Queenstown Lakes District Council has approved a rates hike higher than first flagged.
Ratepayers across the Wakatipu-Wanaka region will be saddled with an average increase of 9.1 per cent – among the highest in New Zealand.
This compares with the 8.5 per cent increase in QLDC’s 10-year plan, and a 6 per cent hike last council year.
“Indicative rates [increases] shown in the draft annual plan were slightly understated for most property types,” QLDC finance boss Stewart Burns (pictured) says in a report tabled at today’s full QLDC meeting.
Most residential property owners will pay between $3.18 and $23.75 per year more than first signalled, he admits.
The exception is Arrowtown, where rates will jump an average of $48 a year more than flagged.
Burns gives three reasons for the unanticipated hikes:
A forecast 3.2 per cent capital-value increase was over-optimistic, he admits, with an actual district-wide capital increase of only 1.8 per cent – meaning rates must be adjusted upwards so QLDC can collect its total budgeted dollars
About $60 million of capital value has been wiped off parcels of land at Jack’s Point and Remarkables Park, Burns says – so other ratepayers have to compensate for this QLDC revenue loss as well
And the council over-estimated growth in the number of rateable properties – though Burns doesn’t say by how much – meaning fewer rateable properties must now be stung more dollars to take up the slack from this forecasting glitch.