Ratepayers protesting about the amount and concept of rates fail to understand the system. ‘‘Rates’’ are a euphemism for land tax.
The number of people in a house is irrelevant. The income of ratepayers is almost irrelevant.
Even if there is no house and services rates still apply.
As rural householders will confirm, rates have nothing to do with services provided other than an unsealed road as access to their property.
The reason this inequity survives is because of the simplicity of raising funds. Property is readily identifiable and valuations every three years gives a new base to calculate higher rates.
Why would politicians, national and local, want to change this? The alternative would involve a system whereby all contribute through taxation and funds then distributed to councils according to population, as happens in Australia with GST and the states. Too hard? I think so. Judicial Review of the Bledisloe wharf extension consents.
After slamming ratepayers with a 9.5 per cent increase, you now have the audacity to appropriate possibly more than $1 million of ratepayers’ money to fund your defence of an unnecessary wharf extension that Aucklanders oppose.
This shameful waste of ratepayers’ hard-earned money once again demonstrates your blatant disregard for the will of those you were elected to serve and represent.
You have the power to stop this wharf extension and this wasteful Judicial Review immediately and we implore you to do so before it goes before the High Court.
Failing that, at the next election, I will vote for a mayor and council member who have the guts to place the will of the people of Auckland ahead of the unnecessary systematic destruction of our beautiful harbour.
There are other sustainable options and the irrevocable violation of Auckland’s key asset is both needless and shameful.