Rates shock ahead
Dargaville & Districts
Residents will be hit with rate increases of between 4 per cent and 64 per cent, depending on where they live.
The final indicative Long Term Plan - LTP - suggests the average rate increase will be 19.8 per cent in 2012-2013 but many landowners will not be so lucky.
The Kaipara District Council has had the draft LTP audited and after consultation with the community has made a few changes - some that will come as a shock to ratepayers.
Rate increases will now be spread across the first two years of the LTP more evenly. Instead of a proposed 31 per cent rate increase in year one and 3.4 per cent in year 2 as indicated in the draft, the final LTP proposes rate increases of an average 19.8 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively.
This will see residential rates in 11 out of 15 Kaipara townships increase beyond 25 per cent in the first year - some as much as 64 per cent.
Median value residential property owners in Dargaville, whose QV has already decreased by 10 per cent, will be hit with a 37 per cent total rate rise in year one, and lower value residential property owners in Kaiwaka, whose QV has dropped 24 per cent, will incur a 64 per cent total rate increase - an extra $824.
Mangawhai residents also face increases of between 25 per cent and 53 per cent.
However, not everyone will be forced to cough up the cash. Some Dargaville commercial property owners face rate increases of up to 44 per cent but an average value Mangawhai commercial property worth $431,000 will see rates drop 41 per cent.
Councillor Brian McEwing says he can understand an increase in stormwater and wastewater charges because of an underestimation in previous years but the 19.8 per cent figure is quite deceptive and won't be sold easily.
But general manager of policy and governance Glennis Christie says everyone should remember that 19.8 per cent is an average across the district.
The average is calculated by the difference between total rates set out in last year's annual plan and the projected total rates gathered next year.
The council gets 42 per cent of its income through rates, compared with the national average of 61 per cent, or Whangarei District Council's 2010 percentage 70.5 (as stated by Statistics New Zealand).
The LTP, which still has to be audited before final approval, maintains that Kaipara will not go above 75 per cent.
More council news Pages 2, 3, 11
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