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Public asked to comment on proposed rates and recovery package

 
This page contains a news release about the current consultation open for the Annual Plan, and the variety of initiatives in action to respond to new challenges from COVID-19.
Updated: 18/05/2020 2:39 p.m.

​Whangarei District Council is calling for submissions from the public, on its 2020-21 Annual Plan that proposes a rates increase reduced to inflation only (2.2%) and providing a $3m targeted COVID-19 relief package.

Mayor Sheryl Mai said the Council approved a Consultation Document at yesterday’s (Thursday 14 May 2020) Council meeting, and opened it for submissions today.

“The aim of this plan is to support community groups, businesses and ratepayers. We are also seeking extra funding from central government. COVID-19 has placed significant pressure on communities around the world. At home in Whangārei, we’re feeling it too.

“We are planning these changes this year to help us all, the entire District, to get through what is going to be a difficult time.  During the past six weeks we have developed a new Annual Plan for 2020-21 that varies from that agreed to for year three of the 2018-2028 Long term plan.

“We are now seeking your feedback on this plan.  It aims to to help get us all through, while maintaining and improving the services and facilities we have all worked for over the generations to achieve. The consultation document on this plan is now available for you to read and make submissions about, until 5.30 on Friday 4 June,” she said.

The plan has flowed from Council’s 10-point Economic Recovery Response which was released in early April to provide immediate help to businesses and households in our District.

The Annual Plan proposes reducing the rates increase to inflation only (2.2%) and providing a $3m targeted relief package to support community groups, businesses and ratepayers. We are also seeking extra funding from central government.

2.2% (inflation only) rates increase

Our current LTP proposed a General Rate rise of inflation plus 2%, which would have resulted in an average General Rate rise for the District of 4.2%.

We are consultion you on a proposal to reduce the overall rates rise as part of a broader package* This means every ratepayer will see their rates increase by 2.2%, in line with inflation.

Support for community groups

$900,000

  • Support for operational projects and delivery of community service
  • Enhanced operational funding for applications through the Annual Operating Grant and Community Funding pools
  • An operational reserve for specific projects as needed

Support for businesses

$1,350,000 (45%)

  • Funding for partnerships to provide relief to the business community
  • Rent relief for tenants of Council commercial property
  • Funding to incentivise city centre regeneration and inner city living
  • Grant to offset license fees

Ratepayer support

$750,000 (25%)

  • More time to pay the first rates instalment of 2020-21
  • The option to pause rates payments for 3-6 months
  • Reducing penalties for those who fall behind in their payments from 10% to 5%

“Please read the plan and send us your comments.  By planning and working together we will get through the coming years,” Mayor Mai said. 

This is a small part of a broader response plan to support Whangārei as we recover from COVID-19 over the long term. You can read more about our full response to COVID-19 here:

Have your say on our Annual Plan

We encourage you and your networks to have your say before consultation closes on June 4, 2020. The consultation document, supporting information and submission forms are here:

 

 

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