Auckland Council has approved a report on options for funding future transport projects - but Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the government won't allow it to introduce a congestion tax to pay for them.
The council on Wednesday approved a report outlining alternative options to fund its share of a second harbour crossing, the city rail link and other rail projects.
It is considering regional fuel taxes, congestion and network charges, and additional car parking charges, as well as departure taxes and visitor charges, to help fill in a $10-15 billion funding gap.
A working group will consider the options over the next year before recommending a funding proposal and law changes to the government.
However, Mr Brownlee has ruled out allowing the council to introduce a congestion charge, saying that would essentially be using taxpayer-funded roads to raise money for the council.
"The roads, by and large, are going to be owned by the taxpayer. To have the Auckland City Council say `you let us use your roads, so we can put a charge on it and then pay for our little bit of it' seems ridiculous," Mr Brownlee said.
"It seems odd that you're going to fund transport out of a tax that is designed to reduce the amount of transport using those roads. Congestion taxes are not generally for revenue-raising, they're to deal with congestion."
He said it was not permissible for local authorities to add to the existing excise tax on fuel.
"They'd have to negotiate that and they'd have to get the agreement of the government, and we don't agree."
Mr Brownlee said it would be up to Auckland Mayor Len Brown and councillors to figure out another way to fund the projects.