Archive | Finance

Council agrees to sell rest of its financial asset portfolio

Auckland Council’s finance & performance committee agreed yesterday to sell the final $130 million in its diversified financial asset portfolio, but it’s a decision with potential adverse consequences.

The council sold $100 million of the portfolio in May 2016, will sell a further $100 million by the end of the June 2018 financial year and agreed yesterday to sell the balance by June 2018.

The council intends to use the proceeds solely to fund public transport & stormwater infrastructure.

However, turning liquidity to use in developing hard assets could take the council closer to a net debt:total revenue ratio of 270%, and at that point the council would face a ratings downgrade.

Council treasurer John Bishop said in his report a one-notch downgrade would cost $12 million/year in extra interest costs.

Committee chair Ross Clow said the decision to divest the portfolio would help tackle Auckland’s growth: “The fund was originally set up with the express purpose of funding infrastructure across the region when needed. Given the unprecedented challenges Auckland faces, divesting of the remainder of the portfolio and using it to help fund our infrastructure programme is a prudent & sensible financial decision.”

Mr Bishop said in his report the investment fund wasn’t regarded as a strategic asset, and divesting it would give the council the opportunity to repay debt to enable additional investment in infrastructure. “However, replacement liquidity may be required to meet treasury operating limits.”

The Auckland Regional Council established the portfolio, which originally contained its stakes in Ports of Auckland Ltd & Auckland International Airport Ltd, along with an investment portfolio of New Zealand & global equities, bonds & cash. It was used it to establish Infrastructure Auckland, providing seed funds for projects that included the Britomart Transport Centre and the Northern Busway.

It’s been managed recently by 8 external fund managers, with oversight from National Australia Bank subsidiary JANA Investment Advisers Pty Ltd.

Mr Bishop said in his report: “If the portfolio was liquidated to fund a wider Auckland or New Zealand event, it is likely that financial markets would also be negatively impacted. Therefore, when the funds are needed the most, there would be likely downward pressure on the value of the portfolio, meaning the portfolio is a less preferred form of liquidity when compared to cash or committed bank lines.

“Its specific investment objective was to achieve a net return exceeding the consumer price index plus 4% over rolling 10-year periods. JANA estimates an average annual 7% return over rolling 10-year periods. The portfolio has returned 9.1%/year since November 2010, in line with benchmark & ‘market’ returns. The return for the financial year to 31 March 2017 is 5.8%.”

Both EY & Cameron Partners identified the portfolio in their reviews of council funding in 2015 as a commercial rather than strategic asset, meaning continued ownership wasn’t required to ensure delivery of key services or outcomes.

“It was noted that the rationale for holding the portfolio is weak, and it is unusual for an organisation with the objectives of Auckland Council to hold such an asset.”

Mr Bishop said alternative uses for the portfolio funds included repaying debt and accelerating infrastructure investment. However, additional liquidity support might also be required if the portfolio was divested.

“Selling it to repay debt will reduce the risk of a downgrade to the council’s credit rating profile. Under the council’s long-term plan, the ne,t debt:total revenue ratio reaches 265%, meaning little available capacity to undertake further capital investment other than what is already in the long-term plan without breaching this ratio.

“The council’s credit rating agencies have indicated downward ratings pressure if this ratio approaches 270%. Therefore any unforeseen changes to planned operating results, such as a reduction in revenue or increase in debt, could lead to a lower credit rating.

“A one-notch downgrade is estimated to cost the council a minimum 0.15% in higher interest costs, while a bigger downgrade will result in a greater increase. On the council’s current debt portfolio of $8 billion, this results in an additional $12 million/year expense once existing debt is refinanced, more than offsetting the positive return from the portfolio over time.”

Mr Bishop said that as the investment portfolio was reduced, the overhead costs (both internal & external) of administering it became more significant: “Current external overhead costs are about $1.5 million, largely represented by fees paid to JANA & the fund managers. The refined responsible investment policy also requires significantly more oversight of the portfolio, adding additional cost and diverting council staff focus away from more material matters such as managing the council’s debt portfolio, interest rate expense & credit rating profile.”

Earlier stories:
4 April 2008: Auckland Regional Holdings’ “satisfactory” half sees revenue up 45%, profit up 55% to unstated figure
2 March 2004: Auckland gets Infrastructure Auckland $45 million for interchange

Attribution: Council committee agenda & release.

