Evidence and Analysis Supporting GWRC Transport Rate Differentials

Ben Hassall made this Official Information request to Wellington Regional Council

Currently waiting for a response from Wellington Regional Council, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Ben Hassall

Dear Wellington Regional Council,

I sent in a previous OIA request asking about how the GWRC decided on the new Transport Rate policy. I want to understand the evidence and analysis used to justify the “differential” amounts used in this policy to allocate Transport Rates to ratepayer groups.

Part A) Workshop Minutes

1) Can I please have a copy of the minutes of the 28 July 2017 Council Workshop on Revenue Financing Policy?

2) Can I please have a copy of the minutes of the 20 September 2017 Council Workshop on Revenue Financing Policy?

3) Can I please have a copy of the minutes of the 29 November 2017 Council Workshop on Revenue Financing Policy?

4) Can I please have a copy of the minutes of the 13 December 2017 Council Workshop on Revenue Financing Policy?

5) Can I please have a copy of the minutes of the 8 February 2018 Council Workshop on Revenue Financing Policy?

Part B) In a previous OIA request, the GWRC provided a document called “Review of Revenue & Financing Policy – Public Transport Discussion paper for Councillor working group, 20 September 2017”.

In this document, Section 6.4. Option Two – Level of Benefit, it says about Option 2:

"• Recognise that different rating categories (residential, business, CBD, rural) derive different levels of benefit from the network.

• Use ECV differentials to reflect the different relative levels of public benefit each category receives.
9 Wellington CBD
2.5 Business - all rating units classified as business, plus the non-residential urban categories in the Wairarapa.
1 Residential
0.25 Rural - the justification for a rural differential is relatively weak because the benefits are mainly for the entire region, and are not specific to any one community. Rural communities receive a share of the economic and environmental benefits that everyone else gets, although their access to the social benefits is lower.

These suggested differentials were derived in a series of workshops with economics, policy, finance, and public transport staff, exploring the relative benefits and impacts of public transport. We originally were of the view that the Business sector should have a differential of 3.5 or 4, but this made the total increase in the share of rates for the business category so high that we could not justify it."

6) Can I please have the evidence or analysis that Wellington CBD ratepayers receive 9 times the level of benefit from the network that are received by residential ratepayers?

7) Can I please have the evidence or analysis that Wellington Business ratepayers receive 2.5 times the level of benefit from the network that are received by residential ratepayers?

8) Can I please have the evidence or analysis that rural ratepayers receive 0.25 times the level of benefit from the network that are received by residential ratepayers?

9) Can I please have the evidence or analysis that the residential ratepayers from the different cities receive the same level of benefit from the network?

10) Can I please have the evidence or analysis used to support the statement “We originally were of the view that the Business sector should have a differential of 3.5 or 4”?

11) Can I please have the evidence or analysis used to support the statement that a strength of this option is “The funding allocations under this option are broadly consistent with the public benefits that public transport provides.”?

Also, Section 6.7. Recommendation says
"Option Two is preferred because it best allocates rates requirements based on the public benefits of the Public Transport Activity. Both options allocate a substantial proportion of the rate funding requirement to the regional CBD, but Option Two also recognises the benefits to other business centres, and the slightly lower level of benefits for rural properties."

12) Can I please have a copy of the evidence or analysis of the amount of public benefits of the Public Transport Activity to the different ratepayer groups used to support the statements in the above paragraph?

Part C) the Council finalised the Transport Rates Differentials at its Council meeting of 14 June 2018 as follows:

“Council has concluded that the following differentials take account of the specific public and private benefits of public transport, while also taking account of the overall impacts of Council’s funding requirements.

Residential (excluding Wairarapa) ..................................... 1
Residential (Wairarapa and Otaki rating units) ................. 0.5
Wellington CBD ............................................................... 7
Business (excluding Wairarapa) ......................................... 1.4
Business (Wairarapa) .......................................................... 1
Rural ................................................................................... 0.25”

13) Can I please have the evidence or analysis that Wairarapa and Otaki residential ratepayers receive 0.5 times the level of benefit from the network that are received by other residential ratepayers compared to the originally proposed differential of 1.0?

14) Can I please have the evidence or analysis that Wellington CBD ratepayers receive 7 times the level of benefit from the network that are received by residential ratepayers compared to the previous originally differential of 9?

15) Can I please have the evidence or analysis that Wellington Business ratepayers receive 1.4 times the level of benefit from the network that are received by residential ratepayers compared to the previous originally differential of 2.5?

16) Can I please have the evidence or analysis that Wairarapa Business ratepayers receive 1.0 times the level of benefit from the network that are received by other Business ratepayers compared to the originally proposed differential of 2.5?

Finally, can I also please have any further documents in the original format and not in scanned PDF?

Thank you for your time.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Hassall

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From: Darrell Young
Wellington Regional Council

Dear Ben,

 

Acknowledgement of Request for Information

 

Thank you for your email dated 23 November 2018, requesting information
regarding evidence and analysis supporting GWRC transport rate
differentials.

 

Your request is being followed-up and a reply will be sent to you shortly.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Darrell Young

 

 

for

Luke Troy

General Manager

Strategy

Greater Wellington Regional Council

 

ATTENTION: This correspondence is confidential and intended for the named
recipient(s) only. If you are not the named recipient and receive this
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in reliance on it and you should delete it from your system and notify the
sender immediately. Unless otherwise stated, any views or opinions
expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of
the organisation.

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