Len says rates rise of just 2.9%, cop a load of 18.6% instead

Len Brown is a sneaky and furtive man, he has constantly claimed low rates rises, he claims also they are below th rate of inflation but uses some magically number to measure that.

The reality though for large chunks of Auckland is that they are getting rates increases at the maximum of 10% but in some cases far above that.

The council has promised to cap rates rises at 10 per cent, but some confused residents have seen their bills leap by almost twice that.

In the past year, Darren and Petra Priest have added an extension to their Flat Bush home that boosted its valuation by $100,000 to $690,000. The Auckland Council said this had made them ineligible for a transition adjustment.

But Mr Priest said this was not communicated to him, so it was a shock to get an increase of 18.6 per cent to his rates – especially because the council sent him a letter last year promising rates would never increase more than 10 per cent. 

Loopholes, sneaky, stealth rates…

It will get worse. The promise to cap rates was only for three years…and then the hammer is going to come down for a lot of people. By then though their rates will already have increased by a massive 30%.

Now consider what would happen to a government that year on year increased income tax by 10%…how long would they stay in government? Why do Aucklanders keep on tolerating this bullshit from Len Brown?


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  • hamsap

    Do you have to be a ratepayer to vote for/against Lennie? If the answer is no, then there is the problem….

    • Kendall

      That’s where cactus is dead right. Net tax payers get votes in both local and national elections. Oh I dream for the day

      • Steve (North Shore)

        That means no Civil/Public Servant could vote – they do not pay TAX, it’s just craetive accounting.
        All Tax must come from the Private Sector

        • Kendall

          There is some truth in that. But they do in most cases earn a wage at a set re numeration level and then deducted tax. Not given a benifit amount for no extra work or effort and then satisfying the paper transaction.

          • Steve (North Shore)

            Every cent they earn comes from the Taxpayer/Ratepayer. Where does the Govt/Council get the money? from the Net Taxpayer/Ratepayer.
            Public Servants do not pay Tax/Rates full stop.

            Edit: I’m just waiting for the Teachers to start screaming like a stuck pig

          • GazzW

            It wouldn’t just be the teachers that started screaming like a stuck pig Steve – it would be nurses, armed forces, doctors, cops, air traffic, fisheries protection and a veritable army of workers essential to the running of of our country.

          • Steve (North Shore)

            And Rail, DOC, DHBs, the list goes on.
            You can not keep earning money from your own wage supply – only from the wage supplier (Net Taxpayer)

        • Kendall

          Maybe we should then limit the civil servants to the absolute minimum, that would also save us money.

        • Polish Pride

          Applying that logic every single private company or private contractor that provides services to government also do not pay tax and that’s just creative accounting too.

          • Steve (North Shore)

            Like Auckland Transport? hahaha!

          • Steve (North Shore)

            Auckland Transport? fuck, that hit a raw nerve. Same goes for Watercare, Lend Lease

          • Hazards001

            Watercare and Auckland Transport are CCO’s they are not private companies Lend lease is.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        Won’t be long before someone trys to convince me that those on a Benifit pay TAX

        • Hazards001

          lol..Remember the Kahui’s? The Aunty on TV saying she was sick of hearing that she wasn’t a taxpayer. I think it was Holmes telling her they were all on benefits so weren’t taxpayers. She responded she was as her income was taxed. (as it is in theory. there is a tax deduction shown on benefit payments)

          The interviewer was completely lost at this point.

  • Greg Davis

    Whale mimics Granny: “below th rate of inflation but uses some magically number”

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    Because most of the pricks who are hauled out to vote for him don’t pay rates.

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Penny Dim

    • GazzW

      Apart from state house and council flat occupiers EVERY tenant pays rates! Do you really think that landlords don’t factor in rates when calculating rents?

      • Evadne

        Yes, but do the tenants understand Len Brown is the reason why their rents have gone up – or do they go bleating to the Herald about the “rental crisis” and criticising the “rich prick” landlords?

        • Mr_Blobby

          Imagine if private tennants had to do what commercial tennants do and pay the rates, insurance, water and basic maintenance etc.

          The return on a private rental is about 4.5% less rates, maintenance and water.

          Auckland is still a good place to own rental property as Council incompetence along with supply and demand factors, will keep prices on the rise.

  • sheppy

    And let’s not forget the waste water charges that were included in the rates before Len was in charge. Adding that to the bill meant more than a “cappped 10% increase” in outgoings plus a few other items that used to be free that now aren’t.

  • The other Neil

    I am at the cap and will be again next year assuming a similar sized increase.That will be a compound increase of 33%, basically up a $1200 in three years for nothing extra.

  • Geoff

    When will people wake up. The method of rate calculation is archaic, why do we continue to allow the assessment to be based on the capital value of one’s home. It has no bearing on a family’s income. Rates attract gst because they are claimed to be for a service. What other service is calculated on one’ perceived wealth. The man at the service station doesn’t calculate the cost of petrol based on what sort of car I’m driving. In reality, rates should reflect the cost of providing the service, in which case most property owners would be paying the same. But that’s not redistributing income so don’t expect a change anytime soon.

    • Kendall

      But that would break the progressive tax system in NZ.

      Rates I agree should be a per service basis, why do I pay more for rubbish collection than others. But we also need real accountability in local govt so they cannot do things that they shouldn’t. Convention centre in patea come to mind when all of the real rate payers are rural workers who se convention centers as places you go to see a rugby game

    • Justsayn

      You are right on both counts Geoff.

      The property value rating system (be it capital or land value) is flawed – it doesn’t reflect the costs of delivering a service to you and in fact doesn’t really try to (most councils do have some set user charges alongside the variable rate).

