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Regional Council keeps rates rise low

Friday, 24 June 2011 4:00 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has kept its annual rates rise low while continuing to provide a diverse range of services to the region. 

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said Councillors and staff had worked hard to ensure the total rates package was kept realistic when it approved its budget and Annual Plan for 2011-2012 yesterday. 

"We included some new projects in the Annual Plan and budget as a result of the public response to our draft Plan," Mr Cronin said.

"At the same time we have kept the total rates requirement to $26.2 million. This is an increase of just 2.54 per cent from last year and includes general and targeted rates," he said. 

Mr Cronin said that Council expected to spend a total of $105.8 million for the 2011-2012 year - of that $87.2 million is operating expenses and $18.6 million was capital expenses.

"We are fortunate that, in addition to rates, we receive significant investment income which is used to pay for these expenses and reduce general rates." Mr Cronin said.

"We also receive funds from sources such as central government (ie subsidies), internal loans, and our reserve funds. User fees and charges are also used."

Some of the major projects for the Regional Council during the 2011-2012 year include:

  • Reviewing the Ten Year Plan;
  • Completing the second Regional Policy Statement;  
  • Developing an integrated management programme for Tauranga Harbour and catchment;
  • Protecting and restoring the Rotorua Lakes;
  • Improving Rotorua's air quality; and
  • Facilitating and promoting sustainable regional economic development.

"The major projects reflect just some of the many and varied activities we undertake," Mr Cronin said.

"We also have major responsibilities in flood protection, civil defence and emergency management, passenger transport, and monitoring and managing physical and natural resources such as geothermal fields, water quality and quantity."

In adopting the Annual Plan Council agreed to fund a one-off $600,000 amount from reserves to cover the additional cost of local authority insurance premiums which has increased as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes. The funding will relieve the rates burden on flood scheme targeted rates and the general rate.

An additional $2.3 million loan for capital works on the region's major river schemes was agreed to cover additional works as a result of flooding. The interest will result in an increase in targeted and general rates to service the loans.

Another $1.8 million is to go towards the Judea Link package for Tauranga's Southern Pipeline, an additional $116,000 from reserves towards the Little Waihī sewerage scheme and $100,000 towards a pilot iwi secondment programme to build iwi capability.

Cost savings have been made through efficiencies in the Council's vehicle fleet ($100,000), organisational planning and reporting ($150,000) and information technology costs ($150,000).

The Annual Plan comes into effect from 1 July 2011. Copies will be available from the Council or can be downloaded from our website (www.boprc.govt.nz) at that time. 

Indicative rates for median land values

To give you an idea of what this means in monetary terms, we have provided some sample 2011/2012 rate costs inclusive of GST based on the median land value at various locations within our region.

Ōpōtiki (land value $121,000) - rates are $100.69 for 2011/2012, an increase of $11.80 on last year. For the average property, total rates will be $1.94 per week.

Whakatāne (land value $180,000) - rates are $114.00 for 2011/2012, an increase of $14.78 on last year. For the average property, total rates will be $2.19 per week.

Rotorua (land value $82,000) - rates are $250.67 for 2011/2012, a decrease of $10.81 on last year. For the average property, total rates will be $4.82 per week.

Tauranga (land value $200,000) - rates are $169.67 for 2011/2012, an increase of $1.18 on last year. For the average property, total rates will cost $3.26 per week.

Western Bay of Plenty (land value $310,000) - rates are $134.95 for 2011/2012, an increase of $10.16 on last year. For the average property, total rates will cost $2.60 per week.

Kawerau (land value $39,000) - rates are $81.83 for 2011/2012, an increase of $10.44 on last year. For the average property, total rates will cost $1.57 per week.

Regional infrastructure

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Regional Infrastructure Fund will not operate in 2011/2012. An infrastructure review is currently being carried out and will be consulted upon as part of the 2012-2022 Ten Year Plan. Instead, investment funds allocated to this activity will be used to direct fund the following projects:

  • State Highway route security in the eastern Bay of Plenty: $1.75 million.
  • Sewerage subsidy for Lake Rotoiti: $1.96 million.
  • Sewerage subsidy for Maketū/ Little Waihī: $2.2 million.
  • Sewerage subsidy for the Judea Link component of the Southern Pipeline: $1.8 million.
  • Sewerage subsidy for Rotorua's Paradise Valley: $60,000

 Ends

 For media information contact Yvonne Rooney, Senior Communications Advisor, on 021 289 8380.