More pain in the pocket as councillors discuss skyrocketing rate increases

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Dec 05, 2023 |

Christchurch City Councillors have held a discussion on the proposed rates increase for the 2024/25 year.

Initially signalling an 18% increase earlier this year, the Council staff’s latest proposal stands at 13.3%, with the Mayor and Councillors aiming to limit the increase to between 9% and 12%.

A key topic of discussion was the transparency of the rates impact of Te Kaha, with plans to highlight this in ratepayers’ demands.

This move is part of the Council’s effort to ensure clarity and openness about the financial requirements for Te Kaha.

The Council is currently developing a draft budget that will be open for public feedback in March 2024 as part of the Long Term Plan (LTP) for 2024–2034.

The LTP is a crucial document that outlines the Council’s budget for the next decade, detailing the services to be provided and their funding mechanisms.

Interim Chief Executive Mary Richardson clarified the situation regarding the proposed rates increase.

“The 13.3% rates increase isn’t final – it just reflects where the budget is at,” she said.

Ms. Richardson emphasised the ongoing efforts to balance service provision with realistic financial expectations for ratepayers, especially considering current economic pressures.

She added, “There’s still a lot more work to be done, but the Mayor and Councillors have given their latest advice and now staff will work on draft options ready for the new year.

“The community will have a say when the LTP goes out for consultation in March 2024.”

The driving factors behind the proposed rates increase include inflation and the borrowing necessary to deliver the capital program and ongoing renewals to Council infrastructure.

Key issues discussed by the Council included determining the appropriate level of investment in renewals, the deliverability and affordability of the capital program, the use of targeted rates and remissions, and strategies to avoid future additional pressure on rates.

The next public briefing on the LTP is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, December 13, where further developments and discussions will be presented.

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger will discuss these issues with Chris Lynch on Thursday.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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