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The Queenstown Lakes District Council has chipped 0.13% from the overall rates increase for next year. The recommended average rate increase for 2012/13 is now forecast to be 2.68%, said QLDC deputy chief executive and finance general manager Stewart Burns. This will be confirmed in the 10-Year Plan, set to be adopted on Friday.
The Council received 291 submissions with hearings held in May and deliberations completed earlier this month. “The combined effect of changes, based on submissions, is that the overall average rates increase has decreased slightly from 2.81% signalled in the draft plan.
As always, the actual increase for a particular property will depend on its location, services and the valuation movement. Rates movements for a sample set of properties show a range from a 6.84% decrease (vacant land Wanaka) through to an 8.8% increase (mix use accommodation Queenstown),” Mr Burns said.
The most significant change to the draft plan was to the proposed rates review. Council received 87 submissions in response to the rates review. In summary, the main focus of the submissions was the proposal to introduce a new Recreation and Events Rate.
“Unsurprisingly, the accommodation sector responded in opposition to the proposal, with the balance of submitters generally supportive of the principle that visitors should contribute (indirectly) to costs,” Mr Burns said.
In response Council reviewed and amended the proposed rate, resulting in a reduction in the impact factor from 2.8 to 1.8 for accommodation and commercial.
“The impact of the change to the recreation and events rate reduces the allocation to accommodation and commercial by 18.5% and reflects a much fairer allocation of cost,” Mr Burns said.
The effect was a significant reduction in proposed rates increases for accommodation properties; a lesser reduction in proposed rates increases for commercial properties with modest increases for residential. “The range of revised increases is much tighter and now reflects a fairer allocation of cost than previously,” Mr Burns said.
Sixty one submitters took the opportunity to speak to their submissions and Council thanks those who took the time to do so. The following is a summary of the changes to the draft 10-Year Plan resulting from community submissions:
The Council will be asked to adopt the 10-Year Plan - which has significantly addressed the issues of affordability and value for money for ratepayers in the Queenstown Lakes District – at its meeting on Friday.