Kāpiti residents could face a lower than projected rates rise
Kāpiti residents could benefit from a lower than projected rates rise this year after councillors worked to reduce spending during deliberations on the 2016-17 Annual Plan.
The average rates rise across the district for the 2016-17 year was projected in the FutureKāpiti Long Term Plan (LTP) to be 4.6%.
Council will now go out to public consultation on a Draft Annual Plan with a proposed 4.3% rates increase and will test the community’s support for further cost-saving options that could take it down to 3.7%.
The Council voted to adopt a consultation document summarising the 2016-17 Annual Plan yesterday [March 17], which proposes changes to budgets and work programmes that could achieve the lower rates rise.
Mayor Ross Church says councillors have worked hard on behalf of the community to reduce spending, bringing proposals for savings to the table as late as an hour before today’s meeting.
“Constraint and caution have been the themes around the table throughout the workshop process as councillors have scoured budgets for savings that wouldn’t drastically impact our core services but still allow us to grow our district,” he says.
“This quest has been continuous, seeing staff having to write and rewrite budgets until we achieved a figure everyone was happy with. It’s now up to the community to decide whether these proposals are acceptable.”
The easy-to-read consultation document will provide updates on key initiatives
and projects and detailed financial information. It also highlights proposals for changes to budgets and work programmes for the 2016-17 year.
“We’re doing further upgrade works on Kāpiti Road sooner to better align with the Expressway construction and we’re building a sewer line from Waikanae to Paraparaumu that will run alongside and under the Expressway. We’re also looking at building the Paekākāriki seawall two years earlier than planned,” the mayor says.
The public will get a chance to comment on these and the other cost-saving proposals during a consultation period that will run from early April.
People will be able to provide feedback through a range of channels, including online submissions, the consultation document or by emailing their feedback. There will also be an opportunity for people to talk to their submissions during the hearings process.
The 2016-17 Draft Annual Plan delivers year two of the FutureKāpiti 2015-35 Long Term Plan (LTP), which was adopted by the council last year.
The Local Government Act 2012 as amended in 2014 requires the Council to prepare and adopt an Annual Plan by 30 June. Councils are not required to consult on the content of an Annual Plan provided that it contains no significant material differences from the content of the Long Term Plan to which it relates.
However where there are significant or material differences then the Council must consult on these proposed changes. Examples of material differences include changes to existing levels of service, significant new expenditure – not previously signalled in the Long Term Plan, changes to the limits in the Council’s financial strategy or changes to our rates and borrowing projections.
This Council has indicated that it wishes to engage and consult with the community on the proposed changes to year 2 of the Long Term Plan regardless of whether or not any of the changes proposed trigger the Council’s significance and engagement policy.