Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Business leader wants fresh look on rates

Michael Barnett. Photo / NZ Herald
Michael Barnett. Photo / NZ Herald

Business leader Michael Barnett is calling for businesses to pay the same rates as households, a move that would result in a 20 per cent rates rise for the residential sector.

Mayor Len Brown is proposing that businesses pay $2.63 for every $1 paid by households under a new single rating system for the Super City.

The eight former councils in Auckland had a range of differentials for businesses. Mr Brown is proposing a differential of 2.63, reducing by 0.1 per cent over the next nine years to 1.73 per cent.

The overall proportion of rates paid by the business community will remain the same in the coming year as was paid by the former councils.

But Mr Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, is calling for the differential to be abolished straight away.

Council chief finance officer Andrew McKenzie said this would mean about $200 million of rates currently collected by the business sector being collected by the residential sector, or an increase in households rates of about 20 per cent.

Last night, Mr Barnett said he wanted the council to take a fresh look on rates by setting household and business rates at the same level, albeit with measures to protect households from big rates rises.

"The council has had two years to produce a transparent and fair transition plan to put Auckland rates onto a level playing field. It is on track to fail," he said.

Meanwhile, the council is proposing a differential of 2.03 for Franklin businesses after it was found that 41 per cent of businesses faced rates increases of more than 50 per cent. This was because the former Franklin District Council not charging a business differential.

- NZ Herald

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