Rates rise an average of 4.5 per cent

By John Maslin


Whanganui district's average overall rates increase for the 2016-17 year is 4.5 per cent.

While increases will vary among properties, a residential property with a capital value of $199,000 will pay on average $2460 this year, an increase of $125 on last year.

Similarly, farming properties will be billed an extra $117 (up 3.9 per cent) and commercial properties an extra $196 (up 2.2 per cent).

In striking the rates at its Annual Plan meeting last week, the district council said two major factors influenced the final figure - the June floods last year and the decision to build the wastewater treatment plant.

Clean up and recovery from the floods are reckoned to be about $29 million. Insurances and central government will cover the bulk of that but council's share is $4 million and $3.5 million of that will be funded by a new loan.

A special flood rate will run for five years with residential and commercial properties paying $44.70 a year and farming properties an extra $49.70 a year.

The treatment plant upgrade, at this stage, is estimated to cost another $41.5 million.

If it wasn't for these two factors the average rate would have been less than half that for the coming year.

Regardless of the value of a property, fixed charges on each of them will total $1471. All the other rates are apportioned to each property based on land or capital value.

An average residential rate of $2461 would include $800 uniform annual charge, wastewater $352, stormwater disposal $305, water supply $233, roads/footpaths $172, firefighting $51, storm funding $45, earthquake strengthening $42 and debt retirement levy $34.

The uniform annual charge forms part of the general rate and covers areas such as parks and reserves, swimming pools, cemeteries, libraries/museum/art gallery, animal control, economic development and emergency management.

But the rate demand for individual properties will vary from these averages. Council has about 50 different rates and while some have gone up others have gone down and not all properties pay the same rates. For example, those properties not connected to the city's water supply aren't charged that rate.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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