The Tauranga City Council is seeking public feedback on an annual plan with the biggest capital spending programme in 10 years.

The $154 million budgeted to be spent on infrastructure and public amenities was part of proposed 2017-18 plan that would see a ratepayer on an average valued property paying an additional $76 a year including water charges.

Deputy mayor Kelvin Clout described the 3.8 per cent average rate increase as "relatively fair".

He highlighted the $2m from general rates and $2m from commercial ratepayers needed to fund construction of the proposed Visitor Information Centre at Mount Maunganui.


''I encourage everyone to have their say on that because it has big implications for the visitor industry.''

Growth was driving the $154m capital spend projected for next year. Roading and other transport costs, which attracted New Zealand Transport Agency subsidies of up to 50 per cent, were funded from the general rate. Stormwater was also funded from the general rate, leaving the other big-ticket items of water supply and wastewater funded by targeted rates and charges.

Development fees recovered many of the costs incurred servicing the city's greenfield growth areas.

Councillor Larry Baldock said Tauranga's 3 per cent annual growth was phenomenal and if it continued would transform the city.

Mr Baldock said although Tauranga was fortunate to have growth, it put enormous pressure on the city. No one expected at the end of the global financial crisis that the recovery would come with such a rush.

He said growth required the council to spend a lot on capital expenditure and civic amenities. "We will have a transformed city as a result."

Councillor Rick Curach persuaded the council to include the highly detailed budget line items in the material that went out for public consultation.

Councillor Steve Morris sought information on whether tenants of the council's retirement villages would be slightly worse off from the proposed $7 to $10 a week rent increase if they received the accommodation supplement.

The council plans to collect $134m in rates for the 12 months starting July . This was $3m more than it planned to collect in the 2015-25 Long-term Plan. Other operating revenue was planned to climb by $11m over the long-term projections to reach $72m in 2017-18.

Public consultation takes place from March 20 to April 20, with hearings on submissions set down for May 9-12.

Average rates increases compared with capital valuations (excluding GST)
$300,000: $67 ($1.12 a week)
$400,000: $71 ($1.21 a week)
$500,000: $76 ($1.29 a week)
$600,000: $80 ($1.37 a week)
$800,000: $89 ($1.54 a week)
$1million: $98 (1.71 a week)
Source: Tauranga City Council, includes water rates

$14.5m of already committed council spending
- Decommissioning sewerage sludge pond $6m
- Extending Tauranga Airport terminal $4.6m
- Infrastructure planning for new urban growth areas $1.6m
- Contribution to Papamoa Surf Rescue Base $950,000
- Contribution to floodlighting Bay Cricket Oval $765,000
- Contribution to 3rd hockey turf at Blake Park $600,000