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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Rates rise in the plan

Ratepayers in rural Masterton can expect an average rates rise of 12.9 per cent, bringing their average total monthly rates bill to $991.

Meanwhile, urban ratepayers can expect an average rates increase of 6.6 per cent this year, bringing their average total monthly rates bill to $269.

The figures were released in Masterton District Council’s 2023-24 Annual Plan consultation document and correspond to rural properties with a capital value of $4.79 million, and urban properties with a capital value of $470,000.

Across the board, the average proposed rates increase is 7.9 per cent.

The consultation document states that, because the council’s roading budget has increased, rural properties will have a higher percentage rates increase than those in town.

Lifestyle block rates will increase an average of 11.8 per cent [capital value $835,000], and beach property rates will increase an average of 11.3 per cent [capital value $700,000].

GRAPHIC/TIMES-AGE

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Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell is now urging people to make their views about the proposed increases known through the consultation process, which runs until May 1.

“The Annual Plan sets out what the council will do for the coming year, and what it will cost, and that cost is what determines what the rates will be,” he said.

“We have worked hard to find ways to reduce the proposed rates increase to an average of 7.9 per cent, and now we want to hear from our community about what they think of our ideas for keeping our costs as low as possible.”

The council’s proposed approach to reduce the rates impact in 2023-24 includes: increasing user pays funding for some services; helping community groups to identify alternative funding opportunities; and seeking external funding to deliver projects, activities, and events for the community.

The consultation is also inviting comment on whether Masterton should apply to become a Dark Sky Reserve and contribute to the Five Towns Cycle Trail Project, which would build a network of cycle trails across Wairarapa to connect the five towns in the region.

It also offers an opportunity to help shape the 2024-34 Long-Term Plan [LTP], which will be put together over the coming 12 months and will be consulted on in early 2024.

For the LTP, people can share their thoughts on a reduced scope for the Civic Facility project, and give their views on services where savings could be made, and any services where they would be willing to pay more to see improvements.

The feedback form gives people an opportunity to have their say on what the “must haves” are for a new civic facility, as well as their thoughts on possible locations.

Proposed options included are building a civic facility on the town hall site or recreation centre site, expanding the library, and expanding Waiata House. – NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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