The Christchurch City Council wants your feedback on its draft budget.
The budget – called the Draft Annual Plan 2017-18 – outlines the Council’s spending plans and work programme for the next financial year. It includes proposals to:
• Increase rates by an average of 5.5 per cent. Rates are collected from property owners to cover the Council’s day-to-day operating costs. The Council had forecast a rate increase for 2017-18 of 5 per cent but it has had to raise it slightly because some forecast operational savings have not been achieved.
• Reduce spending on the capital programme from $640 million to $488 million. The capital programme outlines what the Council is going to spend on renewing, replacing and building new facilities and infrastructure. The proposed reduction in spending is due to the rescheduling of some projects and the Council getting a clearer picture of when funding needs to be made available for certain projects.
• Borrow money rather than sell assets. Last year the Council decided not to sell City Care Ltd or any other Council Controlled Organisations at this time. As a result of that decision the amount of revenue the Council can expect in 2017-18 from its investment arm, Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, has dropped from $200 million to $140 million. The Council is proposing to borrow the $60 million difference.
• Reduce new borrowing from $202 million to $85 million. The reduction in borrowing is possible because of adjustments to the capital programme.
• End earthquake-related rates remissions on June 30 of this year. From July 1 rates will be calculated using the most recent 2016 rating valuations. As those valuations take into account the impact of earthquake damage, separate rates remission for affected ratepayers should no longer be necessary.
Over the next six weeks the Council wants to get your feedback on what is proposed.
Community boards and Councillors will host a series of Have Your Say events across the city for residents to speak directly with elected members and Council staff about the Draft Annual Plan. People can also make online submissions and make comments via the Council's Twitter and Facebook (external link) pages.
“The next financial year is the last one before we refresh our 10-year Long Term Plan, and the Council has proposed some important changes under its Draft Annual Plan that residents may like to provide feedback on,'' said Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
“We’ve set some new priorities and adjusted when we plan to spend money on projects in the capital works programme – but we are still aiming to complete essential projects within their scheduled timeframes. It’s important we keep the momentum going.”
Find out more about the Draft Annual Plan 2017-18 and about how to make a submission.
Watch the short video below to see how $100 in rates will be spent in 2017-18.