Resort mayor’s proposed rates rise – it’s small

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Queenstown Lakes ratepayers could face an appreciably lower rates rise this year.
 
The first draft annual plan under cost-cutting mayor Vanessa van Uden delivers a proposed average rate increase of 2.74 per cent. 

Rates rose an average 7.7 per cent last year. 

Initially, Queenstown Lakes District Council planned an average 0.88 per cent decrease, financial manager Stewart Burns says. 

QLDC then opted to reduce debt by $1.9 million and fund it through rates. 

The rates rise, or in some cases decrease, differs according to location and land use. 

Proposed residential rates range from a 0.88 per cent decrease at Arthurs Point to an increase of 3.3 per cent in Glenorchy. 

The commercial range is from 2.23 per cent in Arrowtown to 3.92 per cent in Queenstown. 

The accommodation range is from 2.41 per cent in Wanaka to 5.27 per cent in Queenstown. 

Rural property owners are slugged a little more – their proposed rise ranges from 4.15 per cent to 8.06 per cent. 

QLDC chief executive Debra Lawson says community feedback is being sought on some key issues. 

For example, it’s proposed there’ll be less winter road-gritting due to reduced New Zealand Transport Agency funding, and an end to ratepayer-funded oiling of unsealed roads. 

“Council is looking for a firm guide on these issues, and others, including a proposal to lower the waste management rate but residents paying more according to the amount of rubbish they make,” Lawson says. 

The draft annual plan can be viewed on QLDC’s website. 

Councillors will be asked to adopt the plan next Tuesday. 

Submissions would then open on April 16 and close on May 16.