Tasman rates rise lower

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Tasman ratepayers will face “significantly lower” than predicted rate rise next year following the Tasman District Council’s sustained focus on debt reduction and reduced spending.

The council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) 2015-2025 had signaled an overall rate rise of 2.96 per cent next year. Although the exact details are still being worked out, council is expecting rate rises across the district to be significantly lower than predicted.

Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne says council has been working hard to deliver value for ratepayers.

“Before the development of the Long Term Plan, we received a very clear message from the community that they wanted us to reduce debt and focus on prudent financial management,” he says.

“We worked really hard to deliver that and we were already forecasting debt and rate levels that were a big improvement on the previous LTP. To now be looking at an even better outcome for ratepayers than we expected is fantastic.”

Council’s debt for the 2014-15 financial year was $28 million lower than projected. It achieved an operating surplus of $8.6 million which means it needs to raise less revenue from rates than it expected when the LTP was written.

The draft rates income increase for 2016 will be released between February and March next year.

Council’s first quarterly financial report for the 2015-16 financial year, covering the three months to September 30, shows it is continuing to achieve strong results.

The quarterly results show council’s net debt for 2015-16 is forecast to be $14 million lower than predicted in the LTP, and the year-end operating surplus is on track to be $2.95 million higher than budgeted.