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I cannot wait to see how this climate tax idea goes for Phil Goff.
My guess is it won't go well because no one likes paying anything labelled as a new tax and climate taxes are a special sub category of taxes we hate.
The proposal is that Auckland rate payers will be hit with a 3.5% rates-increase next year.
On top of that, they’ll be hit with a 2.4% climate tax - that almost doubles their rates bill to nearly 6%.
I think this is a mistake by Phil Goff because he didn’t need to label this a climate tax.
All it’s going to do is pay for busses and cycle lanes and new electric ferries and urban Ngahere, or trees which is pretty much what you’d expect a council to spend your rates money on because that’s what they’ve been spending it on for donkey’s years: infrastructure, public transport and city improvement.
Sure, Aucklanders would grumble about a 6% rates-increase because that’s what you expect from ratepayers but they’d pay it like they have for donkey’s years.
So why you’d split out normal council spending and label it a new tax, is beyond me.
This feels like a potentially massive PR failure.
As I said earlier, people hate climate taxes.
Just look at the reaction to the ute tax. That’s a climate tax. It’s one of the very reasons farmers started the Groundswell protests.
Look at what happened in Paris when the French president proposed climate taxes; People put on yellow vests and started rioting in the streets. I’m not saying that’s going to happen here.
But I am saying climate taxes are not popular, and labelling anything a climate tax feels like asking for people to reject it.