Porirua City Council adopted its Annual Plan last night with a ‘steady as she goes’ budget for 2017/18.
“As a new council we've taken a careful approach - ensuring what was on the work programme continues and deferring big ticket items for more in depth discussions during the 2018 Long-term Plan process,” says Mayor Mike Tana.
Protecting our harbour, continuing city centre revitalisation, building a children’s splash pad at Aotea Lagoon and ongoing investment in roading, water, stormwater and wastewater services are key parts of the plan.
Mayor Tana says in 2015 the Council committed to balancing our budget, putting aside money to pay for future infrastructure costs so our children aren't hit with big bills and spending an additional $40 million on the city’s infrastructure. This alone results in an average rate increase of about 3.75% before we add the cost of providing services.
“We deliberated long and hard to keep rate increases as low as possible and we did manage to bring them down to 4.5% instead of the 5.03% forecast in the Long-term Plan.”
The average rate increase is 4.5% across the combined residential, commercial and rural sectors although the impact will vary because of the latest QV property revaluations.
"Homeowners have seen significantly larger increases in property values than the commercial and rural sectors as a result of the revaluation. Because rates are calculated on property values the average rate increase for homeowners is 6.4%. This is higher than the other sectors (0.6% increase for commercial and 1.3% decrease for rural).”
Rates in Camborne, the suburb with the highest increase in property valuations, will increase by $327.50 per annum (on average). Suburbs like Mana/Paremata and Aotea have had the smallest increases at $132.81 and $169.73 respectively per annum.
Agreeing the budget each year is always a challenge because over 70% of our income comes from the ratepayers of Porirua, says Mayor Mike Tana.
"We're conscious that many in our city are on fixed or low incomes. People have told us they want quality roads, infrastructure and services and that they want our city to grow.
“We've worked to find a balance between investing in growth and managing your money carefully and we thank those people who responded to our requests to consult with us. We look forward to continuing our conversations with the community to learn what's important to you so the decisions we make take into account everyone's perspective."
29 Jun 2017