2016-17 Annual Plan Average Rates Increase 1.89%

2016-17 Annual Plan Average Rates Increase 1.89%

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

South Taranaki District ratepayers face a reduced rates increase of 1.89% for the new 2016/17 financial year after Councillors adopted their Annual Plan yesterday.

The Plan sees a reduced District Rate* increase of less than 1% and, once targeted rate increases for water and wastewater are included (these targeted rates are generally only paid by urban ratepayers), the average total rate increase is 1.89% - significantly lower than the 2.93% forecast in the Long Term Plan.

South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop says the Council was very pleased that it was able to reduce the rate increase from what was projected in the Long Term Plan to less than 2%, particularly given the current challenging economic conditions.

“This reduction has been achieved as a result of Council’s ongoing commitment to contain costs wherever possible and savings made through lower inflation and borrowing costs,” he says.

The Plan also provides for an increase in user fees for Building and Cemetery services to cover the cost of those services.

Mayor Dunlop says the impact of the low rate increase will be varied, largely due to the district property revaluation done at the end of last year.

“Every three years all properties within the District are independently valued by Quotable Value New Zealand to reflect market movements and capital improvements undertaken by property owners. These new capital values will be used for calculating the 2016/17 rates. Council has no control or influence on this revaluation process,” he says.

“Last year the District had an average increase in property value of 19.9%. However the increase was largely driven by the rural sector with dairy properties seeing an average 29% increase in value, while the average residential property value increase was 1.2%. The significant increase in rural property values reflects the long term confidence in the agricultural sector,” says Mayor Dunlop.

“However, just because your property’s value changed, doesn’t mean that your rates will change proportionally. If your property’s valuation increased more than the District average increase (19.9%) then you will pay comparatively a bit more than the average (1.89%) rate increase, but if your property’s capital value didn’t increase as much as the District’s (19.9%) average movement then your rates will increase less than the average (1.89%) and may even decrease,” he says.

Key projects the Council will progress in 2016/17 include: the Hawera Town Centre redevelopment, District Pathways programme, earthquake strengthening public facilities, construction of a new Water Treatment Plant for Inaha, improvements at Opunake Beach, Stage 2 Taumata Park Sports Facility in Eltham, Wai-inu Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant, water pressure improvements in Patea/Eltham, upgrades to the Eltham Water Treatment Plant and initial development of the regional landfill.

As a result of the extensive storm damage in the Waitotara catchment (June) and Opunake Township (August) last year, an extra $258,000 has been budgeted to help build a stormwater diversion channel for Opunake, and $1.6 million to build a new access road to Waiinu Beach (Council expect to be able to recover at least 55% of this funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency).

Mayor Dunlop says other projects in the coming year include; progressing the Council’s Digital Development Fund, adopting the new District Plan, approving a master plan for Opunake Beach and developing a new Trade Waste Bylaw and Local Alcohol Policy.

To view the 2016 -2017 Annual Plan click here.

- ENDS –

* The District Rate is made up of the General Rate, Roading Rate and the Uniform Annual General Charge

By the numbers:
Total Expenditure is $61.4 million
26% of Council operational expenditure goes into one activity – Roading
61% of Council operational expenditure is on the core activities of roads, water and waste
41% of Council’s projected income will come from sources other than rates (13% will come from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund)
The value of the Long Term Investment Fund is projected to increase to be $135.7 million (including internal borrowings of $13.3 million)
Total debt is projected to increase to $140.4 million (including internal borrowings of $13.3 million) by the end of 2016/17.

Projects/Highlights in Annual Plan
$2.7 million to build new Inaha Water Treatment Plant
$400,000 for improvements to Eltham Water Treatment Plant
$1.9 million Waiinu Beach Alternative Access Road
$270,000 Opunake Beach Masterplan projects
$258,000 Opunake Stormwater work
$800,000 New wastewater plant Waiinu Beach
$94,000 Waverley Playground
$93,000 Eltham Pool upgrades
$400,000 for water pressure improvements Patea/Eltham
$500,000 for development of new regional landfill

Ongoing Projects
Stage 2 Taumata Park Sports facility at Eltham
District wide Pathways Projects
Hawera Town Centre Redevelopment