Auckland Council set to give green light to fuel tax

Aucklanders will find out today if they're to start paying more at the pump, to help fund the council's ambitious transport projects.

The proposed regional fuel tax will add 11.5c per litre to the cost of filling up - 10c for the tax itself, plus GST. It's expected to raise about $150 million per year.

Auckland Council is widely expected to vote in favour of the tax, rather than hit ratepayers with double-digit hikes.

Mayor Phil Goff told Newshub earlier in May the regional fuel tax they're voting on isn't as large as he'd like, but anti-poverty activists fear it will be too much for the city's low-income residents.

"It's a false economy to say you can only have better public transport if you have the regional fuel tax," Ricardo Menendez of Auckland Action Against Poverty told Newshub.

He said not everyone can afford a newer, more fuel-efficient vehicle.

"The main risk of a regional fuel tax is that people with older vehicles or low-efficient vehicles will end up paying twice as much."

He wants the council to encourage more people onto public transport through subsidies, rather than taxes.

"The council should have thought of putting subsidies on public transport in order to make room for low-income families."

Auckland Council says polling shows Aucklanders narrowly back the tax 52-43. Formal submissions on it were almost evenly split, but Mr Goff said thousands of those opposed were "put in by one lobby group designed to skew the poll".

The National Party has vowed to revoke the law that allows Auckland Council to charge the tax, if it wins the 2020 election.

"Regional fuel taxes are unfair on New Zealanders," leader Simon Bridges told The AM Show in April.

"They are regressive, and hit poorer New Zealanders the hardest. The fuel taxes the Government has announced will leave a typical Auckland family around $700 a year out of pocket."


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