Tauranga’s rating system is going to change in line with councillors deciding to change the uniform annual general charge from the current maximum of 30 per cent to 15 per cent.
This will be phased in over three years.
The decision is in tandem with the introduction of a differential for commercial rates, which will also be phased in over three years.
At a meeting on Friday night, councillors decided against introducing the third part of the rates changes - the city centre targeted rates which was also floated in the draft Long Term Plan.
The lower UAG for most ratepayers will be phased in over three years; 25 per cent on 1 July 2018, 20 per cent on 1 July 2019 and 15 per cent on 1 July 2020.
Councillors also resolved that if Council introduces any new targeted rates set on a uniform basis, the total Uniform Annual General Charge plus other uniform rates (except wastewater) will remain at 15 per cent of total rates revenue, or 25 per cent on July 1, 2018 and 20 per cent on July 1, 2019.
The commercial differential will be phased in over the next three years, with a ratio of 1:1.067 on July 1, 2018, 1:1.134 on July 1, 2019 and 1:1.2 on July 1, 2020. Councillors directed staff to explore alternative targeted rate options for complementing, or replacing, this differential, and report back to Council in the next Annual Plan process.
Tauranga City Council is also following Auckland in looking at rating Air BnB providers. Staff are directed to explore targeted rate options for online short-term accommodation providers, and report back to Council in the next Annual Plan process.
In other rating decision the councillors last week backed down from the proposed 9.6 per cent rates increase, stepping back to the previous rates cap of the CPI plus two per cent.
Some councillors say the rates decision had a direct bearing on the decision to flag the council’s $15m contribution towards a museum.
In other decisions, the council has voted to increase and accelerate the investment in safer cycling across the city, and it has agreed to pay $1.8 million for tsunami sirens in the tsunami evacuation zones.
In other decision the ratepayers will pay for a dedicated glass collection service beginning in October this year, and the council will organise and pay for kerbside rubbish collection, beginning in 2021.