Smaller rates rise pegged for Hauraki area

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 12:28 12/02/2013

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Rates increases look set to take a cut in the Hauraki district due to a reduced inflation forecast and lower than expected borrowing costs.

It could mean a net $160,000 reduction in the rates requirement for the 2013/2014 year and an annual increase of 3.02 per cent for all activities other than water and 1.06 per cent for water.

Chief executive Langley Cavers said the estimate was based on preliminary cost analyses and initial council decisions.

"This is the first time the council has seen an overall figure," Mr Cavers said.

"They may be happy with that figure or they may say, no, we think there's some activities that we could possibly tighten our belt up on more."

The long term plan predicted a rate increase of about 4 per cent for the 2013/14 year. But Mr Langley said the biggest saving was due to a fall in borrowing costs, namely interest rates, and "it looks like it's going to stay that way for a while."

In a report to tomorrow's council meeting Mr Cavers presents the proposed overall rate increase for the 2013/14 financial year and gives the council a chance to review the draft annual plan.

The report says inflation forecasts have been updated and in big picture terms, the Local Government Cost Index (inflation) reduced for 2013/14 from 3.46 per cent to 3.07 per cent.

"We have incorporated the overall reduction in inflation across all categories which is a net reduction in rates required of $160,000."

Inflation was not revised for capital expenditure projects.

That is because the change is likely to be less than the margin of error in the capital estimates and has a negligible effect on 2013/14.

The two rates caps have also been reduced in line with the forecasted drop in inflation.

The revised rate cap for non-water is now 4.57 per cent down from 4.96 per cent.

The water rates cap is now 7.07 per cent, down from 7.46 per cent.

The draft annual plan is a work in progress, and the meeting is an opportunity for council to review it, and provide any necessary feedback.

"If there is anything further that council believes should be included, this should be suggested now."

Following the meeting, the council will adopt the draft annual plan on March 13.

It will then be released for public submissions.

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- Waikato

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