Rates rise on cards for some

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Sharp rates rises – and falls – may be on the way, preliminary figures show.

Ashburton councillors are thrashing out budgets for the next decade and will consider adopting a new finance and revenue policy today.

If it is adopted, rates at Lake Hood may rise 29.4 per cent to $2608 for a property with an average rating value of $640,200, and rates for an Ashburton residential property (average value $292,000) will rise 4.5 per cent or $89.

The leap at Lake Hood is because it will be included in the Ashburton urban amenity rate.

But if councillors include everything in the wish-list in the draft Long Term Plan, rates could rise even further. In the LTP process – expected to finish today (Thursday, with a reserve day tomorrow) – councillors keep a running tally of projects which may or not be included in council plans for the next decade, or move them out to “smooth” out rating increases.

The council chief executive, Andrew Dalziel, said each extra $358,000 of spending equated to a 1 per cent rate rise.

If the new revenue and finance policy is adopted and applied to rates for next year, Ashburton commercial rates would drop 11.9 per cent, and rates in most smaller centres would also fall.

Rates shifts will be in the draft Long Term Plan to go out for consultation.