Wellington Scoop

Kāpiti agrees to average rates increase of 4.8 per cent

Press Release – Kapiti Coast District Council
Kāpiti Coast District councillors have been considering feedback from the community on the proposed 20-year plan for Kāpiti, and yesterday agreed the core elements of the plan. To deliver these activities and services spending of $83.8m is planned for the coming year. After allowing for the growing number of ratepayers in the district this results in an average rates increase of 4.8%.

Mayor K Gurunathan says that councillors are very grateful to the many hundreds of Kapiti people who got involved early on in the shaping of the long term plan, and to those who have provided feedback on the draft plan over the last three months.

“So many people have worked alongside us on creating this roadmap for the future of Kāpiti. As we’ve got down to the detail we’ve had to make some hard calls on what we can afford to put money into in the early years of the plan, so we’ll all have to be patient with the pace of progress.

“Our plan reflects where our district wants to head, though, so we know we’re putting our effort into the right areas – while still being grounded in our economic reality.

“We’ve committed to spend less and pay back more to make sure we’re living within our means, and we’re confident our 20-year plan reflects that. We’re making a start on reducing our borrowings by using the majority of this year’s surplus to pay off debt. Over the 20 years of our long term plan we’ll be repaying almost $40m.”

Key among the decisions is a change to the district’s rating system. Mayor Gurunathan says councillors wanted to put in place a rating system that works for the vast majority of our ratepayers, while ensuring support is available where lower incomes mean rates are a challenge to afford.

“The rating system changes we’ve made will lessen the rates increases for over 71% of residential ratepayers,” says the Mayor.

“At the same time we’ve lifted the eligibility threshold for rates support, so that more homeowners are able to get help from the Council in paying their rates.”

A just-finalised roading maintenance contract has meant an increase from the 4.7% average rates rise proposed in March to the final of 4.8% for 2018/19.

While the average rates increase is 4.8% across the district, the rates increase for individual ratepayers will vary depending on their property value and type.

“There’s always a range of increases, and this year there’s a much broader range than usual owing to the impact of the district’s three-yearly revaluations and the rating system change.”

The full long term plan for 2018-38 is due for adoption by the Council on 28 June 2018.

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