      Other options also have flaws: if you charge per household unit you’d charge a granny on here won the same as a family of 12 but who consumes the more services? If you charge per person you charge an apartment dweller the same the owner of a farm. You could try to metre everything (stormwater, sewerage, road useage, library usage…) but what would the transaction cost of that be?

      Sadly you are also right that it, along with other forms of progressive taxation, is here to stay… unless…

      When we only have 4 million of us here, why do we need council’s at all?

  • maninblack


  • Justsayn

    A 100k extension on the house but don’t want to pay your fair share of rates?! Go cry me a river.

    Clearly any “asset rich cash poor” hardship the cap was intended to smooth out doesn’t exist here.

    That aside, I agree the transition cap is a stupid idea. Everyone should just pay their share.

    BTW you keep equating these sorts of stories with excessive local government spending, they are separate issues – total rates burden v distribution of the rates burden.

    • James

      Perfectly possible for someone to spend $100k on a build and not be cash rich as you get a loan for it based off the increased value of the house; and justifiable too if you need the extension to save yourself expenses elsewhere (moving house, home instead of building a granny flat etc).
      And they do have everything to do with excessive local government spending; when the super city was formed there was ample opportunity to get economies of scale and to remove duplication of roles being done in multiple places in the different cities. There is no reasonable argument for any sort of an increase – redistribution of the rate burden should have been done by the distribution of rates cuts rather than the distribution of rates increases.

    • The other Neil

      They were clearly paying their “fair share” but then decided to extend their house. This would have also required them to pay their “fair share” of consent fees etc. I assume that the extension will not have placed any further burden on infrastructure etc so their “fair share” according to you is property value related not service related? What this really shows is that the cost of the services to a ratepayer is unrelated to the cost of the service to the council. I pay $4k per year and next year it will go up another 10%. Nothing has changed for me, no additions or extensions. Len just made the tax system for the council more progressive, by reducing the fixed charge and also increased spending. The result is that an increasing proportion falls to higher house value rate payers. I see nothing fair in this and I see nothing in this related to paying my “fair share” unless you assume that house value is a proxy for income.

      • Justsayn

        Their post-amalgamation rates were being held back from increasing to their “fair share” by the cap – in effect, their rates were being subsidised by all of those (the non-capped) who paid slightly more than their fair share to make up for the revenue that was foregone because of the cap.

        The cap doesn’t mean the Council takes in less, it only changes who they get it from.

        Like them, your rates bill is lower than your fair share, and those not under the cap are subsidising you. Enjoy it while it lasts.

        You may take issue with how a persons “fair share” is calculated, but on the current basis of calculation (one of the two broadly similar techniques used throughout the country – land value or capital value) they were, and you are, not paying their share.

  • surfisup

    In fairness some go up , some went down.

    And, it is necessary to move to a single rating system so what is your alternate solution ?

    Maintain 5 or 6 different rating applications and systems?

    This is a one-off phasing into a single system and anomalies occur.

    You generally hear most from people whose rates go up.

    • Geoff

      When gst was introduced Roger Douglas applied it to rates claiming they were a ‘service’. They are not, they are a wealth tax, and gst should therefore not be applied. Alternatively, collect rates through the general tax system, at least they would then bear some relation to ability to pay.

    • The other Neil

      the council plan indicates that rates income will rise by 6%pa going forward. Soon enough everyone will be having increases, unless they change the “pricing”. I agree that transitioning is difficult, but reducing the fixed portion of the charge was a payout to Len’s South Auckland supporters. I am sure if you priced up the services that each house receives and allocated it on that basis you would find the uniform charge would be higher. The council itself states that it took account of “affordability” in setting the charge. So not only is the charging system “progressive” if you view property value as a proxy for income (which is not necessarily the case) but they also incorporated a “subsidy” in the uniform charge.

      • Geoff

        You’re right. If the uniform charge was increased to the maximum permitted under current legislation, the rate curve would be a lot flatter. With user pays for water and sewage, the burden of rates would be more equitably distributed. However, all those currently paying less than the average rate would be facing an increase, in many cases a substantial one.

  • CheesyEarWax

    When Len say 2.9% is like going to a 70% off sale where you know its there is only few items with that much off and fucking hard to find it.

  • cows4me

    Go and burn the fucking council building to the ground, these bastards need a reality check.

    • Justsayn

      Leaving aside the possibility you are inciting a criminal offense… who will have to pay to rebuild it?

      • cows4me

        Seems to me Auckland could do a lot better for themselves than kowtowing to a building full of parasitic leeches. Why rebuild it, it’s obviously not working.

        • Hazards001

          There isn’t one single building. All the original ones prior to the amalgamation are still in existence and leases being paid for them on top of which they now lease other buildings such as Auckland Transports lease at Smales Farm in Northcote (while the original NSCC building on The Strand remains empty with the lease still being paid as it hasn’t expired yet) and the Auckland City Council housed in Hereford St in the city. Along with numerous other examples.

      • Patrick

        Put the council in a container city ala Christchurch. Why do the wastrels need mile high ivory towers to administer 1.5 million people, of which only x amount are ratepayers contributing?

  • ratesarerevolting

    Leaving aside the fact that LBIAFC …….. where are the alternatives for the voters ?

    Surely someone has the nous to run on a promise of 0% rates increase ?

  • kehua

    Answer to your question. Because they are fuck`n dumb.

    • Patrick

      Len panders to his constituency, the majority of which are not contributing to the rates. Hide’s super shitty is a disaster, what has improved? If I was an Aucklander I would be heading for another location as I don’t see anything changing. Len like his Labour masters is all about wealth redistribution.
      Rodney Hide has a lot to answer for.

  • Guest

    We need to remember that our government was one of those that helped ensure this ratbag got into power.