Auckland Council and Len brown are running at a hundred miles an hour away from giving citizens of Auckland a say on how they want to tax us for using roads we have already paid for.
Auckland Council staff are opposing a public referendum on whether to charge motorway tolls or raise fuel taxes and rates to fill a multibillion-dollar transport funding gap as allegedly too costly and confusing.
An Auckland-wide referendum on ways of raising an extra $300 million a year would cost $1.5 million and the timetable for running it ahead of long-term budget decisions needed by early May would be very tight, says a staff report to councillors.
The report, which councillors will consider on Thursday, also says a referendum would not replace the council’s obligation to consult on transport funding options before setting its 10-year budget.
Running two processes asking about the same issue was likely to be “confusing for Aucklanders.”
It says a consultation document for the budget will be delivered to each household for feedback in any case, and recommends a “statistically reliable and independent” survey if councillors want greater clarity about public opinion after that.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown opposed the idea of a referendum last month, when an advisory group presented the council with options of either a motorway toll averaging $2 or higher fuel taxes and rates, saying he expected tens of thousands of people to make their views clear in submissions to the long-term budget. ¬†¬† Read more »