Commercial properties in central Queenstown could pay
more in rates and Wanaka homeowners could pay the least if a
recommended rating model for the $55.5 million Queenstown
Convention Centre is approved.
The recommended model is one of three options for allocating
costs explored in a new feasibility and ratings impact
analysis, which will be tabled at a council meeting in Wanaka
Council chief executive Adam Feeley yesterday announced the
findings of the report, which gave ''the most conservative
possible picture of the financial implications of the
Capital costs had been revised and $30.9 million is now a
''base case'' for the council's share of the centre.
The recommended funding model calls for the greatest
percentage of centre costs to be met by those businesses
likely to benefit the most from the centre.
Under the proposed model, 85% of ratepayers would face a
rates increase of 0-3% (in dollar terms about $10-$130 a
year), while 2.5% of ratepayers would face increases of
''While a convention centre is likely to be a positive for
the district as a whole in terms of economic benefit, the
most direct beneficiaries of it are targeted for the most
significant contribution to the cost of its development and
operation,'' Mr Feeley said of the recommended option.
''We have adopted a negative scenario for financial
performance, and have not factored in the very significant
revenue which will be generated from the sale or development
from the remaining land at the Lakeview site.
''Our advice is that the overall financial performance could
be considerably better, and consequently the ratings impact
could be less. However, council has signalled that it wishes
to present a `warts and all' picture of the potential
financial performance of a convention centre.''
The updated feasibility report by Horwath HTL Ltd suggests
how the centre could perform financially.
The most optimistic scenario shows it generating a $1.6
million operating surplus; the most pessimistic a $1.2
million operating deficit.
The ''most likely'' result suggests a centre would break even
in its third year and produce operating surpluses of about
$0.75 million a year by year five.
If the council adopts the report's recommendations,
information will be published in this year's draft annual
plan, before Easter.
The council will then ask Lakes district ratepayers whether
to proceed with the project.