For 2018-2019 rates, the proposed total increase in general rates is around $1.4 million, paid for by approximately 115,000 households.
Our draft long term plan builds on our existing work programs. It doesn’t include many big new projects. To be responsive to community expectations and provide greater service levels across our key areas of statutory responsibility, we are projecting expenditure in some areas will increase, which may affect your rates.
Other than rates, one of our important sources of income is Port Otago, which is owned by the Regional Council. Each year, a dividend from the Port helps to offset the amount that needs to be collected in rates. Last year, we asked Port Otago for some extra help in the form of a special dividend to ease the impact on rates of a step up in expenditure.
Instead of one big jump in rates, the increase will be over several years, as the special dividend amount reduces. We prefer not to have to draw on special dividends, as leaving these funds in the Port Otago company helps it grow, which in turn ensures we can rely on Port contributions in the long-term.
So, although the amount of money we’re expecting to spend is increasing only relatively slowly in the next few years, rates will be increasing as we ease back from dependence on an additional special dividend over and above our normal dividend from the Port.
Get the full picture of what your next rates bill would look like if all that’s proposed in this plan is approved by heading to our online rates calculator