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More deliberations to take place on proposed rating model

Further modelling and investigation will take place before Wairoa District Councillors make a final decision on the district’s rating model.

Councillors met on Tuesday to deliberate on the Rates Review proposal and resolved to maintain the following factors from the statement of proposal:

  • Create a new General Rate (capital value)
  • Move 10% of the water, wastewater, stormwater and waste management rates to the General Rate.
  • Move 50% of the Uniform Annual General Charge to the General Rate.
  • Simplify to four General Rate differentials (subject to further investigation)

They also passed a resolution to further investigate adjusting the differential factors applied to the Capital Value based General Rate. This could see variations to the proposal with forestry moving from 3.32 to 4.0 and rural dropping from 1.0 to 0.8 and the commercial sector (1.6) and residential (1.0) remaining the same.

This model reduces the adverse impact on the rural sector and could include the possibility of an additional differential for high value residential rating units.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the rating review had been a long process and was not a decision that will be made lightly or quickly.

“It needs to be carefully considered over the next few weeks.”

“More time for consideration allows us to address feedback from the community received through submissions, community meetings and caravan sessions.

“The community told us ‘the pendulum had swung too far’ in the Statement of Proposal and that elected members had to address this issue to consider reducing the increases being faced by higher value rating units under the proposal.

“Exploring a differential factor of 4.0 for forestry reflects community feedback that this sector contributes less towards the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the district.

“Council will continue to engage with the forestry sector, as they do with the rest of the community.”

A total of 263 submissions were received to the proposed rating review and the hearing of submissions took two days.

The majority of the submissions were from the rural/agriculture industry with farmers telling Council their rates increases under the proposal were between 30-50 percent.

“We are listening to our community and we still want to achieve what we set out to achieve when we started this process - a future rating system that is simple, affordable and appropriate.

“The work we have done has been enormous, and if we had not taken the review as far as we did, we would not have collected such a vast amount of feedback.

This is about getting it right for now and ensuring a sustainable future for our district.

Further modelling will be carried out and another Extraordinary Council meeting will be held at 1.30pm on Tuesday January 12.

23 December 2020

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