Queenstown Lakes District Council keeps rates increase to 3.34 per cent

Queenstown and Wanaka property owners will pay more rates next financial year.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Queenstown and Wanaka property owners will pay more rates next financial year.

The construction of 1000 new houses in Queenstown and Wanaka in the last year has put the brakes on a forecast 4.5 per cent rates increase for the Queenstown Lakes District.

The council's financial manager Stewart Burns said the district-wide rates increase had been kept to 3.34 percent "because we have more properties to share them across".

Burns recommendation to set the rates for the 2017-2018 was unanimously accepted at a full council meeting in Queenstown on August 17.

"That shows the benefit of growth," mayor Jim Boult said.

Burns explained that the rates were "largely as expected".

A final resolution on rates would be made after the draft annual plan is adopted.

District-wide, the annual increase in capital value was 3.56 per cent, compared to 3.04 percent in 2016. But the annual plan had allowed for 3 per cent, Burns said.

There were variances between the wards: Wanaka's overall capital increase was 3.4 per cent (up from 3.1 per cent in 2016), while the combined Wakatipu and Arrowtown wards increased by 3.6 per cent (up from 3 per cent).

The total number of rateable properties increased from 24,013 in 2016 to 25,019, an increase of 4.19 per cent on last year.

The rates increase would not be evenly distributed.

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Sewerage rates for Queenstown, Arrowtown and Arthurs Point would increase next year by $92, 96 and $90 per connection, respectively.

Lake Hayes and Shotover Country connections would increase by $40.

Wanaka ward residential property owners have been hit with a $140 targetted rate for the construction of a $12 million swimming pool.

Sports halls and library charges would reduce by $32 per residential property.

The main changes from the 10 year plan were: no rating impact from the Queenstown Convention Centre because it is on hold; increased rating impact for Project Shotover due to first full year of operation; and increased rating impact for the Wanaka pool because it was brought forward in the 10 year plan.

The council also resolved to carry forward $10. 2 million of work that the council has not got around to in the last financial year. 

The total amount of budgets carried forward to the next financial year is now $26.3 million. Of this, $10.3 million is aligned to construction timing for the Wanaka pool, while $5.7 million relates to the change in timing for the Glenorchy wastewater scheme.

Smaller amounts relate to the delayed Skyline tree project, delayed council office fit outs, water safety plans and Hawthorne Drive's "three water" construction work.

 - Stuff

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