Saturday, 2 December 2017

Why the Auckland regional petrol tax is a total crock

As we all know the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff has championed the idea of a regional fuel tax to fund transport projects for Auckland Council. This was rejected by the National government but Labour has kowtowed to the demand. Frankly it is a total crock and the question is why pretend that it is not just another rate under another name. The issue is that everyone will pay it regardless of their circumstances. It has been estimated that it will cost motorists $500 a year each which is about $10 a week. For some people on low incomes that will be a struggle to pay.

But not only that, people who live close to the city limits will be able to avoid paying the tax by driving across the boundary to fill up their cars, and in fact new petrol stations are being set up just outside the Auckland Council boundaries for this very purpose. So it is indeed possible to avoid paying this extra fuel tax.

The question should really go back to the increases in fuel taxes under the National government (another of their broken promises about taxation). Labour has kept very quiet about the fact that by cancelling Roads of National Significance projects they are still collecting this massive windfall of petrol tax that National imposed to pay for these projects. They should actually be funding the transport projects in Auckland themselves now that they are not building so many motorways there.