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Tauranga Council cuts $11m from operating budget

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Tauranga City Council has cut $11 million from its operational budget and is seeking feedback on proposals to reduce spending on some services as it seeks feedback on its revised annual plan for the coming year.

The draft Annual Plan 2020/21 has been revised to take into account the impacts of COVID-19, and the council is keen to hear from the community to help guide the city through some important challenges.

Mayor Tenby Powell says the council has a vital role to play in spurring Tauranga's economy while providing infrastructure for our growing city.

“Only local and central government can provide the fiscal stimulus our city needs for recovery.

“By investing in roads and other crucial infrastructure, we can create jobs and support local businesses."

Powell says the draft annual plan proposes a median residential rates increase of 44 cents a week, while demonstrating to central government that we are a rational co-investment partner.

Essential services such as water supply, wastewater, and maintenance of roads and parks will continue unaffected.

The budget still allows for new capital investment of $209 million in much-needed infrastructure, providing a platform for our city to recover once the crisis has passed.

This spending will help stimulate the local economy, supporting businesses and providing jobs.

The plan proposes to increase the council's debt to up to 2.5 times its annual revenue.

This is considered a prudent level to keep interest payments affordable, while ensuring more can be borrowed if necessary to deal with emergency situations.

For rates, key proposals include:

•    An overall average rates increase of 4.7 per cent. This would increase rates by 44 cents a week for the median residential ratepayer and $9.32 a week for the median commercial ratepayer

•    Reducing the Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC), which is the fixed portion of rates charged for all rateable properties, from $475 a year to $296. This would make rates more affordable for owners of lower-valued properties, while owners of higher-valued properties would pay more, because property values will have a greater influence on the overall rates bill.

•    A commercial differential of 1:1.2, meaning businesses pay $1.20 in general rates for every $1 paid by homeowners for properties of the same value. The differential recognises that businesses benefit more from certain council services and infrastructure. Tauranga’s commercial differential is considerably lower than in other major NZ cities.

"We have looked at ways to further reduce expenditure on community services, and are seeking feedback on these. We have also reviewed and reprioritised our budget for capital expenditure.

"We are also consulting on user fees, the draft Development Contributions Policy, and changes to the Revenue and Finance Policy."

Consultation documents and other information can be found at www.tauranga.govt.nz/annualplan2020.

"We will provide printed copies of the consultation documents at our libraries and 91 Willow St service centre from this Saturday."

Key dates

Public consultation: 17 June – 1 July
Submission hearings: 2 – 7 July
Council deliberations: 15 – 17 July
Adoption of annual plan: 30 July


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8 Comments
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RUBBISH ABOUT THE RUBBISH!!!

Posted on 21-06-2020 11:40 | By Corubakid

I live on my own & have selected the bins that suit my needs. I very rarely fill them even fortnightly (which are my terms with the company I use. I compost & I make use of the glass bin also. Why are the council looking at dictating what provider we use etc & adding this to our already astronomical rates?! Don’t forget to have your say at TCC website.

no white elephants

Posted on 19-06-2020 17:37 | By hapukafin

Dont ever think of building a museum.How many museums around the world make ends meet

Laoshu

Posted on 18-06-2020 20:47 | By Watchdog

Our new LED lights in Pyes Pa are just so superior to the previous light fittings. And also the Council has raised the Water Mains connection boxes - they were getting buried by rising lawn and weeds. They have also marked each one in white to make them easy to see. Could be important in an emergency to save time finding a water mains connection. Well done.

@Taffy

Posted on 18-06-2020 15:51 | By morepork

Thanks for your support; I was starting to think I was the only one who sees it necessary to cut wages at senior level, not just for the monetary savings, but for all the other reasons as well. I also share your concerns about water, glass and rubbish. (I have been perfectly happy with my service provider for waste and I still see no reason why this had to be taken on by Council. Maybe they can claim rubbish costs have gone up and use it to generate more revenue...)

@morepork

Posted on 17-06-2020 17:12 | By Taffy

Totally agree with your comments in particular the wage cuts .Every time the stats come out the staff numbers increase and the number earning over 100k is ridiculous plus all the consultants fees! Even if we now go with this 4.7% increase we still have water rates,which just got increased and the glass recycle added into the rates ,Is that increasing by 4.7% as well.Of course the big one that seems to have been buried the general rubbish collection.What will that cost?

golly gosh

Posted on 17-06-2020 16:04 | By old trucker

TCC would save all this money by getting RID of all THE DEAD WOOD meaning 400 STAFF ,Also a cycle lane on Nagti rd is wider than a car what was wrong with it could have had lane 1 metre wide painted on the rd nearest trees would have cost little instead of $2 million what a waste just for bikes,and squezzing the lane to one at round about, also $2000 for concrete on Windermere drive which is not a through road, could i get a job in TCC,thanks Sunlive 10-4 out ,phew.

Is it me?

Posted on 17-06-2020 12:53 | By morepork

You don’t build roads to "create jobs"; you build roads because you need a road. Otherwise, once the road is complete, the "created" job disappears... You create jobs by supporting local businesses and encouraging new ones. Trimming services, getting Government funding, and squeezing the Ratepayers are all "easy options". Still no mention of wage cuts for Council... Do something that shows empathy with the community and is HARD. That is how you earn respect.

Street Lights a mess

Posted on 17-06-2020 12:46 | By First Responder

Is that why the street lights are a mess. I in 3 lights is LED, after the council said they were all being replaced. Joke of the year. The new ones are useless, and the number that don’t work. Took them over a year to get one replaced and working at Ohauiti.