Public to have say on rates hike

Last updated 09:00 22/03/2014

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Five open days will be held in Horowhenua next month as consultation opens on the draft Annual Plan and its average 9.9 per cent rates rise.

The Horowhenua District Council released the plan for consultation this week, with submissions open until April 22.

The open days are at Levin Mall on Friday, April 4; Foxton, on April 8; Shannon, on April 10; Foxton Beach on April 14; and Te Takere in Levin on April 17.

A breakdown in the plan shows rates on some rural properties are set to decrease while, in some urban parts, they are likely to increase by between 15 and 18 per cent.

The key drivers of the increase include a reduction in profit on property sales, an increase in loan servicing costs, depreciation, increases in community and library costs, as well as decreases in economic development revenue and parking revenue.

About $200 extra per urban ratepayer is being attributed to upgrades of urban water supply and wastewater projects.

Mayor Brendan Duffy said these were all necessary requirements, on top of maintaining current levels of service.

"Significant investment in some infrastructure assets in coming years is vital to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our communities and our environmental obligations.

"We need to keep developing and enhancing our core infrastructure and investing in the services and facilities that make the Horowhenua an attractive place to live, work, play and invest in."

Mayor Duffy said Horowhenua had the third-lowest average rates in New Zealand.

The draft annual plan is available online to read and download at www.horowhenua.govt.nz/dap. It is also available at council offices and district libraries.

Submitters will have the opportunity to speak to the council at hearings on May 7 and May 8, with the final plan to be adopted on June 4.

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- Manawatu Standard

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