9.8% rates increase proposed

The report, published through the Government-funded Deep South Challenge, looked at the risk for...
Photo: ODT files
A nearly 10% rates rise has been proposed in the first year of a Dunedin long-term plan that includes $1.5billion in capital spending over its 10-year span.

The Dunedin City Council yesterday released draft budgets for its 2021-31 plan for consultation purposes.

The budgets included an overall rates increase of 9.8% next year, and an average yearly rates rise of 5.68% a year for the following nine years.

The capital budget of $1.5billion over the next decade would mean council debt would reach $869million by 2031, a report from the council’s executive leadership team and finance department said.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the proposed rates rise was as high an increase as there had been for many years.

However, Mr Hawkins said it was a rates increase on some of the lowest rates of any city in the country.

Dunedin was a growing city and its transport network and housing capacity in particular needed to keep up.

The capital programme, while ambitious, was largely overdue spending on renewals, or fixing ageing infrastructure, he said.

The draft budgets to be debated next week had been prepared by council staff, to deliver on what councillors told them they wanted to do.

But there would also be further requests from the community through submissions and public hearings, Mr Hawkins said.

There would be a full public process before final decisions were made in May, he said.

"There’s a lot of work to do over the next 10 years, and none of it comes for free," he said.

"Those of us living here now have a duty to those who come after us."

The report to the council said maintaining council services and assets as the city grew was an issue.

While the proposed rates rise of 9.8% delivered a balanced budget next year, staff still needed to find $4million in savings.

Further, council spending had to be reprioritised as several key projects lacked the funding they needed.

The draft budgets maintained current levels of service in all areas in the first year of the 10-year plan, the report said.

But spending would increase once the outcome of the kerbside collection consultation was known and when the South Dunedin Community Hub and Mosgiel Pool were completed.

Notably, a full amendment to the 10-year plan could be required before 2024 because of likely nationwide reforms, including the 3 Waters programmes and the Resource Management Act 1991.

There was uncertainty about how these reforms would affect individual councils, but the draft budgets were written on a status quo basis, it said.

Comments

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Dunedin population, is what, 130-160k depending when you take numbers?
And yet this debt is to balloon to nearly a BILLION Dollars.
Let those little numbers sink in for a bit...
Then realise these clowns don't know what to do with the cash, apart from waste it on idiotic vanity projects.
Bite the curb

Are the population numbers static, are people moving here?

They have to be kidding...9.8% in a year.
The council cannot even maintain our roadsides and instead insist in cycleways that few years..
How may wage earners can expect a 10% wage increase?

Time to bring in the National Local Authority Commissioner to replace the DCC. Most of the DCC is smoking something during those meetings- and it ain't commonsense. International student spending is now close to ZERO. International tourists/ships is ZERO, with both of these sectors make up 15% of our economy. Time for restraint when large numbers of Dunedinites are hurting. Not everyone leaches off the backs of taxpayers & ratepayers.

Because of the way MSD systems are configured, Landlords do.

O yea...10% for what? Another bike lane? Spots in the road? Screwd again by dopey politicians. I scrimped and saved to own my home. Now I feel like I'm renting it from DCC with all these rates increases. When does it end? I didn't get a 10% salary increase and I can't just increase my salary like DCC does by a vote. Stop with the craziness already!

Now this is concerning ... especially when you take into account the amount of ratepayers money that has been spent fixing total cock-ups made by the DCC or it's contractors ... like road "improvements" that have been a total failure, Unnecessary expendature such as pretty painted spots on our main street and counless other projects that really haven't been prioritised correctly.

Maybe the council should be looking at look at reducing NON ESSENTIAL work and concentrate on the things people actually need, especially those who have been economically impacted due to the covid virus and those who are not going to be able to put food on the table or pay their power bill ... and I'm talking about our elderly citizens who have been paying rates since before most councillors were even born.

I'd challenge ANY councillor to swap places with one of our elderly citizens for a month and see how they manage ... any takers ?? ... nup, didn't think so !!!

For a 10% year 1 increase and c6% for the following 9 years I want to see a new multi-story CDB parking building and a light rail (tram) network established.

Yet another Council joke in the middle of a global pandemic. Coupled with a 10%+ increase in power bills, in a city of small business, this Council is pushing is to move North.

I'll just add that to the 61% increase in charges from DCC owned Aurora then. Councillors, have you no shame? Or is it common sense that you lack?

Money grows on trees. I agree to support this if council take a 10% pay cut.

Inflation has been on average 2.1% since 2001. Not once have rates increased less than inflation during this time. I get that there will be many reasons for this, however, it is time to take these vanity/legacy projects off the table. There is simply no argument to be made for them, from an economic point of view and an economic point of view is very relevant right now!

- Dunedin population growth is bursting at the seams.

- With the new hospital, University capital plan, and other projects, we have a thriving economy. As such, we have no need for stimulus projects.

- We have basic infrastructure failing as a result of re-prioritising of funds within council (e.g. Aurora dividends, stadium debt)

- Our biggest area of growth (Mosgiel) has not had infrastructure investment to keep up (pool project delays, traffic route to town).

- Sea level rise is, and will continue to, impact South Dunedin before any other residential are in New Zealand, and investment/commitment from council is not at all clear or appropriate.

Please DCC, I'm not against doing extra when we can, but now is simply not the time. Financial prudence on all our behalf is long overdue.

Another con job from the DCC. They have wasted so much money on unwanted pet projects then expect us to bail them out. Stop wasting money and then we won't have huge increases in rates.

Just a cup of coffee a day right DCC? Coupled with an annual 10%+ rise in house prices - Australia's looking good again..

What a nice present for all of us with the world in the grips of a pandemic; an 80% increase in our rates over the next 10 years.

What do we, the ratepayers, see for our money?

Lets be clear on this, it won't be 9.8%, that's what they call the average rate increase, so when you take into consideration those with rate relief and those who don't pay at all, its far higher, more like 14%,
Get them to clarify that ODT.
Time to throw these clowns out on the street where they belong,

Actually it's going to be much more than 10% (lets call it that). The proposed multi-bin rubbish collection will be on top of that ($200 from memory?? I could be wrong) PLUS the increase in line charges from Aurora- a DCC owned company. So we're looking at substantially more.

Oh my. Is it time for some marches and protests? These rates rises are getting ridiculous! And this is on TOP of the increased rates caused by increased GVs, so we'll be paying a lot more than 9.8% more. And for what?

In addition, home ownership and rental costs will be further impacted... burdening affordability issues.
The adding of such huge CV gains last year will prove to be a thorn in the side for many. Those very same gains have been a god send to the council, as they now have the ability to gain more income. And yet...the debt increases. Like others have said, wouldn't be so bad if we all had received a 15%. Sadly, those on fixed incomes are going to be in an even more precarious position. And yes Meepo, they're not done with us yet, Aurora (DCC owned) will have their hands in our wallets soon too. Don't even get me started on the rubbish fiasco...

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