Rates resists inflation rise 

Waipā ratepayers are being sheltered from the current inflation boom.

Draft proposed average annual rates increases announced by Waipā District Council ratepayers have remained aligned with the 2021-31 Long Term Plan despite record levels of price inflation in the wider economy.

Waipā District Council’s draft average rates increase is 4.3 percent.

Waipā’s Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer Ken Morris.  Said the figure is testimony to the approach council has taken to its budget, at a time when annual consumer price inflation is 5.9 percent for the year ended 31 December 2021 – its highest level in 30 years,

He had a word of caution on the draft proposed average rates increase, noting that although the 4.3 percent is the average, very few properties will receive an increase of that level.

“If the plan is adopted as currently proposed the majority of rural properties will have increases in the range of 1 to 3 percent, while the majority of urban properties will have increases in the range of 5 to 8 percent. This profile also stays true to the 2021-31 Long Term Plan.”

The draft 2022-23 Annual Plan was discussed at a public workshop as part of the Strategic Planning and Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Morris said there were several further steps in the process of the adoption of the final Annual Plan by June 30.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, it will be presented to the Strategic Planning and Policy Committee meeting on March 1 to seek elected members’ approval. The plan will be out to the community from around mid-March to mid-April.

While a special consultative procedure was not required due to the draft proposed average rates increase staying similar to that estimated in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan, Council wants to engage with the community about the plan and gain feedback, Morris said.

“How we engage with the community will depend on the Covid-19 traffic light setting because it’s not socially responsible for us to hold physical events in the present climate,” Morris said.

“Once we have gathered community feedback and made any changes required, we can move forward to finalise the Annual Plan for adoption in June.”

Morris had a word of caution on the draft proposed average rates increase, noting that although the 4.3 percent is the average, very few properties will receive an increase of that level.

“If the plan is adopted as currently proposed the majority of rural properties will have increases in the range of 1 to 3 percent, while the majority of urban properties will have increases in the range of 5 to 8 percent. This profile also stays true to the 2021-31 Long Term Plan.”

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