NPDC forecasts lower than expected rates for next year
7 February 2019
NPDC forecasts lower than expected rates for next financial year
Careful financial management has helped NPDC reduce the required rates increase for 2019/20 from approximately 5% to 4.6%, a total of about $350,000 less than forecast in its 10-Year Plan. For the average residential ratepayer the rate rise will be about 3.82%.
“We know that every little bit helps for many families who are balancing a budget so it’s fantastic to see that we’ve been able to prudently manage our costs, while continuing to invest in water resilience and Zero Waste 2040,” says Mayor Neil Holdom.
The lower-than-expected rates requirement has been revealed in the draft 2019/20 Annual Plan which sets out NPDC’s budget and services for the next year, from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Last year NPDC achieved a general rates operating surplus of $320,000, the Perpetual Investment Fund made a return of $21 million and Standard and Poor’s reconfirmed NPDC’s financial rating as ‘AA/A-1’, the highest a local government body in New Zealand can get.
“The 2019/20 Annual Plan is very much a continuation of our back-to-basics focus on the core council infrastructure and responsibilities and people can expect to see more water, wastewater and stormwater pipes going into the ground, more roading investments, more zero waste initiatives.”
At an extraordinary meeting on February 12, Elected Members will decide whether to hold a series of informal community conversations to obtain public feedback on the draft Annual Plan, despite there being no significant financial change from what was formally discussed with the community as part of the 10-Year Plan engagement held in 2018. These informal conversations could be held on:
· the future use of Colson Road landfill once it closes
· what should be included in the extension of the Coastal Walkway from Bell Block to Waitara
· and if NPDC should play a bigger role in Predator-Free Taranaki
· or, Elected Members could opt for formal consultation on a different topic.
The final draft Annual Plan will go to a full council meeting on 21 May for adoption.
NPDC manages assets valued at $2.7 billion and has a yearly operating budget of approximately $140 million. It manages an 800-kilometre water network, more than 1,270 kilometres of roads, 1,600 hectares of parks and open spaces, 1,730 properties, Brooklands Zoo, four swimming pools, Puke Ariki, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, TSB Showplace and TSB Stadium, and TSB Festival of Lights.