Tauranga ratepayers will face an average rates increase of 2.2 per cent this year - lower than the 2.5 per cent previously signaled.

This is because of a 2.5 per cent growth in rateable properties in the Tauranga City Council area, 0.5 per cent higher than anticipated when the draft budget was set.

This means the total amount of rates to be collected is spread among more ratepayers, resulting in a lower average rates increase for the 2016/17 year.

The increase was decided on yesterday when the council met to adopt the 2016/17 annual plan.


Read more: Three common gardening mistakes

Net debt was also projected to be lower by the end of next year at $391m, which is $19m less than budgeted through the Long Term Plan.

A council spokeswoman said they were investing more in the community, both through capital expenditure by the council to build assets and by supporting other organisations through grants for them to invest in assets for the community.

Other projects planned included providing wastewater reticulation to parts of Matapihi and upgrading the Tauranga Airport Terminal.

The council has also made funds available to assist in lighting Bay Oval and to develop a new Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club building and increased operational expenditure in key areas of the council's service provision such as building services, events and libraries as well as support for the operations of community groups through grants.

Increased expenditure was partially offset by increased revenue, lower interest rates and reviewed timing of some projects.

The council also adopted the User Fees and Charges for 2016/17, and the reviewed policies for Development Contributions, Rates Remission and Revenue and Financing.

The key decisions made through the Annual Plan consultation and deliberations process are set out in a summary document available at www.tauranga.govt.nz/annual-plan-2016-17.

The full Annual Plan 2016/17, updated User Fees and Charges and policies will be made available on the website and in our service centres in the coming weeks.