Wellington Scoop

Hutt leads the way with lowest rates increase

Since we surveyed rates increases last month, there’s been a change of positioning. Now Lower Hutt has taken over from Wellington as the city with the region’s lowest rates increase.

On Friday, this was the news in the announcement when details of the city’s Long Term Plan were released:

The average rates increase for Lower Hutt this year is 1.5% for existing ratepayers, with Council receiving a further 1% rates revenue from growth due to new builds and property investment. This equates to a rates revenue increase of 2.5% overall

There’s even more chanches to save money on rates in Lower Hutt, for some groups at least:

Three rating policies have been changed – the Hutt City Development Contribution and Rates Remission Policy, which has been successful in stimulating development activity in the city, will finish at the end of 2018; eligible sports and community groups will have their general rates reduced by 50%; and from 1 July 2018, eligible residential ratepayers aged 65 years and over will have an option to postpone the payment of their rates, subject to conditions and criteria.

So Hutt City takes pride of place with the lowest rates increase in the region. Displacing Wellington – its 3.8 per cent was the lowest increase when we surveyed the region’s councils a fortnight ago. Perhaps Wellington should be taking lessons on budgeting from its neighbour across the harbour.

Then there’s Upper Hutt. On the same day of the Lower Hutt announcement, Upper Hutt also approved its Long Term Plan, but it couldn’t bring itself to say what its rates increase would be. C’mon Upper Hutt – tell us how much you’re increasing your rates this year. Or are you going to lead the way by not increasing them at all?