Growing pains partially responsible for 7.7% rates rise

The 7.7% rates rise for Queenstown Lakes is well above the rate of inflation which councils ought to be aiming for when setting their budgets.

This district is one of the fastest growing in the country which is good. But the rapid growth from a realtively small base does provide challenges for the council and part of the rates rise could be attributed to growing pains.

Developers are levied for infrastructure but some of the costs of growth have to be spread across the whole rating base.

One Response to Growing pains partially responsible for 7.7% rates rise

  1. Gravedodger says:

    From a minor involvement in local government, I think too many councilors and senior staff seek to gouge money from developers for social policy and to little from them for infrastructure.
    The on going infrastructure requirements from the pressure on those existing are often ignored or just not foreseen and so the pressure builds on the ‘maintenance’ rates rather than from ‘levies on new development’.
    The normal 10% reserve contribution is often not needed as a result of an increase in accommodation whereas an overloading of a sewerage system or the swamping of fresh water capacity can lead to large costs to upgrade and that comes out of rates over all ratepayers when “all” were perfectly alright before the new demands and wern’t charged against the development.
    Maybe a 5% reserves, 5% sewerage, 5% water supply and a 10% roading levy on new developments would be more equitable and before anyone jumps on me, a greater levy rort is milked out of developments to answer the questions above and a levy system funds the needs, denies the lawyers, answers the grounds for opposition from the professional protests (nimbys etc) and most importantly makes the development face the true costs to council and lightens the load on rate payers who have met these costs as they incurred and paid for them.
    It is just too easy for squeeking wheels to be oiled from the rate base just because they are easily enforced and collected.


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