Rates rise may be lower than expected

Tararua ratepayers could face a rates rise of 3.46 per cent on average, lower than initially forecast.

The proposed increase in the draft Annual Plan is down on the 4.55 per cent proposed in the Tararua District Council's Long Term Plan.

Chief financial officer Raj Suppiah said rural rates, proposed to rise 4.31 per cent, were higher given an increase in building control, parks and reserves and support.

Urban rates are proposed to rise 2.35 per cent and industrial and commercial rates 2.97 per cent.

He said if extraordinary expenses had been excluded, a rates increase of 1.13 per cent would have been forecast.

These expenses related to digitisation of records, preparation of the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan and reduced revenue from Infracon.

Mayor Roly Ellis and chief executive Blair King said in a joint statement there were other significant issues that would have an impact on council funding requirements from 2015/16 onwards.

Two of these were government policy on earthquake-prone buildings and on road maintenance funding and management.

For that reason, the council could not defer increases in operating costs to later years.

Mr Suppiah said copies of a summary of the draft Annual Plan would be made available to residents at all the council's centres and libraries.

Each ratepayer would also be sent a mock invoice detailing the proposed rates for his or her property, a draft Annual Plan pamphlet and a submission form.

Manawatu Standard