Rates in­come not well used

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

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

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