3 per cent rise tipped for Waitakere

By Isaac Davison

Waitakere homeowners can expect a 3 per cent rates increase for 2009-10.

After a week of draft budget talks, a Waitakere City planning committee agreed to recommend an increase of 3 per cent for its draft annual plan.

A rates rise of 3 per cent would mean $1 extra a week for the average residential property.

The proposed increase compares with increases flagged by Auckland City Council of 2 per cent and North Shore City of 5.9 per cent.

Councillor Janet Clews said Waitakere City Council would try to fine-tune the budget further before the council formally adopts its plan on March 20.

"A huge amount of effort has been put in by councillors and the chief executive's budget review group to examine all expenditure," she said.

"And we are still keen to explore ways in which we can trim our budgets further to deliver a rates rise of under 3 per cent."

Ms Clews earlier said that tightening budgets in an economic recession had to be balanced by the need to maintain basic services.

"To do that we are going to have to delete or defer some projects."

Public consultation on the draft annual plan will open on March 31 and continue until April 30.

- NZ Herald

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