Rates rise of 4.5pc for Porirua
‘‘We want to make sure it doesn't impact one generation more than another.’’
An unexpected boost in business at the tip played a hand in allowing Porirua City Council to trim this year’s residential rates increase from an average of 4.9 per cent to 4.5 per cent.
Projected rises of more than 5 per cent each year until 2021 to help cover big issues such as the previously underfunded depreciation of council assets had been indicated in the 2015-25 Long-Term Plan.
However, Mayor Mike Tana, in his first term, said the council had chosen to use unexpected revenue, such as a boost in takings from Spicer Landfill, to lower that rate rather than increase spending. ‘‘We got it to 4.5 because extraordinary things happened, such as more service through the landfill, so we can offset the 4.9 to 4.5.’’
An increase of at least 3.75 per cent was already needed to maintain the financial plan put in place in 2015 that included big-ticket issues such as smoothing over the asset depreciation.
‘‘We’re putting aside money so, when it’s [city assets] at the end of its life, we’ve got money to replace it. It’s a prudent thing.
He said the decision in the Long-Term Plan was to pay off depreciation. ‘‘We want to make sure it doesn’t impact one generation more than another.’’
A key part of this year’s increase for many ratepayers would have come from a revaluation of property values.
Porirua has about 18,000 rate- payers and, without a big commercial base, nearly 73 per cent of the council’s revenue comes from rates.
The council voted unanimously against introducing a $1 million City Development Rate, raising the rural differential from 0.7 to 0.75, and lowering the uniform annual general charge from $420 to $390.
Porirua Chamber of Com- merce executive director Tracy Johnson congratulated the council on its decision to keep rating differentials untouched.
Rates were still high for all ratepayers in Porirua and this has built up over decades due to the ‘‘lopsided’’ nature of the city’s rating base, which meant the commercial base was far smaller in comparison to similarly sized cities, she said.
‘‘The position originally adopted by the council added insult to injury as property revaluations had seen far higher growth in the residential sector.’’