Chch rates to remain cheaper despite rebuild - council
Christchurch rates are projected to remain cheaper than those of the other main centres, even with the city council's contribution to major new facilities.
Council corporate services general manager Paul Anderson said the rates advantage enjoyed by Christchurch residents would not be eroded by the council's contribution to central-city blueprint projects.
That was as long as the council's bill did not exceed the $787 million contribution under consideration.
Anderson said that during the blueprint's development, council staff had worked with Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority officials on a case recommending councillors increase the contribution from $632m to $787m.
Councillors had yet to deliberate on this extra funding, which would be used on facilities such as the metro sports complex, the new central library and the stadium.
If the additional $155m was approved, the total could still be funded under the financial strategy adopted by the council, which included the one-year 1.84 per cent major community facility charge and the five-year earthquake levy of 1.82 per cent each year.
In spite of the special charges, Christchurch's average annual rates would remain 18 per cent lower than the average rates of Dunedin, Hamilton, Hutt, Tauranga, Wellington, Porirua and Auckland until at least 2021-22, Anderson said.
"So after 10 years we are still lower than the average of other cities."
The average annual dividend from companies owned or partly owned by ratepayers through Christchurch City Holdings Ltd was about $40m, or 13 per cent of the total rates take.
"The financial strategy does not include any asset sales because the council can afford its share of the costs without the need for asset sales," Anderson said.
"The council plans to undertake a routine review of its total investment portfolio as part of its long-term plan, which it will adopt in June 2013."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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