Mayor replies on rates

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

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.

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