Elected Members have today approved adjustments to Tauranga City Council’s draft Annual Plan for 2019/20 that would lead to an average residential rates increase of 3.7 per cent.
The adjustments are included in an indicative draft Annual Plan that aims to keep the average residential rates increase to two per cent above inflation – an approach requested by Elected Members on 24 September.
The rates increase is significantly lower than the 7.5 per cent proposed in the council’s Long Term Plan 2018-28.
Funding was retained for priority areas that were identified in the Long Term Plan such as land supply and urban form, transport, environmental standards and resilience to natural disaster.
In order to meet the reduced rates target, staff reported on options for adjusting the Council’s budget in a wide range of areas.
These included re-prioritising existing resources, proposed interest rate changes and reduction of funding across activities that were not identified as priority areas in the Long Term Plan.
The indicative draft Annual Plan was approved after Chief Financial Officer Paul Davidson told Council that staff were confident service levels could be maintained in the short term.
“This adjustment keeps our aspirations for growth while retaining existing levels of service," says Mayor Greg Brownless.
“It achieves these goals while meeting the needs of ratepayers to keep their rates affordable.”
Staff will report back to Council on some aspects of the plan early next year. A draft Annual Plan will be considered by Council in early 2019.
The Annual Plan sets the budget and work plan for the year beginning 1 July 2019, and identifies what has changed from the Long Term Plan.
It describes the Council’s direction for the coming year, provides accountability to the community, and determines the extent of any rates increases.