Council to consider the Annual Plan for 2019-20
Continued investment in key regional infrastructure and resilience, including flood protection, environmental protection and public transport, features in Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Annual Plan 2019-2020, which will be considered at its council meeting on Thursday 21 March.
A rates rise of 6.5% for 2019-20 has been proposed to fund investment in priority areas previously set out in Greater Wellington’s Long Term Plan 2018-28.
The proposed rates increase equates to $0.97 per week for the average residential ratepayer and is 0.6% higher than forecast in the Long Term Plan.
Actual rates will vary by region based on residential and commercial property valuation.
The proposed increase reflects the ongoing costs of debt servicing to cover Greater Wellington’s capital investment programme, such as property acquisition and construction costs for Lower Hutt’s RiverLink flood protection scheme and investment in rail and bus assets.
It also covers significant cost pressures from the increasing cost of insurance for Greater Wellington’s portfolio of assets, including its share of the rail network. Higher costs have also been incurred for fuel, which affect Greater Wellington’s contracts with bus operators, and for additional bus services introduced in response to public demand.
“We are looking forward to progressing a programme of work that will be of immense value to the region. Council has tried its very best to minimise the rate increase and to achieve a fair balance between avoiding too much pressure on ratepayers and ensuring we can continue to advance long term programmes that bring significant benefits to the region,” says Greater Wellington Chair Cr. Chris Laidlaw.
As Council’s programme has not changed materially from that outlined in its Long Term Plan, agreed last year, Greater Wellington will not seek formal submissions but will inform the community about what’s proposed for the Annual Plan 2019-2020 through the news media, advertising, online channels and printed material. Councillors will be out and about at community and stakeholder meetings over the coming months to discuss the Plan and get feedback.