15 February 2008
Hamilton City Councillors are proposing an average rates rise for existing city ratepayers of 5.09 per cent following a meeting this week to consider the 2008/09 Annual Plan.
The meeting added a very small amount to the rates from what was earlier forecast. The increase was a result of a change to the criteria for rates remission for hardship relief.
Council has changed the threshold limits of the rates remission hardship relief policy to allow more ratepayers who are suffering financial hardship to qualify for remission of part of their rates. Currently approximately 400 ratepayers qualify for a remission and Council is aiming to significantly increase this number. The policy provides for a maximum remission of up to $325 of their rates, adjusted every year for inflationary changes.
The changes proposed by Council have an estimated total budget impact of $125,500, which equates to a 0.14 per cent rates rise.
The proposed rates rise is still below the 6.56 per cent increase shown in the 10 year Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP).
Some of the projects in the coming Annual Plan include:
Start of construction of the Claudelands events centre project
City Heart redevelopment
Additional funding for graffiti removal in the city
Design of a new swimming pool for the north east of the city
The start of construction for a multi million dollar upgrade of the waste water treatment plant
A feasibility study on the location of a cycling and walking bridge across the Waikato River, connecting the river walkway near St Andrews Golf course with Day's Park.
Public submissions on the Annual Plan can be made between 20 March and 22 April this year. As part of the consultation process, a your City Expo will be held at the Meteor on Saturday 29 March. Elected members and Council staff will be available on this day to discuss any aspects of the Plan and to provide information on how to make a submission.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Name: Philip Burton
Designation: General Manager Communication and Marketing
Tel (Direct): 07 838 6507
Mobile: 021 428 748
Fax (Direct): 07 838 6761