Horowhenua confirms rates decrease | Stuff.co.nz

Horowhenua District Council has adopted it Annual Plan, confirming a rates decrease for the district.

David Unwin/Stuff

Horowhenua District Council has adopted it Annual Plan, confirming a rates decrease for the district.

Horowhenua District councillors have formalised a rates decrease for the district with the adoption of its Annual Plan.

The adoption this week confirms the average rates decrease for the district of 1.83 per cent.

Mayor Bernie Wanden said the council had made substantial changes to its draft Annual Plan in response to community feedback.

“We created the draft Annual Plan before Covid-19 created hardship and uncertainty for many in our community and we knew it would look different when we adopted it.

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“We are going out with a decision that might be considered extraordinary, but we are listening to our community and making decisions in their best interests.”

Wanden said the council received a record number of submissions, 142, and many of the submitters asked for it to reduce rates.

“We’ve worked hard to cut budgets to achieve this rates income decrease by reducing employee costs and interest costs, reducing operational expenditure, and borrowing an additional $1 million to fund asset renewals instead of rate-funding them.”

Although the council would collect less money, it would not necessarily mean a rates decrease for all households in the district.

Chief financial officer Doug Law said rates for some properties could still go up because the latest property valuation increases would kick in.

The Annual Plan includes $50,000 to prepare for a splash pad in Jubilee Park, Levin, and $110,000 from the “Foxton Beach free holding account” for CCTV cameras in the town.

It also included $30,000 for essential repairs to the Shannon Pool and $110,000 for work on changes to the District Plan to help support the recovery from Covid-19.

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