So says Cr Michael Scott who is currently the Chairman of the Council’s finance committee.
The 2016-2017 financial year ended last 30 June. As everyone knows, the Rates hike was just under 6% for the current financial year which ends this 30 June.
What will this year’s Rates hike be?
Of the $73 million Council revenue in 2016-2017, $56.5 million or 77% came from Rates. The rest came from Fees and Charges ($8.9 million), Grants and subsidies ($4.7 million), Developer contributions ($2 million) and other operating revenue of $0.7 million.
Michael Scott says that the Residential Ratepayer provides the “vast majority” of the Rates collected (we think it’s about 95%) and there is no enthusiasm in the Council for creating “extra pain” for businesses or rural. But assuming (and it’s an assumption) that business Rates increased by the same 6%, based on simple arithmetic the total Rates take for this current year should be $60 million.
The take from “Fees and charges” and other operating revenue could be $10 million.
“Grants and subsidies” doesn’t seem to be a guaranteed source — it all came from the NZTA in 2016-2017.
However, there is ample scope for substantially increasing the paltry $2 million from Property Developers considering the subdivision frenzy currently happening. Doubling it could eliminate the likely shortfall in the $80 million target and so eliminate the need for any Rates increase this year…
None of this, of course, examines the Council expenditure side of the budget, a subject of fierce criticism.