The decision comes after a debate between Rodney’s councillor Greg Sayers and mayor Phil Goff at Auckland Council’s Governing Body meeting on December 15.
To hold a rise in rates at 2 per cent rates, Sayers says it will need to find savings of $30 million. Savings of $69m are needed for a 2.5 per cent rates increase.
“I am proud that ratepayers will now have a greater say about how Auckland Council should manage their money,” Sayers says.
Sayers says Goff was only intending to consider a 2.5 per cent rates increase.
All but one councillor, deputy mayor Bill Cashmore, supported Sayers’ recommendation to allow the public to choose between 2 per cent, 2.5 per cent and a 3.5 per cent rates increase.
“My objective was to give ratepayers greater transparency over where their rates be spent. This has been missing in the past but now ratepayers will be able to weigh up the options for themselves around the impact of any rate increase.
“Keeping rates low is good for people on low or fixed incomes. Rodney residents also want the reassurance that any additional rates will be spent back locally,” he says.
Sayers says he told council he wanted the public’s opinions to be taken seriously when submitting their thoughts on rates.
The council must seek feedback from the public annually before allowing any adjustments to rates.
Average rates rises for the 2016/17 year were 2.4 per cent.
Council research shows 36 per cent of Aucklanders are dissatisfied with Auckland Council’s current performance. A further 47 per cent do not trust the council to make the right decisions and 35 per cent are not confident in the council’s direction. Rising rates were a common complaint. Those surveyed in Rodney were least satisfied with council’s performance.