You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The Otago Regional Council’s significant rates rise just got bigger.
It will be 49% next year — a slight change from the 47.5% originally proposed.
The hike comes after changes made to the council’s long-term plan 2021-31 following public feedback.
The total rates rise for the second year will be 18.3% instead of 17%, and year three will be 8.7%, which is down on the 10.6% first proposed, due to spending being brought forward.
Councillors agreed to make eight changes to the plan before it is formally adopted on June 23.
Those changes included establishing a harbour facilities and management plan in collaboration with iwi, community boards and groups, the Dunedin City Council and Port Otago.
The idea, influenced by public feedback, would come at the cost of $100,000 in each of years two and three of the plan.
The establishment and funding of a study for an Otago lakes strategic plan, with the aim of improving the environmental and amenity value of the region’s lakes, was also added.
It will cost $100,000 in years one and two of the plan.
Councillors have also requested that staff report back to them with options around an independent review of the exiting rating system for all flood protection and drain schemes, and provide the cost details by the end of this year.
There were more than 20 submissions to the plan in regards to flood and drainage, including from Taieri landowners who were concerned that their rates had continued to increase, yet there was no public consultation on how money was being spent.
They were some of the 11 landowners who contribute about $300,000 via a targeted rate for the East Taieri flood and drainage scheme.
The total cost of the changes to the council’s proposed budget will be a further $390,000 in year one, $980,000 more in year two and $190,000 more in year three.