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Council 2.5% rates rise & tourist-targeted rate pass

Auckland mayor won approval yesterday for a 2.5% overall lift in the rates bill for the financial year starting on 1 July, got support for the council to pay staff the “living wage” at a minimum and won what could have been a tight vote on a version of bed tax.

The bed tax will actually be a targeted rate on certain accommodation – large hotels in particular. Against claims that it might be challenged as unlawful, Mr Goff said the council had been advised that the targeted rate was a legitimate device and that it could be passed on to customers.

I’ve long questioned a bed tax as a measure of charging visitors – who you want to like you – fees on top of their already very large input into Auckland’s income, and pouring billions of dollars into Government coffers through gst.

That’s the nub of the split between supporters of a charge on tourists and opponents: the Government takes tax without having to lift a finger, but has been loathe to redistribute it – until pre-election time.

The tourist accommodation targeted rate is intended to support operation of council organisation Ateed (Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development Ltd), which many condemn as an unnecessary & extravagant addition to council costs. I’ll come back to that issue another day, but for the moment argue that it has value in raising the region’s economic output.

For a long time council & government talked past each other on funding, but that changed when they jointly worked on the Auckland transport alignment project last year. Although improved funding mechanisms appear to be some way off, the 2 organisations are at least still talking about it.

The budget – the council’s annual plan – returns to the council chamber on Thursday 29 June for endorsement once staff have worked through all the decisions made yesterday.

Links:
12, Final annual budget 2017-18 – Mayoral proposal   
Attachments:
Annual budget 2017-18 – Key budget & rating issues
Other rates policy issues
Implementing a living wage

Attribution: Council meetings.

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Council value for money review gets tick tomorrow

Auckland Council goes to the basics of the super-city tomorrow when its finance & performance committee will formally institute a “value for money” programme review aimed at lifting efficiency savings from $183 million in 2014-15 to $300 million/year by 2025.

The cost-effectiveness review programme also lifts the supervision of council-controlled organisations – particularly the big ones, Auckland Transport, Watercare Services Ltd & Ateed (Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development Ltd) – from sniping when one of those organisations steps out of line, to a closer performance audit.

When the super-city council was formed at the 2010 council elections, the new council had a number of key tasks to do, all at once: rationalise services & expenses, equalise costs to ratepayers across all the old 7 territorial council areas, and establish what the new council should & shouldn’t do. On top of that broad equalising, the council had major plans to create for specific areas and, for the whole region, the unitary plan that would combine regional policy statements & district plans in one document.

Given tight timeframes for everything it was doing, the new council didn’t try to go back to ground level in 2010 and decide then exactly what it should be doing across the whole region but, naturally, chose to work with the previous councils’ programmes and whittle them down to a consistent presentation.

Now, the work starts in earnest.

Section 17A of the Local Government Act requires councils to review “the cost-effectiveness of current arrangements for meeting the needs of communities within its district or region for good quality local infrastructure, local public services and performance of regulatory functions”. A review must consider options for the governance, funding & delivery of infrastructure, services & regulatory functions.

The review laid out for the finance & performance committee by value for money programme manager Sally Garrett introduces “a framework to evaluate expenditure and to provide greater accountability to the governing body & the ratepayer on what is being achieved with public expenditure. The objective of the programme is to analyse cost-effectiveness in a systematic manner across the Auckland Council group and to provide a basis on which more informed decisions can be made on long-term planning priorities.”

The first 3-year review programme starts with 2 phases, initially focusing on activities & services considered high priority to assist in the development of the 2018 long-term plan. Ms Garrett says in her report to the committee it’s assumed each review will take 2-4 months and that up to 4 reviews can be run at the same time.

The first 4 reviews will be:

  • 3 waters – water, wastewater & stormwater budget categories
  • Domestic waste – domestic waste services including refuse, recycling, inorganics & organic services
  • Organisational support – communications & engagement services across the council group, followed by a rolling series of reviews including transactional services, payroll, finance, information systems, procurement, human resources, customer services & legal functions, and
  • Investment attractions & global partnerships – how investment attraction & global partnership services are delivered across the group.

Under the programme, expert panels will be appointed in April-May, data for the first 4 reviews will be collected & analysed from May-August, and conclusions & recommendations will flow from July-September.

