Tauranga city residents could see a 3.9 percent increase to their rates, if the draft Annual Plan goes ahead.
Tauranga City Council will consult with the public for a month about aspects of the draft Annual Plan 2019/20.
Council voted on Tuesday to adopt the plan for consultation. The plan updates work plans and budgets for the next year in relation to the city’s Long Term Plan.
Consultation will open this Saturday, and will run until 5pm Tuesday April 23.
Mayor Greg Brownless says the key issue relates to the increase of council debt in relation to income in future years as we tackle the challenges of growth.
“We need to start this conversation now, and we ask the public for their feedback.”
The draft Annual Plan proposes an average rates increase of 3.9 percent, which is significantly lower than the 7.5 percent increase proposed in the LTP. Meanwhile, the cost of delivering key capital projects identified in future years of the LTP has increased by more than $100m.
The projected increase in costs and reduction in revenue means that debt may become an issue in a few years’ time.
The public is invited to provide feedback on the extent to which council should try to address this now, or defer it to a later time at which more substantial measures might need to be taken.
One option could be to retain the higher average rate increase of 7.5 percent for 2019/20, as set out in the LTP, with the additional income used to repay debt.
Other options for an average rates increase between 3.9 percent and 7.5 percent could also be considered.
Council is especially keen to hear feedback on this issue.
Council will also seek public feedback on the changes to the schedules for Development Contributions, and for Fees and Charges.
The 2019/20 Annual Plan Consultation Document will be available from this Saturday at www.tauranga.govt.nz/annualplan2019 and in hard copy at libraries and Council’s Willow St service centre.
The website and document will include a submission form allowing members of the public to send their feedback.