Lester also signalled that the average rates increase for the city would be 3.3 per cent, done from the original forecast of 5.1.
It was possible residential rates could drop further, but that depended on revaluation of buildings and homes in late May or early June.
The lower rates rise was the result of saving $11 million, by re-prioritising and re-phasing capital expenditure, better use of council office space, building consent processing in-sourcing from Auckland, increases in energy efficiency, and improved procurement processes.
This is going in the right direction but the Mayor said he would not vote for an average rates increase of over 3% over the next three years. So if it is 3.3% this year then needs to be no more than 2.85% the next two years to remain within the promise.
Also other Councillors who made a rates pledge in terms of maximum average annual increase were:
- Nicola Young – no more than inflation
- Andy Foster – 3%
- Diane Calvert – 2% to 3%
- Simon Woolf 4.5%
- Sarah Free 3%
- Chris Calvi-Freeman – no more than inflation
- David Lee – around 4.6% (said 30 cents a day for a $500,000 RV)
So that is five Councillors who have said a maximum of 3% on average is acceptable.