Road tolls, higher petrol prices, a visitor tax and increasing the airport departure tax are being put forward as ways to pay for Auckland's transport plans.
Mayor Len Brown has today released a discussion paper around how the city will meet a $10-15 billion funding shortfall.
Brown's office said that simply increasing taxes and rates will not cover the funding shortfall and road users should not be the single focus in funding the deficit.
But, Prime Minister John Key told TV ONE's Breakfast Auckland
consumers might not be able to afford to fund the projects.
The projects that need to be funded include an inner-city rail link, an additional Waitemata Harbour crossing, ferry service improvements and roads linking different parts of the city.
Other funding options included in the report include raising rates, higher parking charges and higher income taxes.
"We have a three-year window in which to decide what approach to take, but doing nothing will mean leaving a legacy of transport chaos to our kids," Brown said.
"Our top priority is fixing Auckland's transport problems. We know what they are, we know doing nothing is not an option, and it is important that we as a region have open and frank conversation about what options we are going to pursue to fund the much-needed solutions."
The Prime Minister told Breakfast regional councils are limited in what they can do.
"Council can't raise revenue in the way that Government can. Government has that unilateral right to put a tax on and just increase that tax. Actually council's don't have that ability. They are limited in what they can do."
Key said this discussion will allow Aucklanders to focus on what they really want, as they may put a tax on things some people do not use.
"Would we let them just go and raise taxes all over the show? I think we have to be cautious about that."
He said this is Auckland's plan but they have to go through the Government. And Government can veto raising money through this mechanism, he said.
Key told Breakfast a lot of homes in Auckland may struggle if these increases occur.
"Whenever you put another cost on a household you've got to think what they have to give up to pay for it. If they are a high income household you might be able to meet that cost but for a lot of households in Auckland they're not high income households.
"So I am just saying you have to tread carefully with this stuff."
Aucklanders have from February 24 to March 23 to give their feedback. Verbal submissions will be heard from April 10 to May 7.
The discussion document will be available on the Auckland Council website , at council service centres and libraries.
Funding shortfall options for Auckland:
- Increase general rates
- Higher targeted rates
- Increase contributions to new developments
- Regional income tax, which would be on top of PAYE tax and would be imposed on people working in Auckland
- Regional payroll tax
- Regional GST on top of existing GST
- Tax increment funding
- Regional fuel tax and RUC diesel levy
- Tolling new roads
- Road pricing on existing roads
- Additional car parking charges
- Visitor tax
- Raise airport departure tax on international flights
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