Rowley happy with 'minimal' rates rise
Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley is describing the Waimate District Council's efforts to keep rates increases to a minimum level as "outstanding".
Councillors adopted the district's 2014-15 Draft Annual Plan at a meeting last week, where a rates rise of 3.72 per cent was agreed on after public submissions were heard last month.
A total of 243 submissions were received on the plan.
Council's total rates collection for the 2014-15 financial year will be just over $9.723 million, with general and civic amenities rates making up $6.14m, targeted services $3.452m, and targeted community rates just over $131,240.
Rowley said the increase was mostly because of issues around water.
"The 3.72 per cent overall rate increase is made up of a 1.58 per cent general rates increase and a 7.70 per cent increase relating to targeted rates. Predominantly, the target rates have increased because of compliance with legislation generally on rural water schemes and implementation of the requirements of the National Drinking Water Standards progressively across our rural water schemes."
He believes foresight on council's behalf has helped keep the increase relatively low.
"It's an outstanding result obtained by the Waimate District Council in keeping our rate increase to a manageable level. This is a result of prudent financial planning and efficiencies obtained within council.
"I expect the minimal increase will be seen as a favourable sign that our council is performing well. It's important that we reiterate that the bulk of the increase is due to legislative requirements over which we have no control."
The neighbouring Waitaki district has also experienced a rates hike, of 2.96 per cent, for the next financial year and the Timaru District Council has a 3.73 per cent increase in its total rate take.
The Timaru Herald