29 Apr 2013

Auckland Council Stands to Gain Billions from Proposed Tax

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Written by: Dick Quax
Published: scoop.co.nz – 26 April 2013

Auckland Council stands to make billions of dollars at the stroke of a pen if its proposed “value uplift levy “or “betterment tax” is adopted after community consultation.

This claim by Cr Dick Quax was made to today after it was revealed that Auckland homeowners could become $24 billion richer under the Auckland Council’s proposed Unitary Plan.

Properties that are rezoned from low density housing to high density housing will likely see an increase in value. Under the “value uplift levy” Council will be able capture part of the increased value through the proposed tax which is outlined in an addendum to the Auckland Council’s draft Unitary Plan and states that “the Council is looking at additional tools to fund services and infrastructure” and “broaden the revenue base”.

Thousands of homeowners could potentially be caught up in this with the Council rezoning their property and then sending them a bill for thousands of dollars. If the Council were to apply a fifteen per cent “betterment tax” the windfall to it would gather would be $3.6 billion and that does not include the inevitable increase in rates that would also follow. An increase of $200,000 on a residential property would see a homeowner facing a $30,000 bill if a fifteen per cent “betterment tax” is imposed.

“This is just one of the hidden costs of Len Brown’s so called “quality compact city”. Someone will have to pay for the additional infrastructure such as storm water, roads and open space,” says Mr. Quax.

“Of course this is not the only additional cost Mayor Brown is planning on imposing on the hard working people of Auckland. There are proposed road tolls, additional car parking charges, congestion charging and a fuel tax.”

“The Council has a conflict here. By the stroke of a pen it can rezone a property and tell the owner their property is now worth hundreds of thousands dollars more and here is your bill.”

“What this Council needs to do is to live within its means instead of thinking up clever new ways to impose costs on Aucklanders.”


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