For ratepayers appeased by Mayor Phil Goff’s commitment to a 2.5 percent rate increase for the next two financial years – and 3.5 percent to follow if he is re-elected in 2019 – it might pay to look very closely at the fine print.
As Auckland Council set its new 10-year budget these past weeks, a new regional fuel tax to help pay for new transport infrastructure garnered most attention. From next month, the local fuel tax will add 11.5 cents a litre to the current all-time-high pump price on the island. The cost per litre broke the $2.50 barrier for the first time last month and quickly soared to $2.60, after SeaLink introduced higher freight charges for health and safety reasons. This means Waiheke motorists pay about 35c/l more than their Auckland counterparts and the fuel price is second only to Great Barrier Island in national terms • Geoff Cumming
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