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Nth Shore Council Review Folds Back Rates Increase


Council review folds back rates increase

North Shore City Council has agreed to consult on a debt management policy which would allow a pull back of next year's rates increase from the proposed 8.4 per cent to no more than a 5.9 per cent increase.

The council has approved the parameters for the production of the draft 2008/09 annual plan and approved, for consultation, a new treasury management policy which will enable debt to be repaid over a 50 year period rather than the current 30 years.

Mayor Andrew Williams says the draft 2008/09 annual plan based on the new treasury management policy will be provided for consideration by the council in February. He says there will then be a second review which will provide more information about the capital projects and operating costs which will provide definite and more affordable outcomes whilst maintaining service levels.

"This reduction of 2.5 per cent of the originally expected increase will be achieved by matching debt repayment more closely to the expected lives of the assets. There will be some rescheduling of capital projects to ensure rates levels are kept lower than previously predicted, but important projects - particularly within roading and transport - will still be delivered within acceptable timetables to ensure important projects deliver the benefits," says Mayor Williams.

A large part of the cost increases making up the proposed 5.9 per cent rates increase was brought about by expected capital financing, and the council has employed strong financial management techniques to achieve significant savings.

Mayor Williams says projects and costs within the ten year Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) will be similarly reviewed as part of the next review of the LTCCP beginning next year.

ENDS

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