Kāpiti Rates To Soar By 8% — Mayor Says ‘It’s A Tough One’

Kāpiti Councillors and Mayor have set the average rates increase at 7.79 percent for the 2021/22 year at the latest Council meeting. Increases will vary for different properties in the district.

Kapiti’s Mayor K. Gurunathan — ‘It’s a tough one’

Note: The Reserve Bank says that since 2000, New Zealand CPI (Consumers Price Index) inflation has averaged around 2.15 percent. The inflation target has been to keep inflation within a range of 1–3 percent on average over the medium term.

But Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan says ‘this was a tough one but there are good reasons for the increase, including the need to make some ‘catch-ups’ after a lower than proposed increase last year in response to COVID-19.

‘No choice but to pass on’ higher costs

“Some of this increase is related to our proposed increased spending, but the Council is also facing higher costs that we have no choice but to pass on. 

“Inflation and depreciation accounts for 6.2 percent (on average) of the proposed rates increase, so only 1.6 percent (on average) of the proposed rates increase are actual changes to the work programme.

‘Harder for some households’

“We appreciate the average rates increase will be harder for some households than others, and that’s why we’ve increased the rates remission fund by $50,000 and changed our rates remission policy to widen the eligibility criteria.”

He says the recent 2021 Taxpayers Union Ratepayers’ Report shows that the Kāpiti Coast District Council continues to perform strongly in terms of operating costs per ratepayer, ranking the lowest in the country.

Thery did it…you pay fot it

The report further re-affirms that the Council is a fairly lean organisation when compared to other councils throughout New Zealand,” said the Mayor.

“Keeping our operating costs low is not an easy task with increasing demands being passed down from central government and cost pressures in the open market.

“Council also needs to balance the need of keeping the cost of providing services today low against the need to plan and prepare our district for future growth and saw this play out in our Long-term Plan discussions with the community.

In fairness to the councillors who voted for it, the real rate of inflation is probably closer to the 7.8% of this increase than the 1.5% that the Statsitics Department claims — nearly everyone knows the increases in power, insurance, food and grocery prices and they’re not simply 1.5% up on a year ago. In the core council area of infrastructure, building materials prices are well up. But that doesn’t mean that economies couldn’t have been made on the huge budget for bureaucrats which C.E. Mr Maxwell is responsible for. The councillors just give him what he asks for.

Nearly 8 percent is certainly a tough one and not acceptable. Also worrying are Council plans to set up a Council Controlled Organisation to make money in competition with existing businesses. Last time this happened Ratepayers lost $1.5 million in the failed Clean Tech saga.

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