Stormwater drainage, transportation targeted

Photo: ODT files
Feedback from the community has made the Invercargill council revise its proposed rating policy to include two new targeted rates.

In a report to be tabled at today’s Invercargill City Council performance, policy and partnership committee meeting, strategy and policy manager Rhianon Suter outlined the rates targeted as being stormwater drainage and transportation services contributions.

The changes came after 15 submissions were received about the rating policy and 11 on the revenue and finance policy.

"The main concern raised by the submitters was an increase in rates as a result of the proposal to reduce the amount of targeted rates," Ms Suter’s report says.

"There was a concern that this proposal has resulted in substantial rates increases for some properties."

Two submitters opposed the increase in rates for Kennington citing they would have to pay for services not received.

Submitter Craig Templer said it would be nice to have services such as street-lit footpaths.

"For Kenington ratepayers to be charged for services they do not receive is nothing short of theft."

Concern was raised by people who did not believe it was equitable to reduce the burden on lower value properties as everyone received the same services from council.

Southland Federated Farmers submission outlined its concern about the reduction of rates and the decrease in the Uniform Annual General Charge as they felt it produced an unfair increase in the rates for rural and farming properties.

Proposed changes would now mean those who received the two targeted services, would be rated at a higher proportion to the rest of the city.

Council will also today discuss the retained ownership of the Don St development.

Originally the council’s investment property was forecast to be sold during 2022-23, with a forecast value of $14.5million.

In Ms Suter’s financial and infrastructure strategy report to be tabled today, she said the property was now fully let and generating a surplus of $600,000 a year to council.

"Retaining the property would result in initial higher net debt balance due to reduced funds from the sale of $14.5million, however the surplus generated will reduce this amount over the time of the investment."

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