Now that could become an issue for those nice middle class citizens working their asses of to keep their heads above water in Auckland.
Water bills are set to soar from $717 to $1711 over 10 years for the average Auckland City household to offset rate rises and boost the region’s water supply.
Councillors and officers have known about the 140 per cent rise for more than a year but done nothing to alert ratepayers of pending financial hardship.
What’s more, councillors voted last week for even bigger water bills by supporting a proposal for the region’s monopoly water supplier, Watercare, to pay councils a dividend.
Watercare sells water at “least cost” to six councils, who own it.
About one-third of the $1000 increase is to pay for new capital works by Watercare. The rest will go into Auckland City’s coffers for spending on stormwater.
Money earmarked for stormwater will be spent on other areas, prompting some councillors and critics to label the increases a “rates rise in drag”.
The effect of higher charges by Watercare on other councils is less clear because most part-fund water and wastewater services out of rates.