Tax call puts ORC in black

A multimillion-dollar tax refund and a special dividend from Port Otago has translated into a $4.3 million surplus rather than an expected $13.2 million deficit for the Otago Regional Council.

The council's draft annual report 2010-11 will be presented to councillors for approval at a meeting tomorrow.

A report to council said the "significant contributors" to the positive outcome for the year were the unbudgeted $5.2 million special dividend for the stadium and the unbudgeted tax refund of $8.25 million received due to a ruling from the Commissioner of Inland Revenue that the council's contributions were tax-deductible.

Other contributions to the stadium had been made possible through internal borrowings, with the resulting difference in interest rates saving $2 million.

Over all council projects, it underspent its budget by $4.8 million: $2 million related to the stadium finance costs and $1 million for underspending on transport infrastructure. That was from bus shelters not being installed in Dunedin and the real time system not being implemented in Queenstown.

Underspent projects included the contracting arm of Regional Services, resource consent processing, Shotover Delta project, river monitoring, lower Taieri flood protection scheme and natural hazards.

Revenue exceeded expectations at $11.4 million, again stadium-related.

Overspent projects included the air budget (by $270,000), due to being ahead of Clean Heat, Clean Air targets, the lower Clutha special rating district, due to spillway gate removal, and the incident, complaints and oils spill budget, due to the level of enforcement work.



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