Brown's bold tax plan
Making all Aucklanders pay a council income tax may help elderly people in affluent areas who can't afford their rates, mayor Len Brown says.
The current system is "inherently unfair" on people living on fixed incomes and paying high rates because of the value of their properties in areas like Devonport-Takapuna, Mr Brown says.
Introducing an income-related tax for local council services that everyone pays is an option, he says.
Only property owners pay rates but the council is spending money on infrastructure and services for everyone, Mr Brown says.
He believes the only way to mitigate the rates burden as property prices rise is to rethink how local government is funded.
Mr Brown won't express a view on what alternative might work saying he is "quite open minded".
Options could include funding through income tax, GST, user pays charges, or bed taxes from hotel.
Another issue he refuses to commit on is where the National Ocean Water Sports Centre should be located.
Mr Brown says some people want him to step in and take over the decision making but it's the local board's job.
"My only advice to the community, and this is what I am encouraging, is don't debate for too long. Have the argument, finish it and agree on the outcome, and then build the darn thing."
Mr Brown says important decision making needs to be sped up so facilities are ready for 2016 Olympics training.
"I totally support having it at Takapuna. Takapuna is the capital of sailing in the world, not just in Auckland or New Zealand.
He says politicians must make consistent decisions and not "flip flop".
To read about Mayor Brown's views on the Ocean Watersport Centre and listen to an interview click here
North Shore Times