20 May 2011

Auckland rate rise could be lower than expected

8:04 pm on 20 May 2011

The rise in rates for Aucklanders could be lower than expected after a cost-cutting exercise by the council.

The council had been set the task of cutting $62 million for the coming year, but has managed to find savings of $81 million.

Mayor Len Brown had promoted a rates rise target of 4.9% but says it now sits at 3.7%, with some additional costs to be debated.

Mr Brown says the cost-cutting has not affected service levels, or any of the projects planned by the eight councils which merged in November last year.

However, still not secured is funding for the much-heralded strategy to bring major events to Auckland, nor for the Independent Maori Statutory Board at levels the board would like.

Councillors will debate these, and other funding hopes, on Wednesday.