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TDC debt and rates expected to be lower in 2017

December 16th, 2016
[TDC press release]

Tasman ratepayers can expect a lower than forecast rate increase and lower than forecast Council debt levels next year.

The Tasman District Council has given staff guidance on the general approach it plans to take in its Annual Plan for 2017-18. The Plan sets out the Council's rates, debt, projects and levels of service.

A community engagement process will occur in early 2017, where councillors and Council staff will travel throughout the District and attend events in order to talk to residents and ratepayers about the details of the plan and gather informal feedback from the community. The process will not involve formal submissions and hearings.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said while the exact details of next year's rates and debt would be confirmed early next year, the Council's total rates income excluding growth was likely to be well under 1%.

Similarly, the Council's debt levels would be around $156m, $38M less than the $194 million forecast in the LTP.

"There will be some changes to the projects we deliver next year compared with those listed in the LTP - and that is largely a timing issue where some works have been delayed by various factors and will now be completed in 2017 rather than 2016.

Councillors may also wish to take the opportunity to reprioritise some projects within the Council's fiscal envelope.

"The only other changes to what was consulted on during development of the LTP are the rate and debt levels, which are going to be far better than we had hoped. Similar to last year, we'll be travelling around the District and talking to people at events, meetings and in local settings.

We want to be available in a setting that's comfortable for people just to stop by and chat, learn a little about what we have planned and let us know how they think we are doing, and what they would like to see in future.

"Beginning early next year we will revisit all our plans and look at whether we need to re-prioritise our plans as we develop the LTP for 2018-28. The information collected through the planned engagement process in March and April next year will be included when we draft the LTP for consideration later in 2017."

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