“At the same time, we are delivering the largest ever investment in Auckland’s parks, libraries, sports grounds, transport infrastructure and community facilities. There is always a demand to do more, but we are trying to strike the right balance between investment and savings.”
In developing rates reducing options, officers have been requested to exclude options that:
• are directly linked to the Auckland Plan or high on the Local Board Plan priorities
• are detailed in the list of priority areas for the Annual Plan 2013/2014
• are going to prevent Auckland Council from meeting its statutory requirements
• put at risk the health and safety of community or staff
• are financially committed expenditure such as planned/scheduled works within
existing contracts
• reduce service levels that are fully funded by other sources of income.
Ends

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