Our regional council's draft 10-year plan claims a 3.9 per cent rate increase next month for existing ratepayers. The increase being double the rate of inflation is unsatisfactory.
The real rate increase for Hamiltonians is a great deal higher. Hamilton properties not currently levied a transport rate, face rate increases of 23 per cent on a $200,000 capital value property, declining to a 10 per cent increase on a $1,000,000 property. Properties currently levied a transport rate face a 10 per cent rate increase on the $200,000 property, subsidising to a 2 per cent reduction on a $1,000,000 property.
In other words $200,000 properties will bear rate increases of either 23 per cent or 10 per cent, while $1 million properties have either a rate increase of 10 per cent or a 2 per cent reduction. The first alternative in each case relates to properties not currently transport rated.
The council should in fact reduce rates, for it has a cash/investment hoard of $95 million which it plans to increase by $55 million over the next 10 years! The council should be borrowing – within reason – so future ratepayers may help to pay for the use of the council's assets. The present temptation to fund velodromes and new office towers would gradually be removed.
BRIAN M HASKELL
- Waikato Times