13 May 2016

Auckland Council signs off on 2.4% rate rise

7:11 pm on 13 May 2016

Aucklanders will pay an average 2.4 percent more in rates next year.

Auckland Council's annual plan means household rates will rise by 2.6 percent and business rates by 1.7 percent.

Much of today's council debate centred on a management proposal to cash-up as much as two-thirds of a $330 million investment fund over the next two years, if needed.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown describes this year's record low rate rise as a "steady as she goes" effort.

Mr Brown, who is not seeking re-election after two terms, calls it a balancing act.

"What we have tried to do is address that very fine balance of financial prudence, but at the same time investing in the deficit and the infrastructure investment that has blighted this city for decades, and in particular transport."

The council's finance general manager Matthew Walker said the fund was inherited on amalgamation and was made up largely of shares which he described as potentially volatile.

Councillor Cathy Casey described the asset sale as the start of the rot of sell-offs.

The council voted to continue an unchanged interim transport levy of $114 per household, and left the flat-charge portion of rates at $394.