The Herald reports:
His plans for a regional fuel tax are dead in the water so a central city congestion tax looks like ultimately being the solution for Auckland’s transport funding woes, says mayor Phil Goff.
But that could take years to implement and means the immediate funding gap remains a live issue which needs to be addressed with help from the Government, he says.
Talking to The Economy Hub Goff said he was trying to take the pressure off the rate payer and “bring a greater element of user pays into our funding system”.
User pays is good. But that should include all users – which includes bus and rail users.
“I’ve had this discussion with Steven …I think he’s wrong and he thinks I’m wrong. But he’s the minister so he gets to make the decision.
“I think where he and I do agree is that a congestion tax ultimately is going to be the solution,” Goff says.
“If you look at what Singapore is doing, they’re running it off a GPS system so you pay more during hours of peak congestion. It does influence behaviour and does help de-clog the streets.”
The budget has options for rates rises of between 2 and 3.5 per cent.
Goff’s preference is for a 2.5 per cent increase.
“That’s quarter of what the rate increase was in 2015/16. I’ve done that deliberately because there needs to be a discipline on council that we watch our expenditure and we make sure we can do more with less.”
Goff pledged no more than 2.5% which is fair enough, But many Councillors pledged no more than 2% and said they would not vote for more than 2% so the numbers could be very close.