Annual Plan Rate Increases
Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 12:43PM
Bill Barclay

These are the Annual Plan Rate Increases proposed for adoption at the Council Meeting on 26 February.

"AVERAGE RATE INCREASES (by district & by local components)
                                  2013/14                      2014/2015                  As a %
District only               $1,662.82                       $1,700.16                 2.25%
Thames only                $656.92                           $680.27                 3.56%
Coromandel only          $417.29                          $434.03                  4.01%
Mercury Bay only          $443.43                          $480.15                  8.28%
Tairua/Pauanui only       $453.15                          $449.20                 -0.87%
Whangamata only         $353.00                          $354.53                  0.43%
                                                           2013/14                 2014/2015
District plus Thames                          $2,319.74                   $2,380.43
District plus Coromandel                    $2,080.12                   $2,134.19
District plus Mercury Bay                   $2,106.25                    $2,180.30
District plus Tairua/Pauanui                $2,115.97                    $2,149.35
District plus Whangamata                  $2,015.82                    $2,054.68
                                                          2013/14                    2014/2015
District as a whole                                  1.34%                          2.60%
District plus Thames                                1.51%                         2.62%
District plus Coromandel                          1.70%                         2.60%
District plus Mercury Bay                          1.81%                         3.52%
District plus Tairua/Pauanui                      0.89%                         1.58%
District plus Whangamata                         0.51%                         1.93%
The projected external debt in 2014/2015 is $61m. This is $25m (or 29%) under our limit of
external debt being no more than 150% of total rates revenue. This is a reasonable
difference to the debt position proposed in the 2013/2014 Annual Plan of $66m (which was
$17m, or 20% under the limit at the time of adopting the 2013/2014 Annual Plan)."

This is extracted from the paper that goes to Council, but the actual draft Annual Plan will not be released until the Meeting - this is in accordance with standard practice. I will comment further when I have the opportunity to see the Plan, but a clear indication is provided in the Paper that there will be a need to fund the shortfall in Development Contributions, and changes to economic activity - in other words, the three "anchor projects" -  Coromandel Harbour Project, the Walkways, and Kopu to Kaiaua Cycleway.

Putting aside whatever you may think about these projects that are in effect Leach's Legacy Projects, it will be very important to keep a very close watch on just what ratepayer resources are being brought to bear on each. Following the Economic Development Committee meeting on 17 February, the viability of each should be called into question along with the postponement of imminent investigations and planning processes as the result of reality checks.

It is important that the new funding of these projects is not permitted to simply 'roll-on' because of a 'juggernaut' effect - their rationale should be extrapolated before they are permitted to become embedded in the Annual Plan. But being LLP's, I won't hold my breadth!




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