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Average 3.7 percent rates rise

 
This page contains information about the rates increase for Whangārei's average residential property is 3.7% for 2018/2019.
Updated: 5/07/2018 11:36 a.m.

The rates increase for Whangārei's average residential property is 3.7% for 2018/2019.

"Council has committed to a 2 per cent increase plus the percentage increase in the local government cost increase every year for the next 10 years," said Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai.

"To meet our commitment to ensure enough income to cover cost of services to the District, Council has committed to 2 percent increase plus the increase in the local government cost increase every year for the next 10 years," said Mayor Sheryl Mai. "That adds up to 3.7 percent this year, .2 of a percent less than last year’s increase.

"During the past two years our rates increases have been 3.9% in 2017/18 and 3.7% in 2018/19. Finances are being managed prudently and we are sticking to our goal of a balanced budget.

"We remain one of the most cost efficient Councils in New Zealand. We have stuck to a good plan set in 2015, when the community said it was time to consolidate gains made in previous years, invest in existing assets and work within our income. We raised enough income to cover cost of services to the District, limited debt and knuckled down to work through projects that needed to be done. The results are tangible.

"This ten year plan we start from quite a different position to that of 2015. People and groups in the community are seeking opportunities to work with Council more. People are working hard on initiatives that benefit the community and are reaching out to Council, seeking partnership. As a result, we have increased funding for community-led projects to $4.5 million over 10 years.

"We we have also increased support for community activities such as events, community centres, marae, museums, public art, community services and community halls. Funding for community property maintenance has increased and we have allocated $6.5 million (over the 10 years) to a facilities partnership fund that will help community organisations access funding and support from other grant schemes or benefactors.

"We have also added $1million over the lifetime of the Plan to major events. As our District’s reputation for its ability to host major events such as the Rugby World Cup, FIFA Under 20 World Cup, British and Irish Lions games, international motor rallies and other large events and festivals grows, this funding will ensure we put in strong bids for major events. We know the community enjoys these events and values the pride and income they generate within the economy.

"In line with our District’s growth and including debt for two special projects, a new Civic centre building and a new theatre, our total debt peak will increase to $241.5 million, well within the self-imposed limit on total debt to revenue ratio of 175%.

"And, of course, we will continue bringing systems up to standard where they are not and future proofing them where they are. We have increased our budget for seal extensions on rural roads and continue strong capital investment in transport, water, wastewater and parks and recreation, along with a focus on stormwater management which is increasingly important for our District as infrastructure ages and our climate changes.

"Whangārei is thriving and growing and we need to keep building and investing in our services to meet the needs of our expanding and diverse population.

"This Plan does exactly that." 

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