Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Zero average general rates increase tipped

Date: 12 March, 2014

Zero average general rates increase tipped under Draft Annual Plan

Better-than-expected investment earnings and another close look at its budget have the Northland Regional Council signalling a nil average general rates increase for the 2014/15 financial year.

Two years ago, when the council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) 2012-2022 was adopted it had forecast an average general rates rise of 7.22 percent for the coming year. However, council chairman Bill Shepherd says councillors have just (SUBS: Tues 11 March) signed off on a draft that would slash that increase to nil.

“We’re able to do this through a combination of careful cost management and better-than-expected returns on some investments.”

Councillor Shepherd says the public will get the chance to have its say on the rates issue – and a raft of other measures outlined in the Draft Annual Plan (DAP) – when a month-long submission period begins on Monday 31 March.

He says for a ratepayer in the Whangarei district whose property has a $225,000 land value the nil increase would mean a total GST-inclusive rates bill of $240.45 for the year – or $4.62 a week.(SUBS: note that is the TOTAL rates bill for the entire year will be $240.45/$4.62 a week, NOT the increase.)

A similar ratepayer in the Kaipara district would pay $207.84 in rates for the year ($4 per week) and in the Far North $186.57 ($3.59 a week). (All three figures exclude river management rates and the Kaitaia transport rate which are only levied on ratepayers in affected areas.)

Councillor Shepherd says despite the possibility of some sort of local government reform for the region, if this did occur it would still be well outside the 12 months the DAP covered and accordingly, the draft was very much ‘business as usual’.

He says the regional council is forecasting total operational spending of $29.4 million during 2014/15, $14.8M of which (51%) will be spent on resource management, including legally required 10-yearly reviews of its regional plans for air, water and soil and the coast.

Another 16% ($4.7M) will be spent on transport activity, nine percent on river management ($2.7M), nine percent on community representation and engagement ($2.7M), eight percent on economic development ($2.4M), five percent on hazard management ($1.4M) and two percent ($700,000) on support.

“Our proposed capital spending for 2014/15 is $6.9 million. A detention dam designed to reduce the impacts of flooding in urban Whangarei will account for $3.3M million and Kerikeri-Waipapa River works $2.13M of this, both funded through targeted rates already established under our last LTP.”

Meanwhile, Cr Shepherd says the regional council is also keen to foster stronger ties with tangata whenua and is setting up the Te Taitokerau Regional Maori Advisory Committee in a bid to improve Maori representation. “A working party will work with Maori to establish the terms of reference and membership for this important committee.”

Councillor Shepherd says full details of the work the council is proposing for 2014/15 can be found in the Draft Annual Plan, which the public will be able to comment on from the end of this month until 3pm on Thursday 01 May.

A roughly 12-page summary of the draft plan – complete with a submission form – as well as copies of the approximately 150-page full draft will be available from all council offices or via the council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz/haveyoursay during the submission period.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Flag Campaign

So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between disinterest and disdain. Most New Zealanders have instinctively seen through the marketing hype involved. More>>

Change For 2017: Local Govt To Decide On Easter Sunday Trading

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced. More>>

ALSO:

(And Targets Worse Than Australia's): Foresters Abandoning Emissions Trading Scheme

The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news