Auckland Council today voted to support Mayor Phil Goff’s 3.5% general rates increase.
Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers was one of three Councillors who voted against the increase.
He said increasing taxes such as rates in a recession makes a recession deeper and that was the wrong thing to be doing.
The other two Councillors who voted against the 3.5% general rates increase were Cr Christine Fletcher and Cr John Watson.
“The mandate from the public was clear with over 75 per cent of the submissions from Rodney residents wanting a 2.5 per cent rates increase or less,” Cr Sayers says.
“The majority of people said they wanted Auckland Council to cut-its-cloth to fit its income, especially at a time when households can least afford more taxes.”
Cr Sayers gave alternative solutions to increasing rates which included central Government taking the City Rail Link debt off Auckland Council’s books, bringing payrates for Council staff paid over $100,000 back into line with the private sector, and implementing a Royal Commission recommendation to have an Independent Performance Auditor residing over Council providing independent assurances to the public that Council was providing high-quality services in a cost effective way.
“It’s the financial hardship created on Auckland’s most vulnerable, the poorest, the superannuitants, and those on fixed incomes that concern me the most.”
He says Council is doing a disservice to Aucklanders by axing future road sealing projects as this took away from the country’s economic recovery by adding to the cost of trucking food to the city and hindering a rural lead economic recovery, as well as blocking internal tourism opportunities.