The woman managing the programme, Sally Garrett, has a long history in this type of work, first in her 5 years as a principal in Ernst & Young’s management strategy group, then for 6 years as Watercare’s business services general manager. During 3 years as an independent consultant, Ms Garrett assisted the royal commission on Auckland governance and put together the programme for Auckland City Council to manage the transition to the super-city council, including overseeing the due diligence phase and the migration of staff & assets.

She joined Auckland Council in 2012 to manage the finance transformation programme and was appointed to run the value for money programme in 2015.

Attribution: Committee agenda.

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Goff gets agreement on council budget consultation and starts to tighten grip on CCOs

Auckland Council’s finance & performance committee held a 9-hour session yesterday which indicated some directions under the new mayor, Phil Goff: a closer watch on its commercial operations, a tighter rein on costs and a bigger role for local boards.

Helped by committee chair Ross Clow’s clear intention to keep things flowing, the council made progress without the usual surfeit of political speech-making, with mostly succinct questioning, and an awareness of the subject matter as it had been circulated early enough to be digested.

Mr Goff made it clear right from his first meeting that questions would be questions, and he’s drilled the message home. His next task is to convince the boards of the council-controlled organisations that they aren’t autonomous, that when the council wants an answer it should be given a proper one, and that those organisations will have to lift their performance – not just by a smidgeon, but by multi-million-dollar shifts in both savings & earnings.

That seismic shift in performance would be worth far more than a bed tax, in both dollars & perception, though that tax is still on the wishlist.

The council finance committee’s main tasks yesterday were to go through the quarterly reports of the council-controlled organisations and of the council itself, approve the pro forma half-yearly accounts to 31 December and, toward the end of the day, discuss the letters of expectation the mayor had written for the council-controlled organisations and, the last, to put finishing touches to the public consultation document on the council’s annual budget, to go out in the New Year.

The committee agreed to one amendment to the mayor’s consultation proposal – put by new councillor Desley Simpson and seconded by the mayor – to seek other operating revenue streams to minimise the impact for ratepayers.

A proposal from councillors Wayne Walker & John Watson to consult on introducing chemical-free weed control in public parks & reserves & urbanised areas, including the option for a targeted rate to fund any additional costs, was defeated, though not entirely rejected. A number of councillors supported the principle but there was debate on costs and some aspects of implementation, and the mayor said that, if it was to be introduced, it ought to be done properly & after thorough examination.

The third amendment, proposing such a review, became a note to be forwarded to the council’s environment & community committee.

The revised budget consultation proposal goes to the council’s governing body for approval tomorrow.

This story outlines the main business of yesterday’s meeting, but not the real content – the debates & position-taking. I’ll try to get that extra story posted for Friday.

Attribution: Council committee meeting.

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New mayor wants bed tax, fuel tax & new housing tax

Auckland mayor Phil Goff released his budget plan today to restrict rate rises and raise significant new revenue while restraining borrowing and supporting underpaid & vulnerable residents.

His proposal goes to Auckland Council’s finance & performance committee on Wednesday, returns to that committee on Tuesday 13 December and on to the council’s governing body 2 days later for approval to be put out to consultation.

  • I’ll be adding new pages to this story this evening as I read through the proposal, which runs to 68 points & 15 pages.

Mr Goff has proposed restricting rate rises to a 2.5%/year average and introducing:

  • a visitor levy (bed tax)
  • a targeted rate for new largescale housing developments, and
  • a regional fuel tax.

In a release out this afternoon, Mr Goff said: “Ratepayers have shouldered the responsibility for the growth of our city and cannot be expected to continue to do that on their own. This proposal shares that responsibility more fairly across all of those who benefit from living & doing business in our city.”

Mr Goff said his proposal delivered on his campaign commitment to restrict rate rises: “I made a commitment to restrict the annual average rate rise to 2.5%, down from 3.5%, and that is what this proposal delivers.”

The proposal would implement his commitment to a living wage for council employees and contribute an additional $500,000 to co-ordinating work to support homeless Aucklanders: “This proposal puts the people of this city first by taking a responsible & fair approach to tackling Auckland’s growth challenges, and seeking to support those who most need help to live a decent life in our city.”

Mr Goff noted that significant work was underway at the council to find efficiencies across the council group, which includes Auckland Transport, Ateed (Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development), Panuku Auckland Development, Regional Facilities Auckland & Watercare Services Ltd.

