Increasing infrastructure spend to ease congestion, improving housing affordability and cleaning up water quality in our streams and beaches, while ensuring rates are kept low, will be Mayor Phil Goff’s key priorities in Auckland’s 10-Year Budget.
“This 10-Year Budget will see Auckland Council’s transport infrastructure spend increase to $11 billion over the next decade. The investment is critical to ensure our city, with increasing population and cars on the road, doesn’t grind to a halt,” said Mayor Phil Goff.
“We’re working with the government to introduce a fairer revenue source in the form of the Regional Fuel Tax. This means we can remove the $114 Interim Transport Levy, which doesn’t raise enough money and is unfair in how it impacts on retired folks and others who make less use of our roads."
“Accelerating investment in our transport network is critical to address congestion and to allow the development of brown and greenfields sites to increase the supply of housing."
“I pledged to keep rates low by finding efficiencies and that is exactly what we have done over the last year, including through the council’s ongoing Value for Money programme. This means we can keep the increase in average general rates at 2.5 per cent for the next two years.
“We are committed to finding further savings, while ensuring that we can maintain service levels in the face of unprecedented growth."
“A new set of performance measures for the Chief Executive agreed by the Governing Body last week will, among other things, aim for a 30 per cent reduction in the council’s travel budget, and set agreed ceilings in key budget and staffing areas."
Protecting our environment
“We enjoy a beautiful environment in Auckland but years of under-investment are putting that at risk. To meet critical concern in this area, I am proposing a small targeted rate to tackle problems that we need to urgently address. If adopted, there won’t be a noticeable impact on rate levels for the average ratepayer as it adds up to slightly less than the Interim Transport Levy, which is being removed.
“A targeted rate on water and the environment could together come to about $1.70 a week. For that we can clean up our streams and beaches, protect our kauri, our forests and native bird life."
“A targeted rate is also transparent so Aucklanders know where that money is going and what they are paying for."
“This budget reflects that the costs of growth puts real fiscal constraints on what the council can spend in other areas. There are many other things we would like to do but are not possible in a constrained environment,” said Mayor Goff.
The mayor’s 10-Year Budget Proposal is the start of the consultation process with Aucklanders. Councillors will vote next month on what items are to be consulted on with public consultation in March 2018.