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Hamilton proposing rates rise below expectations


Hamilton proposing rates rise below what was expected

8 FEBRUARY 2008

For Immediate Release


Hamilton City Councillors meet next week to consider the Proposed Annual Plan for the 2008/09 financial year with the likelihood that the average rate rise will be below what was forecast in the long-term plan.

Councillors will be meeting to go through the budget on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. The budget papers currently show an average rates increase to existing ratepayers for the coming year of 4.95 per cent which is lower than the 6.56 per cent increase shown in the 10 year Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP).

The 4.95 per cent rise is made up of a general rate rise of 3.39 per cent and transportation Access Hamilton rate of 1.56 per cent.

Hamilton mayor, Bob Simcock, says the current Access Hamilton reserves are sufficient to move ahead with the immediate requirements for roading and other transportation infrastructure, which means the targeted Access Hamilton rate has been reduced from the level forecast. Mr Simcock says it has become clear in the past 12 months that Council’s programme in the area of roading infrastructure in particular was too ambitious and it is now proposed to reduce it to a more achievable level. As a consequence the level of funding required has been reduced.

Development and Financial Contributions, the levies paid by property developers to cover their share of the cost of new city infrastructure, will also reduce. A typical DCL levy for a residential section in a new subdivision will reduce from $26,000 to $25,000.

While savings have been made due to a rephrasing of infrastructure, mostly in the Rotokauri and Rototuna areas, general costs of a growing city including the resources required by the Council organisation and increases in the upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant are all being met by the increase in the general rate rise.

Mr Simcock says while Council has still to consider what the proposed rate rise will be, he says it is encouraging to see that the proposed general rate rise is very close to the level of inflation.

“This Council continually tries to find the best balance between affordability and the aspirations of a growing city.”

ENDS

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