Environment Waikato has this week adopted its 10-year plan and budget, which includes striking the rates for the financial year starting 1 July.
The council has focused on delivering key services including river and catchment management, pest control, water quality initiatives, and transport planning and provision. It will also invest in policy work, such as an aquaculture plan change, that will assist the region to take advantage of economic opportunities when the international financial situation starts to improve.
To fund this work, rates across the region will increase an average 4.4 per cent after allowing for growth. The council will also collect an additional $650,000 or 1 per cent on behalf of the Animal Health Board (AHB). The levy will be collected only from the owners of rural properties greater than two hectares and will be passed on to the AHB to help fund the programme to eradicate bovine Tb in the region.
Chairman Peter Buckley said the council had worked hard to keep rates in line with its inflationary costs while also responding to specific requests to provide extra user pays services such as drainage and catchment works, mangrove management in Whangamata, the AHB share and Clean Streams.
The Natural Heritage Rate will be held at $5.60 a household and will fund the Natural Heritage Partnership Programme (NHPP), the Environmental Initiatives Fund and the Maungatautari project.
The rates individual property owners pay depend on the value of their property, whether the property has been revalued recently and the services their community receives and pays for through targeted rates.
For example, Hamilton ratepayers in a $350,000 property will see the following changes:
- the general part of the rates that all property owners pay goes up $1.29
- the targeted river management rate - 'Watershed' - goes down $1.38
- the passenger transport rate for the city’s bus services goes up $11.80
This equates to an overall increase of 3.5 per cent, or $11.71.
Ratepayers are encouraged to visit www.ew.govt.nz to see the impact on their property of targeted rates, such as the AHB or river catchment and drainage rates.
The following table shows a snapshot of movement in the general rates that all property owners pay (excluding targeted rates) in each area.
|Area||Change for $350,000 property||% Change in $|
|Waikato District||8% (increase largely due to revaluation)||$12.51|
|Hamilton||1% (+ targeted bus rate as described in example above)||$1.29|
|Waipa||7% (increase largely to revaluation )||$10.99|