Rates up as plan adopted

The 2010-11 Clutha District Council annual plan was formally adopted at a full council meeting yesterday.

Council chief executive Charles Hakkaart said ratepayers could expect a 3.89% increase in rates - up from the predicted 3.66% because of extra items in the budget which have added to the uniform annual general charge.

Some of the items Mr Hakkaart was referring to included the Clutha Recreation Centre, West Otago Health and a sewerage reticulation upgrade for Benhar residents.

The rise is still down on the 7.66% forecast in the long-term plan, but it means the council will reduce the amount it usually spends on roading maintenance.

All rates will now be GST exclusive, Mr Hakkaart said.

Ratepayers will be charged the GST that applies at the time of payment, so those paying before October 1 will pay at the lower 12.5% rate.

Residential customers who chose to pay their rates before the first instalment-due date would benefit from both the council's early payment discount and lower GST rate, he said.

Corporate services manager Alan Dickson said in an effort to avoid confusion, the council would try to show two figures on the rates assessment notices - pre-October and post-October.

• A British national and an Australian became New Zealanders yesterday. Salvation Army captain John Henry Carpenter and Michael Curt Whiteford were presented with kowhai trees by Clutha mayor Juno Hayes during a citizenship ceremony in Balclutha.

- rachel.taylor@odt.co.nz

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