Ratepayer assets fall $362m from property peak
Hamilton ratepayers' assets have dropped more than $362 million in value since the property market peak, the city council's draft annual report shows.
The big writedown in asset value was noted by council auditors Audit New Zealand in its update to the council's audit and risk committee yesterday.
The auditors endorsed the drop in value of the assets, putting the plummet since 2006 down to the impact of falling land values on the city's extensive property portfolio, after discussing the issue with valuers.
Hamilton City Council spent $10m more than its income of $219.8m last year, the draft report confirms, with an operating surplus not expected until 2017.
The report, which measures performance for the year till June 2012 against the annual plan, shows the net operating deficit was $3.5m worse than forecast.
The deficit came despite an 8 per cent rise in rates, and other revenue being $14.2m higher than forecast due mainly to $20m in transport subsidies.
The draft report confirms the starting point for the council's 10-year plan of austerity measures, built around fixed rates increases for the next decade.
For those ratepayers committed enough to wade through its 133 pages, the report contains the numbers that drive council's day-to-day operations, the detail of every area of its business.
It also contains the odd interesting gem of information.
Total payments to elected members: $1,043,627.
Highest-paid councillor: John Gower received $84,463. The mayor's package: $138,634 plus a car.
Severance payments to departing staff: $70,568 all up to six employees.
The $500,000 loan to the Waikato Rugby Union: it has already paid back $98,000.
A $300,000 loan to chartered accountants Staples Rodway to fit out offices in council's BNZ Building: it has repaid $4000.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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