Item 7.2 - Attachment 1
Previous Council Report
ITEM NUMBER 10.1
Consultation on Possible Special Rates Variation
REFERENCE F2009/02419 - D01407629
To seek endorsement to enable Council to undertake preliminary work on
assessing community views on the continuation of Special Rates which are
expiring and any potential application for a general variation. To also advise council that the Department
of Local Government requires advice on any intention to apply for a special
variation to rates by late January. However, this intention is non-binding
and Council can later decide to not apply if it so chooses.
Council endorse preliminary work on assessing community views on the
continuation of expiring Special Rates and other rating options.
Council note that the Department of Local Government is likely to require
early notification of an intention to apply for a Special Variation.
1. In 2000/01 the Minister for Local Government
approved a special rates variation to fund economic development and
infrastructure works. That approval expires at the end of this financial year
and Council must re-apply if it wishes to continue this special variation. In
2009/10 this variation provided funds for the following purposes:
a. CBD Infrastructure $1.7M
b. Suburban Infrastructure $0.1M
c. Economic development $0.6M
2. This revenue is currently raised by special
rates levied predominantly on business ratepayers with the funds expended on
works and services that will benefit those ratepayers. The program of works being funded by these
special rates is ongoing with much still to be done; therefore an application
for the continuation of the special rate variation is recommended.
3. Council has developed a Resource Strategy
(Long Term Financial Plan), in accordance with the new Integrated Planning
legislation that incorporates a number of Gap closing strategies to address
long term financial sustainability. Included
are both expenditure and revenue strategies and Council has recently made some
decisions which will result in significant on-going expenditure savings. A rating strategy is also part of this plan,
which includes the continuation of expiring special rates and an additional
4. Despite the initiatives in the 2009/10 Budget
that reduced recurrent expenditures by around $7m, the current forecasts still
show that there is a gap between expenditure and revenue unless additional
initiatives are taken.
5. See below
6. Council is required to consult widely with
the community and ratepayers before seeking a variation to rates. Such consultation will be an important input
into the program of works to be funded.
This needs to commence early in the new year.
7. Council has been advised by the Department of
Local Government that procedures for applying for special variations to rates
income are being reviewed in line with the requirements of the new Integrated
Planning legislation. These requirements and a desire by the Department to
resolve applications for special variations as soon as possible, have resulted
in a proposed deadline of 29 January for Councils to submit an intention to
apply for a special rates variation, with Council able to make the final
decision whether to submit an application or not by 30
CONSULTATION & TIMING
8. During October and November Councillors took
part in three strategic planning sessions at which the need to address the
Councils long term financial sustainability was considered.
9. Consultation with the community will commence
early in 2010 and will conclude with the 4 Year Delivery Program (Management
Plan) exhibition period.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATION FOR COUNCIL
The financial implications
are discussed above.
CLOSING THE GAP