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Regional Council Trims Rates Increase

Regional Council Trims Rates Increase

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has clawed back a proposed rates increase in the Annual Plan for 2013/14 to reduce costs for ratepayers in the current economic climate. 

Council adopted the revised annual plan at today’s meeting with a saving in expenditure of $258,000 and an increase in rates of only 2.8%, compared to the 4.57% increase initially included in the Draft Annual Plan.

At the Annual Plan hearing on 11 June the Council resolved to reconsider the proposed increase in rates of 4.57% as included in the draft plan.  Councillors worked through the budgets at a workshop on Thursday 20 June to bring the increase down.

“The last few weeks have been hard graft for Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillors to get the best result for ratepayers in the 2013/14 year,” says Chairman Fenton Wilson.

“Times are tough out there and we have paid particular attention to submissions around rate increases. Council has been able to achieve a reduction in general rates, however a level of targeted rate increases have had to be maintained in order to deliver Council’s responsibilities.”

Councillors have approved adjustments to the Annual Plan financials for 2013/14 that result in - 

the current provision in the Draft Annual Plan for contingency expenditure being reduced from $100,000 to $50,000 (a reduction of $50,000).

-  the budget for Council engagement with its strategic partners being reduced from $206,000 to $146,000 (- $60,000).

the targeted rates for the flood and drainage schemes being reduced from $320,000 to $290,000 ( - $30,000.

-  webcasting of council meetings being limited to Regional Council meetings only, not committee meetings, reducing the budget from $25,000 to $15,000 (- $10,000.

- the internal loan of $214,000 covering previous deficits of Venture Hawke’s Bay Limited will be funded from cash operating reserves. The servicing costs of $78,000 in the 2013/14 year will therefore not be funded from the economic development rate.

Council also reduced the budget for staffing costs by $30,000.

This revised level of increase represents 2.2% to cover general cost increases and 0.6% to cover the increase in targeted rates for Makara and Ohuia flood control and drainage schemes that require urgent repairs. 

ENDS

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