Mayor replies on rates
Hutt councillor Max Shierlaw makes some helpful comparisons between Hutt City and Porirua’s respective financial positions (April 7).
However, what he makes sound like some fairly similar figures don’t work out that way when you get down to dollar terms.
The first major reason for Porirua’s high rates are that we have fewer rateable households for our population.
If we had the same ratio as Hutt City, our ratepayers would probably pay about $300 less a year per property in rates.
The second reason our rates are high is because we have to ask our ratepayers directly for about 75 per cent of the council’s funding. We don’t have other sources of income like many councils do, such as shares, property portfolios or airports.
Max tries to minimise the gap between Porirua and the Hutt in this area too, but the difference in our position to Hutt City’s probably amounts to about $200 per property per year extra for Porirua ratepayers.
Porirua always starts from behind when we set our budget because of the above factors.
The council’s challenge this year will be to listen to the community about its priorities and then seek to balance investment in critical services with concern over increasing costs.