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'Double whammy' rise riles politician

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 25/02/2014

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Homeowners on the Shore could be in for a rates rise double the Auckland average.

Mayor Len Brown is trumpeting a forecast city-wide average increase of 2.4 per cent for ratepayers, but Devonport-Takapuna residents could face a 5 per cent rise.

All North Shore local board areas sit above the 2.4 per cent average.

Business owners in the suburb face only a 2.8 per cent increase.

Grant Gillon, who sits on both Kaipatiki and Takapuna-Devonport Local Board's, says the capital value based rating system means North Shore ratepayers are picking up the burden of other areas' spending.

The situation, which he calls unfair, is compounded because many North Shore residents are retirees who will struggle to keep their homes, he says.

"North Shore residents have borne the brunt of five per cent per annum increases since amalgamation."

"It's not their fault their CV's have risen.

"Old people should be able to stay in their homes," he says.

Meanwhile, a "double whammy" could be on the way if changes to local government laws slash developers contributions to local infrastructure, Mr Gillon says.

Without the present levy contributions, Auckland Council estimates ratepayers could face a further 8.95 per cent rate increase.

The increase would cover the cost of borrowing to provide building community halls, libraries and swimming pools for growing suburbs across Auckland.

And proposed changes to the Local Government Act don't require rates gathered in one area to be spent there.

"Why should North Shore people fund big ticket items they're never going to use?" Mr Gillon says.

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