Following a record-breaking 8000 pieces of feedback from across Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland Council has adopted its 2017/2018 Annual Budget.
Auckland Council’s Governing Body met today and agreed next year’s budget, which will see general rates increase by 2.5 per cent.
Almost $4 billion will be spent on keeping our city moving.
Councillor Ross Clow says the council continues to make prudent financial decisions to ensure ratepayer money is spent wisely, while keeping pace with the city’s growth.
“Our city continues to grow at a phenomenal rate as more people decide to call Auckland home. In the last five years alone, we’ve welcomed a city population the size of Tauranga,” he said.
“The council has a big job ahead of it – that’s more new roads, infrastructure, green space and community spaces that are needed to ensure our neighbourhoods remain connected and prosperous."
Keeping our economy moving
As part of the coming year’s budget, a targeted rate on accommodation providers will be implemented. It will raise $13.45 million to spend on promoting Auckland as a destination.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) will continue to work on behalf of the council to market visitor attractions and major events to the overseas market.
Consultation on the budget ran between February and March, during which time 66 per cent of submissions received supported, in principal, the targeted rate.
“While this targeted rate will mean some commercial accommodation providers will experience large rates increases, we know there are options for managing the increased cost," says Cr Clow.
"Providers will have to make their own decisions, but may choose to pass the cost on to their customers, who are mainly visitors to Auckland.”
Changes to funding policy
The council also agreed to change its funding policy, enabling it to implement targeted rates on large-scale developments to help bring forward new housing projects.
It also agreed to pause the long-term rating differential policy for one year, which means that businesses will also receive a 2.5 per cent rates rise in the 2017/2018 financial year.
- 8058 submissions were received during consultation on the 2017/2018 budget – that’s a 143 per cent increase year-on-year.
- 73 per cent of submissions supported a 2.5 per cent general rates increase or higher for all ratepayers.
- 71 per cent of submissions supported a living wage for council staff. We’re making internal savings and efficiencies in order to fund this.
- $500,000 of the budget will be spent on coordinating agencies to help address homelessness and rough sleeping. There were more than 300 submissions in support of council’s involvement in helping the homeless.
- 66 per cent of submissions supported pausing the long-term rating differential policy for one year. This means the 2.5 per cent general rates increase will apply across the board, including for businesses, for 2017/2018.
The council also consulted on a number of other topics, including:
- local board priorities
- Tūpuna Maunga Draft Operational Plan 2017/2018
- mass transit
- waste management and associated costs
- changes to business improvement districts
- Skypath’s implementation
- our rural fire service.
The full budget will be available on the council website soon.