Akl business owners not so happy with new Supercity rates

By Siobhan Leathley

Auckland has scored the lowest grades of any local authority in a new business satisfaction survey. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Auckland has scored the lowest grades of any local authority in a new business satisfaction survey. Photo / Herald on Sunday

Auckland business owners are dissatisfied with changes to the city's rating system, says the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

The Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Michael Barnett, said 700 business owners responded to an online survey on rate changes two weeks ago.

Survey results showed nearly 300 businesses faced rate increases of 10 per cent, and 70 respondents faced 25 per cent rate increases.

None reported a decrease.

Barnett said feedback has been negative from businesses so far.
"There's a huge sense of frustration, this is an issue that won't go away."

According to Barnett, respondents complained council releases were misleading, because they stated the increase would be kept to 3.5 per cent.

This was not the case.

"The worst was someone who owned two properties. One property's rates increased by 100 per cent and the second by 40 per cent," Barnett said.

The Pukekohe Business Association manager Kendyl Gibson said the original 50 per cent proposed rate increase for Franklin businesses was "horrific".

"Some businesses were looking at a $6000 increase in rates."

The association made submissions to the Auckland Council stating this was not acceptable. The council responded, and decreased the differential rate from 2.63 to 2.03 for urban Franklin businesses.

The rating differential for rural Franklin businesses will be 1.83.

The rates differential number is how much more businesses are charged than residents for council services. A 1.83 differential would mean a business pays 1.83 times the rates of a comparable residential ratepayer.

Gibson said the reduction was a minor victory, which saved some businesses thousands of dollars. Franklin business rates will increase by one-third annually over the next three years.

However, the council will decrease the differential rate to all Auckland businesses by 0.1 annually the next 10 years.

Gibson said businesses were concerned about covering the extra cost, because there is less "foot-traffic" in the district than inner-city.

Auckland CBD business association, Heart of Auckland City , chief executive officer Alex Swney said changes to rates would benefit CBD businesses.

Previously rates were calculated based on the property's capital value.

If the property's value increased, as many within the CBD did, the capital value increased. Increasing the rate.

"We are beneficiaries of the supercity.

"For every person who has had an increase, there are those who've had a decrease".

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