A new transport rate that helped lift average household rates increases to 9.9 per cent this year will be part of a council debrief on the budget.
Auckland Council is taking up a suggestion by the Auditor-General, Lyn Provost, to look at the lessons learned during the budget process, which nearly sparked a financial crisis for the Super City.
In a report on the 10-year budget, she said the decision to a adopt a targeted rate for transport on May 8 was the topic of extensive debate, especially in terms of the transparency of the consultation process.
Several councillors raised concerns with Ms Provost about an eleventh hour decision to introduce a $114 transport rate for households, which made up 4.4 per cent of the 9.9 per cent average household rates increases.
Ms Provost said these concerns led to possible consequences of not adopting the budget being outlined to councillors in May and June, and reiterated by her on June 25, including the inability to set rates, the impact on the council's ability to raise funds and the potential increases in the cost of future borrowings.
The formal adoption of the budget on June 25 went down to the wire and passed by a single vote.
Ms Provost also recommended future 10-year budgets included targeted rates in the council's rates calculations so ratepayers can more easily see rates increases and compare other councils.
A note from management said the council has never included targeted rates in rates calculations, "however we will consider the recommendation, taking into account other councils given the need for sector comparability".
Ross Tucker, a senior finance officer, told today's audit and risk committee that officers would conduct the debrief and report back to the committee. The report will also go to the finance and performance committee.
Ms Provost said in her report that overall the 10-year budget fulfilled its primary purpose of providing a basis for the council's decision-making and accountability to the community.