Rate plan region’s highest
Kapiti’s mayor has defended a proposed rate increase that tops the region, accusing other councils of ‘‘eating’’ their own future.
It comes as Kapiti Coast District Council says it has to pass on the cost of more-valuable than expected pipes to its ratepayers.
As of this week all nine councils in the region have launched consultation on proposed rate increases for the next billing year, starting July.
Wellington City came midpack for a proposed average 3.3 per cent increase, Hutt City was at the bottom with 2.3 per cent – but Kapiti Coast District Council was at the top with 5.9 per cent.
Kapiti’s proposal, above projections and the council’s own cap, comes without additional lavish spend-ups or pet projects.
Instead the council had its underground assets revalued last year and was told they were worth much more than expected.
Now the council has to increase wear-and-tear charges – depreciation – on a more valuable asset which, along with inflation, make up most of the hike.
Kapiti mayor K Gurunathan said one of the ways other councils kept rate increases low was not to fully pay for wear and tear.
‘‘They’re not paying for the future. They’re just eating the future.’’
Kapiti’s proposal, 1 per cent above projections and the council’s planned cap of 5.5 percent, left ratepayers like Ryan Decartier McCarthy disappointed.
‘‘If there was some new services on their way I could maybe understand, but there is nothing new being offered to residents and a lot of this appears to be hush-hush and not being discussed in a open platform.’’
He bought his first home in Paraparaumu about two years ago and said while he could cope with the proposed increase, there were tough times ahead.
‘‘My concern is we are also facing a new rateable valuation in August. And there is also mention of water rate increases. Together with interest rate rises it seems there is a lot being hit at once.’’
Chief executive Pat Dougherty said councils were expected to fully cover wear and tear every year, but ‘‘some councils are leaving a massive problem for future ratepayers’’.
The council had its underground assets revalued last year and the value ‘‘went up a lot’’.
‘‘Then your balance sheet is worth more . . . but you’ve then got to fund the depreciation on them.’’ Submissions on the proposal close at 5pm, May 1.
Kapiti mayor K Gurunathan