All Going To Plan
It's that time of year when we usually go out to you, our community, to consult on our annual or 10-year plan.
But we're not doing that this year. We're simplifying the process…. Watch this video below where Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan and Chief Executive Sanchia Jacobs explain our approach for 2019 or read on below on this page.
We have prepared a Draft Annual Plan, which represents the second year of our 10-Year Plan signed off in 2018, and staff are currently finalising it for Council to adopt in June.
Because we consulted with you just 12 months ago on our 10-Year Plan and because our 2019/20 Annual Plan contains no significant change to what we signalled in our 10-Year Plan for Year 2, we're not going to have a formal consultation process.
Instead we want to let you know how we are tracking with our 10-Year Plan projects – what we've achieved in Year 1 (2018/19) and what our focus is in Year 2 (2019/20).
So far in this 2018-19 financial year we have:
- Celebrated the completion of the Cromwell Wastewater Treatment Upgrade. This project came in on time and under budget. The upgrade has vastly improved the quality of the water discharged into Lake Dunstan and means we're ready to handle the demands of a growing population base now and in the future.
- We've launched a new 10-year strategy to guide the development of tourism in Central Otago and appointed an inaugural six-person strong Tourism Advisory Board.
We've also got the ball rolling with investigations and design work for a number of major infrastructure projects that will be a key focus in the next 12 months and beyond.
As work begins to ramp up on these big projects we'll be producing regular community updates to keep you in the loop.
You're probably wondering what all this means to your rates bill for the year ahead. The average rates rise is anticipated to be 4.1%. That figure is an average and will vary dependent on where your property is located in the district. See the rates calculator below for an indication of what your property's rates could be for the 2019/20 year.
It also means that what you told us a year ago still makes sense now and we're delivering on it. So what we'll do is come back to you when we depart from that and make sure you have the opportunity to input into the decisions that we make.
We also want to invite you to connect with us all-year-round, not just at annual plan time. We are happy to receive feedback and hear your concerns and ideas whenever they crop up. There are many channels by which you can do this:
Please note if you are using the Proposed Rates search on your smartphone it may be best to view in landscape mode.
Your proposed rates - explained
How do rates work?
You can have up to 19 different rates that make up your total rates bill. These rates are calculated on either land value, capital value or are fixed rates and charges. Fixed rates are set at the same value for each ratepayer. Rates calculated on land and property values will have the same percentage charge across ratepayers, but will have a different dollar value, depending on the land/property's valuation.
Your rates will vary depending on the ward that you live in, the different work being carried out within your ward in any given year, and your property type. Some costs within Council activities may vary from year to year (e.g., building maintenance) and these can cause slight variations to rating bills also.
So what's changing this year?
On average, rates across the Central Otago district will increase by 4.1% this coming year, in line with Council's 10-Year Plan projections. However, individual rates bills will have greater fluctuations, depending on the different rating variables that make up the total bill.
Here are some of the rates that are causing the biggest changes in this year's rates bills:
• The General Rate is increasing by 8% across the district. This is largely due to roading expenses, roading renewals and additional assets vested into Council by third parties.
• Planning and Environment Rate is increasing by 16% across the district. This is because of increased resource consent processing requirements and alcohol licensing costs.
• The Works and Public Toilets Rate is increasing by 6% across the district. This increase relates to stormwater, unsubsidised district roading and public toilet costs.
• The Ward Services Charge is increasing due to an increase in elected members' remuneration, as prescribed by the remuneration authority.
• The Ward Services Rate covers the cost of community properties, housing and reserves within that ward. Depending on maintenance requirements, this rate can vary from year to year. This year a change in the apportionment of Council's Property Services overheads across wards, so that the costs are borne where the expense is occurring, is also causing a greater rate increase in some wards. Vincent ward is seeing a particularly large ward service rate increase compared with last year. This has been mostly influenced by Council taking over responsibility of the Central Stories Museum and Gallery building.
• Rates funding is reducing in some areas such as the wastewater and waste collection service charges.
• Waste Minimisation with Collection Charge – Some rural areas have joined Council's kerbside collection service in the past 12 months. The cost of this service will be incorporated into your rates bill for this coming year.
The factors that are causing rate changes are consistent across each ward. However, services to residential properties have more rates savings than rural properties this year. Cost changes across small ward populations will also have a greater impact than if spread across a greater number of ratepayers. As a result, the rural properties in Vincent and Teviot Valley wards are experiencing a higher than average rate increase this year.
You can find your individual rates breakdown on the back page of your rates invoice.
More information about how Central Otago District Council sets its rates can be found in our Rating Policy on Council's website.