Monday, June 24, 2024

Auckland regional fuel tax to be axed

The Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024, Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed.

“Since 1 July 2018, Aucklanders have faced an additional 11.5 cents per litre tax on fuel, over and above what the rest of the country pays, increasing the cost of living at a time when they can least afford it,” said Mr Brown.

“Ending this tax is one way to reduce the price of fuel and ease some of the financial pressure facing households in our largest city.

“Removing the extra tax of 11.5 cents per litre on petrol and diesel means the driver of a Toyota Hilux will save around $9.20 every time they fill up, while a Toyota Corolla driver will save around $5.75.”

He said fuel tax was becoming an increasingly regressive form of taxation and costs people on lower incomes with less fuel-efficient vehicles more than those who have newer more fuel-efficient vehicles.

“We intend to fully remove the legislative framework for regional fuel taxes,” the Minister said.

As of September 2023, around $780 million in Regional Fuel Tax (RFT) revenue had been raised, with approximately $341 million remaining unspent (the equivalent of more than two years’ worth of revenue).

“The RFT was supposed to help fund important projects like Mill Road and Penlink. While Mill Road was cancelled, and Penlink received full Crown funding, Auckland Transport has used RFT revenue to fund many non-roading projects including more cycle lanes, redlight cameras, speed humps, and lowering speed limits across the city,” Mr Brown says.

“I have discussed the unspent funds with Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown and signalled our intention that they are to be spent on projects which are of mutual priority to the Government and Auckland Council.”

These projects include the Eastern Busway, City Rail Link electric trains and stabling, road corridor improvements, and some growth-related transport infrastructure.

“Legislation removing the RFT will require Auckland Transport to only be able to use the remaining RFT revenue and unspent funds towards delivering these projects.”

“The Coalition Government is committed to working with Auckland Council to ensure we build the infrastructure Auckland needs, and at the same time unlock the funding and financing tools they need to help fund their share. 

“The Government has committed to working closely with the Mayor and Auckland Council to pass legislation allowing time of use charging to be introduced in Auckland to ensure more reliable journey times for Aucklanders. We have also signalled the potential use of value capture, tolling, and the use of public-private partnerships, among others, as tools to help deliver new infrastructure. 

“We are committed to working with Auckland Council and the Mayor to progress these policies to ensure together we can deliver the infrastructure Auckland needs. 

“For the period between the RFT ending on 30 June 2024, and time of use charging becoming available, we’ll be focused on ensuring priority projects continue to be funded and delivered from remaining RFT revenue.

“The Government is also working on the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport which will be released in coming weeks as part of our 100 day plan.”

Latest Articles