“We are taking a responsible fiscal approach by ensuring that Auckland Council is more efficient and delivers value for money while finding innovative ways to raise extra revenue to support growth.

“Accommodation providers & other businesses benefit most directly from the funding the council puts into attracting visitors to the city and supporting major events. That is why I am proposing a new visitor levy to be collected by hotels, motels & B&Bs to replace ratepayer spending by Ateed in this area.

“We are also ensuring that we remain well within the council’s debt cap to avoid a potential credit downgrade which would force ratepayers to fund millions of dollars in extra interest costs.”

The mayor has set out a series of recommendations for consultation and promotes these initiatives:

  • Raising up to $30 million from a new visitor levy to replace ratepayer funding currently spent on attracting visitors and supporting major events
  • Introducing a targeted rate for new largescale developments to pay for major new infrastructure, increase Auckland’s housing supply and discourage landbanking
  • Seeking Government support to implement a regional fuel tax to help close the $400 million gap in transport infrastructure funding which the Government & council identified through the Auckland transport alignment project
  • Bidding for a significant share of the Government’s housing infrastructure fund
  • Generating savings from efficiencies across the Auckland Council group
  • Introducing a living wage for council employees, and
  • Contributing $500,000 to co-ordinating work to support homeless Aucklanders.

The uniform annual general charge would rise by 2.5% and the business rates differential, which has been programmed to decline to zero over several years, would remain unchanged from this year’s figure.

The visitor levy (bed tax) has been proposed for Auckland many times and has been fought off by the hospitality sector. Its proponents have regarded it as separate from rates – although that income is what hotels use to pay their rates, in the same way that every other landlord uses rent to pay rates.

“The initiatives that I’m promoting will require collaboration with central government, businesses & our communities. We want to work openly & honestly with all of our partners to make sure that Auckland is one of the world’s best performing cities.

“Given it is only 4 weeks since inauguration, there is still a lot of work to be done. Many of these initiatives will fall under the long-term plan, but it is important to start consulting Aucklanders now.”

Following the December meetings on what should go out to consultation, the council is scheduled to adopt its consultation document & supporting material on 9 February, run the budget consultation through February-March, confirm decisions to be incorporated into the budget on 1 June and adopt the budget on 29 June.

Earlier stories:
22 July 2015: Corrected: Councils want tax reshuffle, innovation a long way off
29 June 2009: ARC overcomes canning of fuel tax, sets 3.9% rate rise
8 October 2008: Penlink gets tick along with electrification, ferries & tickets in first bite of regional fuel tax
13 November 2006: Stadium on the wharf will require a bed of new tax
6 November 2005:
Council looks more closely at bed tax
2 March 2004: Councillors opt for bed tax report
2 March 2004: Christmas present: new tax
2 March 2004: On the road to a supercity
16 August 2002: Councillors opt for bed tax report

Links:
Mayoral proposal for 2018 annual plan pdf
Local authority funding project

Attribution: Mayoral release.

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No ticks yet for mayoral candidates though Goff makes start on fiscal policy

2 candidates for Auckland’s mayoralty have committed to a “ratepayer protection pledge” guaranteeing they won’t vote for any rate or levy hikes exceeding 2%/year in the next council term, and a third candidate has written a policy to cap the residential average rise at 2%. But the candidate most likely to win if the right of politics vote is split 3 ways, Phil Goff, released a fiscal policy yesterday designed to restrict rate rises to an average of 2.5%.

The call for a ratepayer protection pledge was made last week by the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance, created by the NZ Taxpayers’ Union, and won support from mayoral candidates John Palino & Mark Thomas. Victoria Crone had already written her own policy with the 2% cap.

Mr Goff’s version of crimping the always-up thinking includes requiring every council department to make savings that would contribute to a new efficiency target of at least 3% of overall spending.

All these percentage thinkers have it wrong.

Picking a number to cut rates by is a great way of ensuring the arms & legs will be cut off, leaving a corpulent policy and no ability to implement it. Auckland City Council did that several years ago.

When the new super-city council was created in 2010, it should have looked at what it needed to do and stuck with it. But the council, in that first year, had an almighty project on its hands to bring consistency across a region that previously had 7 territorial councils & one regional council and, at budget time, it did the usual exercise of seeing what could be left out.

Starting at “what to do” instead of “what not to do” sets the parameters, which can be reviewed.

