Res­i­dents hit by large rates rise

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Peter Rutledge and his wife are go­ing to have to find an­other $ 180 a year as Porirua City Coun­cil’s rates rises bite.

The aver­age rates in­crease for res­i­dents will be 5.76 per cent. Ru­ral rates are down 1.56 per cent on aver­age and commercial rates up 3.3 per cent.

The coun­cil adopted its an­nual plan last week. It in­cluded some changes af­ter pub­lic sub­mis­sions.

Rutledge said the im­pact would be felt keenly around Porirua. The Pare­mata res­i­dent, who is re­tired, made a sub­mis­sion about the coun­cil’s spend­ing.

‘‘I’m pay­ing over $10 a day for my rates and what am I get­ting for it?’’ he said.

‘‘The tenor of coun­cil spend­ing has changed. It used to be, ‘ We are spend­ing people’s money’ and now it’s, ‘ Let’s spend what we think we should’.

‘‘Some of the dec­o­ra­tive lamps around the city are a waste and the sis­ter cities’ budget leads to an an­nual jun­ket.’’

Rutledge said people on fixed in­comes would feel the pinch of the im­pend­ing rates rises.

He said he and his wife would have to ad­just their budget, but many would strug­gle to do so.

Plim­mer­ton Res­i­dents As­soci- ation chair­man Dave An­der­son said he knew of res­i­dents who lived close to the wa­ter in the sub­urb and paid $7000 a year in rates.

‘‘Rates keep ris­ing, but the coun­cil jus­tify it each year.’’

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said the aver­age rise would be be­tween $1.95 and $3.75 per week for most res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties.

‘‘The coun­cil has tried to keep rate in­creases as low as pos­si­ble by lim­it­ing new projects in this an­nual plan,’’ he said.

‘‘How­ever, we face sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges de­liv­er­ing lev­els of ser­vice people want, with tight bud­gets and ris­ing costs.’’

Sup­port for a bike track on Colo­nial Knob ($ 40,000), fund­ing for Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance ($ 30,000) and $50,000 to in­ves­ti­gate flood­ing is­sues in Hon­goeka are among the ex­tras added to coun­cil’s budget in the next 12 months.

Other costs the coun­cil is fac­ing over the next 12 months in­clude land pur­chases and be­gin­ning the con­struc­tion of two roads at Whitby and Wai­tan­girua that will even­tu­ally con­nect to Trans­mis­sion Gully.

Jus­ti­fied: Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett says rates have been kept as low as pos­si­ble.

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