Regional fuel tax still on agenda

Public Private Partnerships and a regional fuel tax will be vital to fast-tracking transport and roading improvements for a city that is growing faster than predicted, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said in Orewa last month.


Speaking to media just prior to a Hibiscus Coast & Bays Local Board meeting, Mr Goff said with 800 to 900 extra cars on Auckland roads every week, the city did not have time on its side.


“It takes years for these projects to come to fruition so we need to bring projects like Penlink forward or we’re going to be gridlocked,” he said.


Despite the generally negative response by Government to a fuel tax, Mr Goff remained confident that regardless of the outcome of the General Election in September, the tax had a good chance of being supported.


“The money raised from the tax will be used solely for transport projects and this should provide some assurance to Government that I’m trying to keep our spending under control.


“I’m prepared to take the flack for putting a 10 to 20 cents a litre road tax across the whole of Auckland because my policy has always been that we need a better way to fund infrastructure than by rates or borrowing.”


Mr Goff said alternatively the Government might decide, for example, to implement a road tax nationally and then allocate proportionally to areas where the tax was collected.


“That might be a tidier way to do it. I don’t really care how it is done, but everybody has to pay their share. If we don’t, the city will grind to a halt.”


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