The Invercargill City Council 2023/2024 Draft Annual Plan update has pointed to a probable rates rise of 5.5%.
The 2023/2024 Annual Plan, still in its drafting stages, outlines what Council plans to spend on projects and day-to-day services over the coming financial year and how that work will be financed.
Mayor Nobby Clark said Council was aware the community were being greatly affected by rising costs of living and were focused on keeping a rates increase to a minimum.
“The increase is slightly higher than the 5.05 per cent forecast last year. As a community we’re going to face some difficult decisions to bring the budget back into balance next year in the Long-term plan.”
The rates rise would mean an average increase of $145, or $2.78 per week, for residential ratepayers, Mayor Clark said.
Council acting Group Manager Finance and Assurance Patricia Christie said the 2023/2024 Draft Annual Plan incorporates the changes agreed in the 2022/2023 Annual Plan, including the new plans for the museum – Project 1225.
“Savings of almost a million dollars have been found, although these have been offset by increases in delivery costs linked to inflation, interest rates and depreciation. Depreciation refers to the funds Council needs to put aside each year to pay to replace infrastructure as it ages,” she said.
“Depreciation is one of the biggest challenges we have faced this year. The value of all our infrastructure has risen which has significantly increased depreciation costs.”
Figures are subject to change over the next three months as new information becomes available ahead of the final plan being presented to Council for adoption in June, Christie said.
“We know that many in our community are finding it hard, and there are ways that Council can help,” she said.
The Government’s rates rebate scheme is available to low income-earners. Council also has rates remission and postponement policies and is in contact with other support agencies, she said.
“If you have trouble paying your rates please get in touch with us early,” Christie said.
Council Manager Strategy & Policy, Rhiannon Suter said that there was no public consultation around the Draft Annual Plan, but people can still let Council know their feedback online at letstalk.icc.govt.nz
The 2023/2024 Draft Annual Plan Update was to be presented to Council next week.