The Herald reports:
Auckland Council is spending up to $90,000 to provide advance warnings to householders to be hit by rates rises not due to be generally notified until midnight tonight.
The council is making about 12,000 phone calls to brace those ratepayers for the worst, and has been mailing around 77,000 letters to let others know their rates notices will be coming soon.
A spokeswoman said the phone campaign had been funded through the council’s long-term budget, to the tune of a $60,000 initially, but with an option to add another $30,000 if needed.
“The call is a chance for council staff to talk through changes to rates as a result of revaluation, transition, change of property and the transport levy….” she said.
It is in advance of the council’s rating database going live online at midnight tonight.
But Point Chevalier resident Andrew Robertson, for whom a phone call received last night as he was cooking dinner for his family of six warning him of a 46 per cent rates rise, has condemned the campaign as another example of a spend-thrift council.
Mr Robertson, who faces a $1720 increase to $5500 in his rates bill, said he was expecting “some variation” in an average residential rise of 9.9 per cent in view of recent property revaluations.
“But 46 per cent?” he asked.
I’d encourage Mr Robertson and others to join the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance, and fight back.
“It must cost money to have a person sitting on a phone ringing up ratepayers telling them what’s going to be coming in a couple of days anyway. What’s the point?”
Trying to protect the guilty 10 who voted for the massive increases from a public backlash.