Ranking the rates increases

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Here is another interesting Wellington real estate related news article that we thought may provide you with helpful information.


by Lindsay Shelton
Which city council is planning the smallest rates increase this year?

The answer: it seems to be Wellington. In March, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester announced

Wellington’s average rates will increase by just 3.3 per cent this year, rather than the 5.1 per cent originally forecast in the Council’s long term plan …The lower rates increase comes after the Council identified over $11 million dollars in efficiencies from lower priority spending.

In Hutt City the average rates increase for residents is to be 4.3 per cent – though there’s a confusion of increases in the council’s announcement on June 8:

Hutt City Council’s average rates increase for the 2017/18 year has been confirmed at 2.3 per cent, as proposed in the Draft Annual Plan. Residential rates increases will be higher, due to the sharp increase in residential property values across the city … In contrast business rates will, on average reduce slightly. To partially offset this, Council has adopted a plan to put a one-year hold on the current rates differential transition between business and residential rates. This change sees residential rates increase city-wide by an average of 4.3 per cent, rather than the 5.1 per cent forecast in the Draft Annual Plan.

On the same day, Porirua announced an even higher rates increase – 4.5 per cent, which it said was a decrease of .4 per cent on what it originally intended:

“The Council consulted on a rates increase of 4.9% and have worked to keep rates in check,” said Porirua Mayor Mike Tana.

Then just a few days ago, Kapiti ratepayers were told by Mayor Guranathan that they’d be paying the region’s highest increase:

The Kāpiti Coast District Council today agreed on the contents of the annual plan for 2017/18, which will result in an average rates increase of 5.7%….Councillors heard the strong views of a number of members of the community who thought the proposed 5.9% rates increase was too high. There were also some submissions that supported the Council’s direction and a number that included requests for grants and additional projects and activities. The reduced 5.7% average rates increase is the result of a number of adjustments including additional income projected from the higher volume of building consents we’re expecting and reduced interest costs due to work on assets being carried out later.

The Kapiti mayor seemed to be apologising when he admitted that the big increase would be unpopular.

“We’re very aware that for many people the rates increase is still too high. Without the benefit of alternative income streams Kāpiti must look to ratepayers for around three quarters of its income. This means that, despite an operating efficiency that compares very well with other councils, our rates are not as low as we would like.”

Not forgetting the Regional Council, whose 7.9 per cent increase last year has been followed by a 5.6 per cent increase this year which the council explains is

down from 9.3 percent proposed in the 10 Year Plan 2015-25. The 5.6 percent increase equates to $28 for an average household, or 54 cents per week.

Rates increases every year – it’s a habit that our councils can’t bring themselves to break.

Continue reading this article at the original source from Scoop Wellington





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