Fifteen councillors need to be rinsed, including the mayor, after fuel tax vote

Fifteen councillors, including the mayor, have voted to stiff ratepayers of Auckland with a fuel tax; only two voted against the proposal. Quote:

Auckland motorists may pay an 11.5-cent per litre fuel tax after the local council gave the controversial move its initial approval today.

The price rise looks likely to hit motorists at the pump on July 1 after a 15-2 council vote in favour of the draft tax.

Auckland drivers face paying 25c a litre more in the next three years as the Government also proposes boosting fuel taxes in 3c to 4c annual hikes.

From tomorrow, Aucklanders can have a say on the draft tax and 14 public transport, roading, walking and cycling and safety projects it will go to fund. Consultation ends on May 14.

The council is set to formally approve the regional petrol tax on May 31. Legislation allowing the tax is expected to be passed in Parliament in time for the tax to come into effect on July 1.

The price rise would be for a maximum of 10 years. The tax is expected to raise around $150 million a year.

All but two councillors – Greg Sayers and Sharon Stewart – voted to go out for public consultation on the tax.

This followed a unanimous vote of council to support a?$28 billion 10-year transport programme for the city announced by the Government and Mayor Phil Goff.

Goff said the tax would raise $1.5 billion over 10 years but with Government subsidies and development contributions it would raise $4.3 billion of “skin in the game” for the 10-year Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).

Rodney councillor Greg Sayers said he could not support the fuel tax, saying council consultation on the regional fuel tax found 48 per cent of people were opposed and 46 per cent supported it.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford welcomed the council voting 15-2 in favour of a regional fuel tax.

“They are putting the interests of Auckland ahead of petty politicking,” Twyford said.

“Today’s decision is a kick in the guts for National Leader Simon Bridges who this morning declared he would keep Auckland in the dark ages by scrapping the regional fuel tax.”

Goff said the council had previously voted unanimously for the ATAP package so “please don’t come to me saying you don’t want the fuel tax”.

“Doing nothing is not an option. We want to be a world-class city. This gives us a definitive way we can fund not just the immediate problems but being transformational,” he said.

The new consultation with the public will include 14 projects that the fuel tax will fund.?End quote.

The fifteen ratbags who voted to punish poor road users are:

John Watson
Wayne Walker
Cathy Casey
Christine Fletcher
Bill Cashmore
Alf Filipaina
Fa’anana Efeso Collins
Daniel Newman
Josephine Bartley
Chris Darby
Richard Hills
Desley Simpson
Linda Cooper
Penny Hulse
Mike Lee

The council also voted to unanimously approve the ATAP, which has little gems like this buried within it: Quote:

A roll-out of speed management changes across 10 per cent of the network, including lower speed limits, gateway treatments and safety cameras (speed cameras and red light cameras). End quote.

So, lowering the speed limit and putting in additional taxation devices, otherwise known as speed cameras, will really help with congestion.

And they chuck huge wedges of cash at road maggots:?Quote:

Overall, around $640 million of investment in cycling infrastructure has been included in the ATAP Package.?End quote.

So, motorists get to pay a new fuel tax and the money gets plowed into areas that don’t contribute whatsoever. Not only that, we are going to be slowed down and run the risk of further revenue generation techniques to scalp us even more.

Don’t forget, too, that there will be massive disruption during that ten years from the road works which will take much longer than anticipated and drive businesses under.

Grumbles about the council became rumbles today. People are angry. Labour and Phil Goff are going to be unpleasantly surprised at the backlash.