Tauranga faces a double-digit rates hike

Tauranga homeowners could pay up to $8.11 extra per week in rates. File photo/SunLive.

Tauranga’s rates could increase 13.7 per cent next year, but the commissioners’ caution it is necessary to invest in the infrastructure required for a growing city.

Tauranga City Council met yesterday to confirm amendments to the 2022/2023 Annual Plan and 2021-2031 Long-term Plan.

The changes include an increase in rates from the 12.4 per cent originally proposed to 13.7 per cent and a shift in the commercial differential from 23 per cent to 27 per cent.

Further increases to user fees and charges and a 15 per cent increase in development contributions are also proposed.

The extra investment is expected to help fund transport infrastructure and the proposed rebuild of the Tauranga Civic Precinct.

Commissioner Stephen Selwood says the increase will be noticed, especially by those in the low residential band.

“If we don't increase the rates and make the investments, then communities right across the city will pay in other ways, in inadequate services, poor transportation and high housing prices,” he says.

Selwood says people often focus only on percentage increases which are “misleading”.

“We count dollars more than we count percentages.”

Commissioner Stephen Selwood. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

The rates increases are broken down into a weekly dollar amount for each residential bracket.

Homeowners with a capital value of $495,000 (low residential) would pay $3.49 extra per week, a capital value of $790,000 would see an increase of $4.18, a $980,000 capital value would attract a $4.82 increase.

The upper quartile owners with a value of $1.2 million would pay $4.62 more each week and high residential with a value in excess of $3.5 million would pay $8.11 extra a week.

Selwood says: “If you can afford a $3.5m property, you can probably afford $8.11”.   

The commercial sector would also see rates increase and the shift in differential means the commercial sector would pay a larger portion of rates than residential property owners.

“Moving the fair share across to the commercial sector and also increasing fees across various schedules of charges means that we have a much more beneficiary pays approach,” says Selwood.

“The benefit of that has been that the burden on individual ratepayers is significantly lower than they might otherwise have expected.”

A commercial property in the lower quartile with a value of $865,000 would pay $18.55 extra per week in rates. The median commercial band would pay $30.21 more, upper quartile properties of $3.3 million would pay $61.50.

High commercial properties with a capital value of more than $41 million would see an increase of $715.82 each week.

Anne Tolley. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

Commission Chair Anne Tolley says one important thing that had come from conversations with residents in the past year was who paid a fair share of the rates.

“The feeling that was expressed to us very firmly, was residents felt they were carrying too big a load,” says Tolley.

“I think we've responded to that, and I think the commercial sector have responded successfully and constructively to that.”

A targeted transport rate is also proposed that would see commercial ratepayers pay $3.33 for every dollar a residential ratepayer does. This would move to $5 for every dollar in two years.

Tolley says the consultation documents are “exceptionally important” and contain some “exciting opportunities” for the city.

One all the commissioners seem most excited about is the civic precinct redevelopment, Te Manawataki o Te Papa.

Two options are proposed: a full rebuild, that includes a library, museum, civic whare and development of the waterfront reserve with a cost of $303.4 million.

The other includes a library and community hub and the civic whare, with a cost of $126.8 million.

Tolley says people need to decide if they want to create a “vibrant, exciting centre city” or “an ordinary civic centre”.

Selwood labelled the precinct “an incredible opportunity for the city”.

Shadrach Rolleston. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

Commissioner Shadrach Rolleston says he understood the concerns from ratepayers that the cost of the precinct may impact rates. 

“We have to think about this in a broader context in terms of what we're trying to seek and deliver for our city.”

Consultation on the amended Long-term Plan and Annual Plan began today and runs until April 26.

Feedback can be submitted through the Tauranga City Council website, via post or email and at community events that will be held around the city during the month.

Formal hearings will also be held in May after consultation closes.

Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded though NZ On Air.




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17 Comments

More Lies

Posted on 01-04-2022 17:36 | By Really

Noone trusts anything that comes from TCC and even less so with these commissioners wasting money all over the place. BUT has anyone checked the rates calculator to show your increase... well straight away mine shows an increase of $864 which according to the article is more than what a property worth $3.5m would pay.... What actually is the truth here?

@Omni

Posted on 31-03-2022 14:10 | By morepork

I read your post carefully. You are right that they are out of touch, but how would YOU address that if YOU were them? To me, it seems a no brainer that the concerns you noted could be slated as possible actions and then the Community would prioritize them through a referendum. People assign a priority value to the items on the list. You get Community buy-in AND the things that bug us most get some attention. Sadly, the current administration are opposed to ANY Democratic process and the idea of letting the plebs have a true say is anathema to them. You will do what the Chief says (Nanny knows best...) and no dissent or protest will be brooked. It’s tribal tikanga with stated opposition to Democracy.

Let them eat cake

Posted on 26-03-2022 15:06 | By michelem

Let the commissioners show a bit of fiscal responsibility first before making the next rates increase a foregone conclusion. Between $1,500 and $1,800 a day for each little piggy and over $300k in expenses claimed by Anne Tolley alone. What kind of despicable chancer claims $300,000 in expenses in one year? And we’re supposed to trust these people to pronounce on what we can afford?

