23% rates increase flagged for Wellington

The Herald reports:

Wellington City Council is putting together a budget of infrastructure with a rates increase forecast of 23 per cent next year.

The council is about halfway through its review of its Long Term Plan, which signals how it will divvy up its budget for the next 10 years.

Mayor Andy Foster says it’ll be one of the most challenging budgets ever considered by the city council.

They’re about to enter what’s commonly referred to as the “trade-offs” stage. This is when decisions are made around what’s prioritised to bring down projected rates increases.

It’s understood the starting point is an increase of 23 per cent for 2021/22.

That’s not a starting point. It;s a political suicide point.

It’s understood one example given at a workshop on the issue yesterday was the council selling the Convention Centre, which is still being built, and leasing it back.

Another option is not to do the convention centre at all. If there is an economic case for it, let a private oeprator build it.

Young said shorter opening hours at libraries could be considered as well as cutting back on consultation.

“At home if you have a big drop in income, you cut your costs.”

Exactly.

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