Our shared success looks like:
A sustainable 30 year infrastructure plan
Evidence ability to manage and repay debt
Rates are within affordable levels
Transparent, trusted financial management
Affordable, cost-effective and valued council services.
Introduction to the Annual Plan 2016/17
The legislative changes aim to reduce cost by removing any unnecessary duplication of consultation processes or document content between the Long-term Plan and subsequent Annual Plans.
The changes are also intended to avoid decisions made in the Long-term Plan being re-litigated in subsequent annual plans, duplicating consultation and decision-making on consultation views that have been previously considered and decided upon.
Rotorua Lakes Council adopted the Long-term Plan in July 2015. The decisions and assumptions that the plan was based upon have not changed in the eight months since its adoption.
The Annual Plan 2016/17 in the context of the Long-term Plan and council's commitments continues to:
- Live within our means while providing sufficient funding for key projects
- Balance long term (10+ years) debt levels, levels of service and rates increase
- Focus on our five key challenges areas
- Roll out a steady as you go approach – there is no justification to change the financial strategy.
This Annual Plan is staying the course – it is year two of the current Long-term Plan.
The important issues highlighted
For households costs are driven by the overall expenditure patterns of New Zealand households. This includes, food, health, clothing, footwear.
Council's costs are dictated by factors that don't generally affect the average householder. These include the cost of asphalt for roads, building materials e.g. iron, steel and concrete for building construction, pipes and pumps for water and sewerage reticulation. These items are generally much more expensive.
Council stated in its long-term plan that for the year 2016/17 the rates would increase by the cost of inflation and modelled a 2.5% average rates increase.
Each year councils across the country use an independent company to provide updates on the cost of inflation. This is then used to check the inflation assumptions used. The company is called BERL (Business and Economic Research Limited).
BERL states inflation for councils is 1.9%. After reviewing assumptions Council has adjusted the expenses and revenue accordingly and is proposing an average 1.9% rate increase.
The Long-term Plan made a commitment that during the first three years rating differential would be changed to bring all rating categories into line aiming to ensure even distribution over all rating categories.
This is directly in line with the Long-term Plan
In the Long-term Plan council introduced a farming remission to aid the dairy farming community in a particularly difficult time.
At the time the value of farming properties had gone up substantially and the share prices had taken a major dive.
Further reductions in share prices in recent times means that council will continue to provide a farming remission for this Annual Plan. This will cost $320,000.
Rotorua Lakes Council contact details.
Visit us at Civic Centre, 1061 Haupapa Street, Rotorua or post to Rotorua Lakes Council, Private Bag 3029, Rotorua Mail Centre, Rotorua 3046.
Councillors to consider new Annual Plan process - 16 March 2016