1 July 2022
Masterton District Council has adopted its Annual Plan for 2022/23, and new fees and charges, along with an associated average residential rates increase of 6.8 per cent.
The increase is after allowing for a 1.8 per cent growth in the rating database (additional rateable properties), and is 1.2 per cent more than was forecast for Year 2 of the Long-Term Plan, but less than the rates increase limit set in Council’s Financial Strategy.
The rate increase for urban residential properties will average 6.8 per cent, with the average increase for rural properties 6.6 per cent, except for Castlepoint Beach rates which will increase by 7.7 per cent. Any changes to Greater Wellington Regional Council rates will be in addition to these increases.
Key drivers for the rates increase are:
- Inflation is higher than forecast – the CPI was 6.9% in March 2022 compared to 1.4% in December 2020 when we were preparing the Long‐Term Plan.
- The impacts of inflation on contracted costs and supply challenges on capital projects.
- The changing demand drivers, such as increased building and development in the district, increased waste being generated and increased demand for more online and digital services all push up operational budgets.
Property owners can check their 2022/23 rates on the Council website here.
Key budget variances compared to Year 2 of the 2021‐22 LTP include:
- Roading – The roading budget has increased as per the LTP. This reflects the programme accepted by Waka Kotahi, the increased cost of maintaining agreed levels of service and includes provision to cover the decrease in Waka Kotahi funding assistance that has been reduced from 58 per cent to 57 percent. Also added are storm damage repairs at Kerosene Ridge and Homewood Road.
- Water – The rates for urban water supply have increased to cover increased costs of service, which includes depreciation costs on water meters and holding costs of the Kaituna land purchase which will enable Council to expand water storage capacity for the urban area (as scheduled for Year 4 of the 2021‐31 LTP).
- Solid Waste – The budgets reflect the increased volume of waste and recycling that is expected to be processed through the Transfer Station.
New fees and charges are available on the Council website here (mstn.govt.nz).
If fees and charges were not increased for those using these services, the Council would need to increase rates further.
For the majority of fees and charges, the increase is no more than the rate of inflation. Key exceptions include:
- Solid waste ‐ fee increases reflect the increase in the Government’s waste minimisation levy (from $20/tonne to $30/tonne) and the inflationary impacts on our contracted operational costs (i.e. diesel price).
- Regulatory services – some fees are increasing by more than inflation to better align with the cost of delivering these services for our community. Fees that are increasing include fees for food premise verifications, licences to operate some businesses, noise control call outs and removal of abandoned vehicles (charged to the offender), Building Warrant of Fitness fees (for commercial building owners), and some building and resource consent fees. Building Services are also introducing new fees to recover the cost of travel to more remote areas of the District and for time invested in assessing minor variations to building consents.
- Corridor Access Fees (for work required in the roading corridor) have not been reviewed for some time and are being adjusted over two years to align with the cost of providing this service. The new fees will include provision for inspections and administrative time rather than charging for these separately.
Chief Executive David Hopman said there was no escaping the rising costs faced by the Council.
“Staff have worked hard to minimise the financial impact on our community, but we are in an inflationary environment and Council’s costs are increasing as a result,” he said.