Rates income not well used
As in nearly every year since Porirua City Council came into existence, we look set to win the top prize for the highest rates rise.
And this despite record deferred maintenance on core infrastructure and assets (like roads, water, sewerage and stormwater), together with the old trick of extending the life of assets (but without increasing the related maintenance budgets).
Just because you rent, don’t think your landlord won’t be passing on the rates increase to you.
We have what we deserve – 70 per cent of those eligible didn’t vote, and of those who bothered, most voted for the same old, same old. How can this be avoided? The council is using rates money to fund the buy-up of land and buildings for the city centre revitalisation, and to offset lost rates and rental revenue.
The lifetime investment and costs are well over $30 million.
That means the council must borrow to fund core services, as well as deferring repairs and maintenance (you only have to drive on our roads, or walk on the footpaths to see that, so imagine what condition our underground pipes are in). What to do?
Sell all city centre buildings and land earmarked for the revitalisation plan.
And sell all non-core land and buildings, like our house portfolio.
Use the funds to retire loans, and freeze business and residential rates.
Cease funding Business Porirua, overseas city councillor and staff trips, and canopy funding, plus sell all non-core investments.
Call in on-demand and overdue loans.
Use the funds to pay for a Gigatown-style service if we don’t win the Chorus competition.
To encourage businesses that build in designated industrial