Press Release – Howick Local Board
The Mayor, Len Brown has launched a stinging 7.75 rates rise on Howick Residents, says Local Board Chairman Michael Williams.The Mayor, Len Brown has launched a stinging 7.75 rates rise on Howick Residents, says Local Board Chairman Michael Williams.
The Median rate (on a $530,000 home) will increase from $1,721 to $1,855, a $133 increase.
The reason for the rates hike is a high capital value rate with a low Uniform Annual General Charge of $350. This means a reduction in rates for residents of Manukau (-2.01%) and Manurewa-Papakura (-8.93%). Waitakere residents, meanwhile, enjoy a massive reduction (-17.82).
“The Howick Local Board has worked hard to keep its expenditure at a reasonable level” says Williams, “The Board’s spending across libraries, parks, community halls, arts, culture, events, beaches and all other local activities represents only 23% of the proposed total rates bill for Howick Residents and Businesses.
Adding to the strain is a proposed $1billion further CBD waterfront development and $2.4billion on a proposed inner city rail loop. These two projects alone come to $6,719 per ratepayer.
A large chunk of this additional expenditure is to be funded by debt, which is expected to increase from 100% of council revenue to 145%. This at a time when cities that have taken on too much debt, such as San Diego, New York, Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington and Detroit are cutting costs to avoid bankruptcy and debt-ridden nations Greece, Ireland and Portugal risk default.
The Howick Board Chair will be putting to the Board a plan to advocate for a full 30% Uniform Annual General Charge and a corresponding reduction in capital value rate.
“I won’t be happy until the average percentage rate increase in the Labour voting areas that elected Len is the same as those in the National voting areas.” Says Williams, “Otherwise people will be calling Howick ‘Sherwood Forest’ again”.
Chairman, Howick Local Board