3.9% rates rise approved

Alex Familton
Alex Familton
A rates rise of 3.9% has been officially approved in the Waitaki district.

This week, the Waitaki District Council signed off its 2013-14 annual plan, under which the council would collect a total of $28.2 million in the next financial year.

Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said the rates rise, which was 0.8% lower than forecast in the council's long-term plan, was evidence the council had reached a ''stable and sustainable plateau''.

Mr Familton said he believed the economic backdrop of rural New Zealand would ''remain challenging'', but the council was determined to maintain an approach of financial prudence.

He added that, as a result, ''sustainable'' annual rates increases of between 2% and 3% should be possible in the future.

Some rural properties would experience rates rises of more than 20%, and Mr Familton acknowledged that there was ''still more to do'' for farmers and rural communities.

''Our rate extremes will need to be dealt with and our rural roads will have to be dealt with.''

The introduction of the annual plan was ''a step in the right direction'', he said.

Ratepayers paying by instalments would need to pay the first of four by August 25, to avoid a 10% penalty charge.

-andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz

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