Lower than expected rates for South Taranaki

The next bill for South Taranaki ratepayers may be a bit lower than expected.

The South Taranaki District Council is proposing a lower rate increase for the next year, compared to what it had projected in its 2018-28 Long Term Plan.

The council approved its 2019/20 Annual Plan this week and has suggested reducing the total rate increase from 3.47 per cent to 2.98 per cent.

South Taranaki mayor Ross Dunlop says he is pleased that council has been able to reduce the figure.

Dunlop says the council’s focus for the next year continues to be on the revitalisation of the Hāwera Central Business District, the development of town centre strategies for Eltham, Manaia, Opunake, Patea and Waverley, the implementation of the District Pathways Programme and further improvements to the district’s water and wastewater infrastructure.

Due to changes to the Local Government Act councils are no longer required to consult with the community on their annual plans if there are no significant changes from what was outlined in their long term plan.

“Because there are no significant changes and the rate increase is actually lower than what was outlined… the council has decided not to do a formal special consultative procedure,” Dunlop says.

“However, we are still giving the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the Plan if they wish to.”

The effect of the decrease on individual properties will vary due to the district wide property revaluation which took place in 2018. Information on the council’s 2019/20 Annual Plan will be published in April editions of Southlink in the Taranaki Star and on the council’s website

Feedback can be submitted until Friday April 26.

By the numbers:
* Total expenditure is $64.2 million
* 25 per cent of operational expenditure goes into roading and footpaths
* 60 per cent of operational expenditure is on the core activities of roads, water and waste
* 40 per cent of Council’s projected income will come from sources other than rates
* 11 per cent of that will come from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund, which is projected to increase to $144.62m (including internal borrowings of $18.25m)
* Total debt is projected to increase to $138.32m by the end of 2019-20.