What a fraud

Posted on 26-03-2022 14:46 | By an_alias

We have already had 17% increase since you have been in power for "infrastructure". Now 13% added makes 30% increase plus your potential valuation changes. You are also attacking business when they have been hit the hardest by govt forced lockdowns. Can you tell me how a Museum is essential "infrastructure" ? Just lies and more lies and actually ZERO consultation. I’d have no issue paying that increase with your salary of $1800 a DAY.

irresponsible

Posted on 26-03-2022 14:38 | By terry hall

people cannot afford that, pension $336 per week, commisiners salary, they get that per hour, what a laugh this tauranga council is a mickey mouse.

Tone Deaf

Posted on 26-03-2022 13:47 | By StuartR

How patronising, whichever way you look at it its still money that we have to fund from our incomes that are not increasing, as well as the significant impact of inflation on already stretched budgets. For the record $4.62 a week is 2 litres of milk a week that I will have to sacrifice, on top of the coffee a week I sacrificed last year and the year before that. I have to make ends meet whatever happens! Commercial ratepayers can put their prices up to cover their increase and add more fuel to inflation - all well and good but if people are sacrificing there is no more income for them! To accompany an article like this with photos of the grinning assassins is also pretty bad taste imho.

Commissioners appear completely out of touch!

Posted on 26-03-2022 13:41 | By Omni

It seem that there is absolutely no accountability for the billions of dollars already paid by the Ratepayers of the Bay of Plenty, yet these overpaid commissioners are happy to take from the people, keep us poor and suppressed to line their own pockets and create, what, a legacy building? Get real, fix our roads, make them wider, safer and more efficient, create cycle lanes around the whole area, better footpaths, more police and security around the Bay. I bet just by spending some money on security cameras around our area, we would all feel safer. Speed cameras implemented could fund roading and footpath upgrade costs... I don’t even work for the council and here is some easy free advise, start looking at what your ratepayers genuine needs are and start implementing some vital improvements in our communities before you become the next Tenby!

Get real

Posted on 26-03-2022 13:15 | By jim

My super goes up by $20pw from April!! My petrol has gone up by $15pw, groceries $20pw, insurances $4pw = $39 pw. Now rates by $4.18pw? Just what planet does this crowd come from? I don’t want handouts, where is the accountability?

What a ripp-off

Posted on 26-03-2022 12:13 | By uli

What a lot of rubbish. They write "Homeowners with a capital value of $495,000 (low residential) would pay $3.49 extra per week". Are there one or two shacks in Tauranga under half a million? Why are they giving the increase per week? That is already $181,48 annually. It would look even less if they give the increase per day or even per hour. And all this with fancy projects like CBD remodelling. The necessary fixes for traffic jams and water supply etc. are not even included!

What a gallery...

Posted on 26-03-2022 12:12 | By morepork

... of smug, smiling faces. Secure in the knowledge that they cannot be removed from the gravy train and it won’t be stopping anywhere... until the Government changes. Notice that they do not answer to ANYBODY except the Minister who appointed them. Enjoy living in a tribal system where you have no voice and are "consulted" and ignored. This will be your life from now on, if you vote for Labour at the next election.

What a stupid comment

Posted on 25-03-2022 21:54 | By Let's get real

"If you can afford a $3.5 million property, you can probably afford $8.11".... We have had nothing to do with the value of our property rising by 400% or 500% and let me assure you that our income hasn’t increased proportionally. In fact, in the last three years our income has gone backwards.

Really

Posted on 25-03-2022 19:42 | By Mallyg

And where do they think the money going to came from O yes that’s right all the commercial businesses will just put up there prices on everything

how about

Posted on 25-03-2022 19:36 | By hexsayer

we make the council pay for infrastructure with their salary? then it’d be financed. they work for us, don’t forget. nothings ever getting done with thought for long-term, that’s why waka kotahi need to repatch the same bits of road every 6months stop starting when they cant get the prior project finished in time, traffic is bad enough from roadworks we shouldn’t still be paying tolls for using them. no more pay rises for these do nothing fools.

rates

Posted on 25-03-2022 18:49 | By dumbkof2

do we have any say in this rates debarcle

Double dipping

Posted on 25-03-2022 18:19 | By Larny

Hang on?..... Isn’t the council all ready getting a rates increase from the new Capital Valuations for most of the Tauranga properties, which will be on our July rates bill!!

You are crippling us!

Posted on 25-03-2022 18:07 | By LHem

Selwood says: “If you can afford a $3.5m property, you can probably afford $8.11”.   Its attitudes like yours that are breaking local residents. You do realize that you put our valuations up and up, then sting us more $$$ in rates. I know a lot of people, including myself, that could never afford to buy our homes for what you are now telling us what’s it supposedly worth. Shame on you! ... And Tolley, you need to go too!

Disgrace

Posted on 25-03-2022 16:33 | By Slim Shady

What a bunch.

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