Auckland ratepayers are about to be hit in the pocket as the council struggles to find money to pay for major transport projects.
A council meeting today has discussed an average residential rates increase of 4.2 percent, with the equivalent of another four percent as a special transport levy on top of that.
Mayor Len Brown said there was a clear message from Aucklanders that they wanted to go ahead with the big transport developments needed to cut down on congestion on the roads.
Mr Brown said the transport levy would only mean about another $2 a week for residential ratepayers and $3 a week for businesses.
He also wanted to push the government for a motorway toll within three years.
He said this followed a clear message from Aucklanders that they wanted a larger package of transport projects than current budgets allowed.
But the Transport Minister has already rejected that.
Simon Bridges says the Government is not impressed with the Auckland transport plan promoted by its mayor Len Brown.
Mr Bridges said the Government would not introduce legislation to allow toll charges.
He said he would spend the next year talking to Mr Brown and the Auckland Council to come up with a better plan.
Mr Brown will today propose to councillors the general direction of the budget; a full debate is to be held next week.