Rates Increase Kept To Lowest In Years
The Hurunui District Council has adopted the Draft Annual Plan for 2014/15 and is very pleased that it has been able to keep the overall rate increase to just 2.96%, well under the Long Term Plan prediction of 5.37%.
Hurunui District Council’s Manager Financial Services, Jason Beck, is quick to remind ratepayers that this figure will vary from ward to ward.
“Last year we had re-valuations of properties, and these have an effect on rates, and also each ward has different capital works projects underway. For instance Amberley has major sewage and water projects, and these projects affect the local amenity rate component. In some cases rates have decreased compared to last year, but other properties have an increase higher than the 2.96%.”
The proposed overall rate increase of 2.96% is made up of a district wide increase in the general rate of 0.12% and changes to targeted rates (which vary from ward to ward and between properties) and are projected to increase to 4.98% on average.
Mayor Winton Dalley said that he was satisfied with this outcome and particularly pleased with the way that that new CEO, Hamish Dobbie and his management team had approached the coming year’s budget exercise. Mayor Dalley also noted that there was a significant effect from the completion of the earthquake strengthening review this financial year, resulting in the $170,000 that had been budgeted for in the 2014/15 year being able to be removed.
“We were very supportive of our CEO as he encouraged our organisation to focus on prioritising spending, analysing overheads and providing carefully considered information and recommendations within a context of rates affordability and debt control. Hamish has embodied an ethos amongst management and staff that all council officers have collective responsibility for cost savings.”
Hurunui District Council CEO, Hamish Dobbie commented:
“We had a strong focus on control of our overall external debt, and we reviewed the necessity and timing of all planned capital programmes. Having done this we were able to make some adjustments to the priority and timing of some of the capital projects which resulted in considerable savings this financial year and, importantly, spread our debt profile.”
The Draft Annual Plan, which includes sample properties and the effects of the proposed rates increases on these, can be viewed on the Council website www.hurunui.govt.nz and at all Council Libraries and service centres.
For further information:
Manager Financial Services
Phone 03 314-0029