An example of how to do things badly is in consent processing, an area of the council where customers pay for the service. A predetermined percentage cut would mean that, as the need for inspections rises, fewer people would be available. But, by investigating efficiencies – in this case, including policies set by both government & council – a leaner yet better performance might be possible.

The net result for me is a cross against all those candidates – no ticks.

The Hide ploy

When Act MP Rodney Hide set up the super-city council, a central ploy was to ensure politicians couldn’t get their hands on the commercial businesses of the council, which were semi-quarantined in “council-controlled” organisations.

Thus Auckland Transport, Watercare Services & a few other arms of the council were almost, but not quite, autonomous. But their budgets are, in the end, up for approval by the council, and the council needs to know what justifies the figures, so the semi-autonomy concept could never work satisfactorily.

Mr Goff’s fiscal policy shows a determination to turn those organisations, effectively, back into departments: “A particular focus will be on combining council & council-controlled organisations’ procurement systems and progressively moving towards shared services for the group in terms of back office functions such as finance & human resources.”

Are council departments the way to go? They could be, but New Zealand experience tells you that politicians never fund services & infrastructure adequately when they have direct control – and direct exposure to the reactive votes – which was a big part of isolating them from this risk.

Tax allocation & infrastructure funding

Mr Goff – former housing minister & leader of the opposition – set out brief policy yesterday on 2 issues which deserve far more consideration than politicians have given them: allocation of tax income and financing of infrastructure.

If you allocate tax income according to geographic population, Auckland may well be receiving less than its due. On the same basis, would cycleways – or new housing subdivisions – get any funding? Few people are riding bikes because it’s dangerous or impractical, and nobody lives in these unbuilt subdivisions yet, but logic tells you that funding is required if change is to occur.

Extending that logic, you could argue that these subdivisions should be built somewhere else that’s cheaper, where the land is available, and therefore that the focus should be on shifting jobs to centres outside Auckland.

He advocated replacing the interim transport levy on rates with a petrol tax, as was previously proposed by the council & rejected by the Government, and later switching to a congestion charge or toll. In all cases you can argue that someone is benefiting without paying, and someone is paying without benefiting. Mr Goff’s view on roads was that those who benefit from reduced congestion should pay.

His views on tax & funding: “Working with central government to expand its infrastructure fund and investigate infrastructure bonds: While more than half of New Zealand’s growth is in Auckland, the extra gst & income tax collected goes to central government. I will advocate for Auckland to get its fair share of that extra revenue to pay for servicing that growth.

“To reduce the risk of even greater gridlock & a worsening housing crisis, we need an additional $17-20 billion for core infrastructure to support future urban land areas. It is inappropriate & unfair to fund that solely through the blunt tool of raising rates. We need to find alternative innovative funding sources such as sharing more Government revenue with council, public-private partnerships or raising infrastructure bonds.

“I will also advocate for the removal of the flat levy on rates to pay for a shortfall in transport infrastructure funding in favour of a road charge. This could be in the form of a petrol tax that is later replaced by a congestion charge or toll. It is only fair that those who benefit most from using the roads contribute to the cost of reducing congestion.

“Implementing this fiscal policy will be an important step towards restoring ratepayer & Government confidence in Auckland Council by ensuring that in future it works effectively & efficiently in the best interests of the people of this city.”

Mr Goff is getting somewhere, but should be far further advanced on these policies. I think Orakei board member Mark Thomas has done far better in advocating detailed policies, with assessments of how they would work & their impacts.

Candidate websites:
Crone
Goff
Palino
Thomas

Attribution: Candidate policies.

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Updated: Council resumes bond offer, sets interest rate

Update: The interest rate was set at 3.338%.

Auckland Council opened a $100 million bond offer Thursday, closing Friday, with the ability to accept as much again in oversubscriptions. Fully subscribed, it will take council bonds traded on the NZX debt market over $1 billion.

The interest rate on the 10-year secured, unsubordinated fixed-rate bonds will be set on Friday after a bookbuild, allotments made next Wednesday, trading to open on Thursday 28 July. The council said the indicative margin over the swap rate was 0.9%/year.

The council announced its intention to issue the bonds in mid-June, then decided immediately after the Brexit vote in the UK to defer it because of the uncertainty.

