• Media release

16 Feb 2023

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Rates rises of 6% to 13% proposed in draft Annual Plan

Southland District Council is budgeting on residential rates rises ranging from 6% to 13% in its draft Annual Plan for 2023/2024.

The analysis is based on budget and rating information as at 4 February 2023 and may change before Council adopts the final 2023/2024 Annual Plan in June 2023.

Staff will present a report on the progress of the 2023/2024 Annual Plan process to the Finance and Assurance Committee on 15 February 2023.

The proposed rates changes will affect townships throughout the district differently depending on a range of factors, including the services provided in respective areas.
By township the proposed average rate increase varies from $110, or 6%, in Orepuki, to $337 or 13%, in Riversdale. The highest dollar increase is in Manapouri at $400, or 11%.

By land use sector the proposed average rate increase varies from $76, or 1.83%, for forestry, to $886, or 10.63%, for commercial properties.

The increase for residential properties is primarily being driven by higher interest costs for water and sewerage loans, increased cost of waste services and removing $1 million of reserve subsidies used in previous years to reduce sewerage rates. Because sewerage, water and rubbish are mainly provided in townships, these cost increases are impacting residential households the most.

Overall total rates are budgeted to increase by $4.6 million, or 7.84%, over the previous year. This compares with 5.75% projected for year three in Council’s 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP).

The key increases contributing include $1.3 million from higher interest costs on loans to complete capital works projects, $1million is because wastewater is no longer being subsidised by reserve funding and $800,000 is caused by an increase in overall waste costs.

While the increase is above what was projected, given that it is due to a mix of inflationary costs as well as a planned move away from using reserves to reduce rates, it is proposed that Council does not undertake formal consultation and instead engage with and seek feedback from the community about the reasons for the increases.

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