Tauranga’s third rates increase in a row isn’t unanimously supported by Tauranga City Councillors.
Catherine Stewart opposed the striking of the rate saying councillors were just going through the motions by accepting it.
“You are not going to get a different cake if you keep on using the same recipe,” says Catherine.
“It’s time we got in touch with the real world out there.”
Mayor Stuart Crosby led the charge saying Catherine’s comments reflected a lack of understanding; that over the last year councillors have, starting from a possible 16.6 per cent rates increase managed to reduce that by about a third by taking about $33 million out of the capital works programme to keep the rates demand as low as possible.
“We have made every effort to reduce the projected budget this year and there have been significant reductions,” says Stuart.
Tony Christiansen says councillors worked very hard to strip back capital expenditure by $33 million.
“It’s not a small amount,” says Tony and, “now to be told it’s not good enough is insulting and disappointing to be honest.”
Murray Guy supports the rate, but wants to flag what he believes is a developing issue of targeted rates for different geographic areas of the city eg The Lakes and Papamoa East.
Terry Molloy says Tauranga should be receiving more benefit from its port shares held by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Bill Faulkner says councils can no longer expect people with property to pay for common services. He was among several councillors wanting to lobby the local government association for changes to the regime under which rates have to be struck.
Catherine Stewart and Rich Curach voted against the rate being struck.
The increase is the third of the infamous triple whammy of successive increases intended to pull the city out of debt.
Three years ago when the option was put to ratepayers the preference was to increase rates instead of what residents will pay for increased council services, such as library charges.
The expectation at the start of the process was that this year’s rates increase would be 14.4 per cent, but councillors trimmed $33 million off the capital works budget in the annual plan process.
The uniform annual charge is $670 per rateable unit.
The general rate is $0.00195614 in the dollar on the capital value of each rateable unit.
The economic development rate levied on every commercial property in the city is $0.00045455.
The meted water supply rate is $1.58 per cubic metre. The unmetered water supply charge is $588.
The sewerage charge is $330 for each residential property and $330 for each toilet or urinal in a commercial property.
Properties not connected to the city sewers still have to pay $165.
The Lakes uniform targeted rate for additional levels of service is $244.76 per rateable unit.
The Papamoa targeted rate is also $274.76. The Excelsa targeted rate for that Papamoa subdivision is $129.33.