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TDC Annual Plan keeps average general rate rise under 4%

June 10th
[TDC press release]

Tasman District Councillors have taken a hard line within their Annual Plan deliberations and managed the average general rate rise this year to less than 4%, down from 5.2% predicted in the Ten Year Plan. The focus of the meeting was the need to deliver Council's core services to an acceptable standard and affordable cost.

The 3.97% average general rate rise recognises the still tough financial climate and the impending changes to the GST regime. Ratepayers should be aware that individual targeted rates will affect the overall rate paid with the combined general and targeted rates increase being around 5% for most ratepayers.

Many submitters to the draft Annual Plan had requested additional funding for a wide variety of projects and special interests. At the same time other submitters had asked that the rate increase be kept to a minimum in the current difficult economic climate.

"We take the duty of care given to us by the ratepayers very seriously and as a result ensure our decisions balance the need for financial restraint while taking into account the future demands of the growing District," said Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne.

"The Council has had to prioritise very carefully the initiatives put forward for next year's plan. We have demanded from management very clear rationales and budgets for the projects as well as stringent performance measures to ensure they meet the needs of the District as a whole.

Key projects this year include:

  • Development of a 86 berth marina at Port Tarakohe, Golden Bay
  • Establishment of warm homes and clean heating voluntary targeted rate for home owners
  • Funding towards the development of the Tasman loop of the National cycleway from Richmond through Tapawera to Motueka and Mapua
  • Funding for further developing Saxton Field including an athletics/cricket pavilion
  • Stormwater improvements in Poole and High Streets Motueka, Seaton Valley stream Mapua, and Resevoir Creek Richmond
  • Resealing carparks at Saltwater Baths and Decks Reserve Motueka
  • Stringer Road upgrade and seal extension
  • Development planning for Motueka West, Mapua and Eastern Golden Bay.

The discount for early payment of rates has been reduced to 2%, down from 3% proposed in the Draft Annual Plan. In making the decision today the Council acknowledged that while they are one of the last local authorities to offer such a discount, they believe the 2% provides the necessary incentive to assist with the Council's cashflow without the benefit being subsidised by ratepayers who pay throughout the year.

The decision was also made recognising the impending change to the GST rate in October. The increase to 15% from 12.5% effectively rewards the early ratepayer with a total discount of about 3.75%.

Ratepayers who decide to pay in instalments should be aware they will find the GST rise post October 1 2010 will have the effect of raising their rates by an additional 1.66%.

"Prudent management of our resources is an essential element of any Council's role and I believe this year we have shown how prudent we can be," concluded Mayor Kempthorne.

Copies of the Annual Plan will be available at all Council offices, libraries and online at from 1 July 2010.

Targeted Tourism Rate remains at proposed level

The Tasman District Council's targeted rate to support tourism to the District has been held at $125.78 plus GST per property for the 2010/11 year.

Initial requests for increased funding from Nelson Tasman Tourism to enable them to take advantage of a Central Government leveraged fund had a proposed increase to $193 plus GST. This request was withdrawn within the consultation period.

The agency did, however, maintain a request for a $50,000 increase on their base funding. In order to facilitate the request the Council decided to extend the targeted rate's base to include holiday homes that were rented on a short term basis for profit.

The Council has established that there are less properties subject to the targeted rate than expected, however, Councillors have decided not to increase the rate in response meaning that Nelson Tasman Tourism will receive a $31,000 increase for the coming year as opposed to the $50,000 requested.

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