Good news for Western Bay residents

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Western Bay District Council ratepayers will get a near zero rate increase this year once inflation was removed from the equation.

The council's policy committee today agreed to total rate increase of 2.92 per cent of which 1.24 per cent was soaked up by growth in the number of rateable properties.

It translated to an actual increase in rate demands of 1.68 per cent of which 1.6 per cent was inflation - leaving an increase of 0.08 per cent.

District-wide general rates will total $35.31 million for the financial year starting July 1. This was $406,000 less than the starting point for the 2016-17 Annual Plan.

Other rates totaled $21.9 million, led by wastewater charges of $9.3 million, water supply charges of $6.27 million, stormwater charges of $3.82 million, other targeted rates of $2.08 million and community board rates of $430,000.

The development boom resulted in the council revising the revenue it expected to receive from user fees this year. User fees have increased by $967,0000.

However this was offset by $470,000 of extra staff costs to manage the growth surge.

Another big factor in today's final budget wash-up that reduced rates by $406,000 was recreation and leisure which needed $153,000 fewer rates than the original forecast. This was because of lower depreciation and higher revenue.

The main changes from the council's long-term plan was an extra $250,000 to expand the Katikati and Te Puke dog pounds; a $100,000 contribution to a broadband digital plan, and deferring the Ongare Point wastewater scheme by one year to 2017-18.
The council was also moving to one uniform annual charge for water and wastewater.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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