Herald critical of Auckland Council budget

The Herald editorial:

The 10-year budget the Mayor will probably get passed by the today invites easy criticism. It fulfils his 2016 election promise to keep annual rate rises to no more than 2.5 per cent. But on top of that there will be a new dedicated rate for upgrading the city’s drains, another for environmental problems such as kauri dieback and the regional petrol tax for scheduled transport projects.

It is the total bill that matters to ratepayers and the mayor will not expect much praise for keeping the letter of his promise rather than the spirit.

Hopefully in 2019, they won’t be fooled so easily.

The fuel tax, for example, would be more palatable if it were to be tied to the cost of the central rail link now under construction. But the tax turns out to be dedicated to almost everything but that project, for which the council may still need to find a source of finance for its contribution.

The fuel tax would not be needed if the Council was more efficient.

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