The council has $825 million of bonds listed on the NZX debt market:

  • $250 million maturing 30 March 2020, paying 3.04%/year (AKC090)
  • $250 million maturing 24 September 2020, paying 4.017%/year (AKC080)
  • $200 million maturing 25 March 2024, paying 5.806%/year (AKC070), and
  • $125 million maturing 18 December 2018, paying 4.41%/year (AKC060).

The council said its new bonds were expected to be assigned a long-term credit rating of AA from Standard & Poor’s and Aa2 from Moody’s.

Attribution: Council releases.

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Council budget & rates approved in quick time

Auckland mayor Len Brown cut short the debate on the council’s budget & rates yesterday when he told councillors at the governing body meeting little had changed in the annual plan, so the only new decisions were on the look & substance of the documents.

The mayor has tried over the first 6 years of the super-city council to prevent relitigation of issues through the committee process and into the governing body’s meetings while the minority – notably Cllrs Cameron Brewer, Christine Fletcher, Dick Quax & George Wood – have sought new ways to relitigate.

Cllr Fletcher tried for “a short discussion” on the uniform annual general charge and Cllr Wood insisted he had a right to speak, that just because issues had been debated at committee level didn’t mean they shouldn’t be debated again by the governing body.

Mr Brown stopped them both: “There has been very little by way of change in this annual plan (and) we have had the debate around the annual plan,” he said. As for the rates proposal, that was debated thoroughly in May.

“I accept every year there will be a debate on the uniform annual general charge because it is the equity lever. The community had a massive debate during the long-term plan consultation. Then we had another debate in May, the most extensive debate outside the interim transport levy. The vote was clear.”

The approved recommendations were for an average general rates increase of 2.4%, a uniform annual general charge of $394/property, the interim transport levy to continue and the farm/lifestyle block differential to be unchanged.

The 2.4% average general rates increase plus transport levy will work out at an average rise of 2.5% for residential & farm/lifestyle ratepayers, 1.9% for businesses.

The transport levy is $182.85 including gst for business properties, $113.85 for residential, farm/lifestyle and properties with no road access.

The proposed urban residential rate in the dollar of capital value is $0.00253439 and business $0.00693795.

Links:
Governing body agenda
11, Annual plan, adoption of the annual budget 2016-17
12, Rates setting 2016-17

Earlier stories:
27 June 2016: Council to set rates on Thursday
13 May 2016: The rating numbers council will vote on today

Attribution: Council governing body meeting.

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Brexit vote stalls council & Kiwi Property bond offers

Auckland Council decided yesterday, and Kiwi Property Group Ltd today, to defer the bond offers they announced last week because of the uncertainty following the Brexit vote in the UK.

The council said last Wednesday it was considering a retail bond issue of fixed-rate secured bonds to the public in New Zealand & institutional investors.

Kiwi Property said on Friday it was considering an issue of 7-year fixed-rate senior secured bonds to New Zealand institutional & retail investors, to be offered this week.

Earlier story:
27 June 2016: Kiwi Property to make bond offer this week

Attribution: Company & council releases.

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Council to set rates on Thursday

Auckland Council votes to approve its annual rates on Thursday, for the year starting on Friday.

The recommendations are for an average general rates increase of 2.4%, a uniform annual general charge of $394/property, the interim transport levy to continue and the farm/lifestyle block differential to be unchanged.

The 2.4% average general rates increase plus transport levy will work out at an average rise of 2.5% for residential & farm/lifestyle ratepayers, 1.9% for businesses.

The transport levy is $182.85 including gst for business properties, $113.85 for residential, farm/lifestyle and properties with no road access.

The proposed urban residential rate in the dollar of capital value is $0.00253439 and business $0.00693795.

The council set out a capital investment programme of $18.7 billion in its 10-year budget for 2015-25, while capping rates increases at no more than an average of 3.5%. Total council borrowings were forecast to rise from $7.2 billion to $11.6 billion, while assets were forecast to increase from $42 billion to $60 billion in 2024-25. For 2016-17, the 10-year budget forecast rates to increase by 3.2%, with $1.9 billion of capital investment and opex of $3.7 billion, and operating revenue continuing to be less than total opex, in line with the council’s policy of moving towards fully funding depreciation by 2025.

Links:
Governing body, Thursday 30 June at 9.30am, Town Hall:
11, Annual plan, adoption of the annual budget 2016-17
12, Rates setting 2016-17

Earlier story:
13 May 2016: The rating numbers council will vote on today

Attribution: Council agenda.

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