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Rates increase of 16.4% for 2024/25 proposed for community consultation – WCC

Wellington City Councillors will next week agree the draft 2024-34 Long-term Plan Consultation Document for auditing prior to community consultation in April. This includes a proposed rates increase for the 2024/2025 year of 16.4% (after growth in the ratepayer base). This excludes the levy for the Moa Point Sludge Minimisation Facility, which will add a further 1.6%.

At the previous Long-term Plan, Finance and Performance committee meeting on 15 February 2024, a rates increase of 15.4% (after growth) was budgeted, down from a provisional number of 26%. This was based on a number of proposed changes to Council services. Councillors voted not to approve or to amend a number of these proposals.

Additional changes made to funding in the 15 February committee meeting to levels of services equate to an approximate increase in proposed rates of 0.9%. Other minor movements, such as interest, have further increased proposed rates by approximately 0.1%.

Mayor Tory Whanau says, “Our proposed Long-term Plan for the next 10 years includes record investment in water and our city. One in every four dollars we spend on capital will go on three waters. We are also rolling out a full cycleway network and bus improvements ahead of time and under cost, saving $80m while doing so.

“We have invested in a waste minimisation plan, upgrading our city housing to meet healthy homes standards, upgrading our suburban libraries, begun work on a brand new central city library, and continued to fund Downtown Community Ministry and the Wellington City Mission.

“For decades, political pressure has kept rates lower than what we require to fund and maintain our essential infrastructure and assets. Councils around the country are now grappling with this, alongside increased inflation, insurance costs and interest rates.

“Local Government New Zealand research shows that councils’ share of overall tax revenue has remained at 2% of GDP for the last 50 years, despite the strain of increasing responsibilities, and the pressure has reached a tipping point.

“The rates increase we have proposed is necessary to fund the services and infrastructure Wellington needs to be a thriving city, and our increase is in line with other councils around New Zealand,” says Mayor Whanau.

The papers relating to next Wednesday’s meeting of the Kōrau Tōtōpū | Long-term Plan, Finance, and Performance Committee, including the draft consultation document, are available here. Following the meeting, the consultation document will be externally audited.

Formal consultation on the 2024-34 Long-term Plan will open on 12 April and close on 12 May. All information, including the consultation document and submission form, will be available at wcc.nz/ltp-2024-34.

 

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