WorkBoot Blogs » The number 2s tax
It was a huge relief (excuse the bad pun) to me that the confusion over toilet pan charges resolved in the ratepayers favour at Wednesday’s Council meeting.
The proposed rates resolution just didn't make sense.
The first change from last year was that a “one off uniform targeted rate” in 2010/11 of $7974.39 was re-worded to a “uniform targeted rate” in 2011/12 of $8397.00. As this was no longer a “one off”, did this now mean that Council was expecting ratepayers to pay that charge every year? I was assured NO and the wording was changed back to "one off uniform targeted rate".
The second was a change from a uniform annual charge which was quoted in the annual plan as being 3 percent. However for residential properties it was to change from $750.00 “per annum” in 2010/11 to $773.00 “per pan per annum”. Any Mangawhai EcoCare ratepayer with 2 toilets was facing a 106 percent increase to $1546 per year, and with 3 toilets a 209% percent increase to $2319 and so on.
To add to my concerns, on the afternoon before the meeting, I received a document by email, sent to the Mayor and all Councillors, from retired lawyer Mr. Clive “Legal Eagle” Boonham identifying multiple serious deficiencies in the resolution that contravened the Rating Act and that would render the wastewater rates invalid.
I raised these issues and to cut a long story short these issues are apparently “typos” that could now simply be amended on the spot and the resolution then passed.
All very well but many of the issues were more than typos so I moved:
That item 4.5 Rates Resolution 2011/12 be referred to a special meeting on the last possible day to allow setting of the rates; and
That Council seeks urgent legal advice to the Council that specifically addresses each of the points raised in Mr Boonham’s memorandum of 21 June 2011; and
That if Council has misled any rate payers as to the extent of the rates increase that Council extend a formal apology.
Disappointingly the motion failed due to lack of a seconder, so discussion was called to a close.
The questionable resolution with the “typos” fixed, was then passed with me voting against it. We had time to get things right but it appears we do not yet have the culture within Council that can take that time.
Anyway, a win for proof reading on the day, and a satisfactory outcome for the Ecocare ratepayers, who are free to enjoy their second or more loos for another year, without the number 2s tax destroying their peace of mind as they answer the call of nature.
You can view the 2010/11 rates resolution on page 8 here
You can view the proposed 2011/12 rates resolution on page 8 here