Environment Southland councillors today adopted the Annual Plan 2019/20. It aligns to the council’s Long-term Plan, which focuses on significant issues of water quality and quantity, community resilience, and investing in Southland.
The overall rates increase for the 2019/20 year is 6.9% equating to $1,172,747. This is below the 7.7% increase that was forecast in the Long-term Plan. However, individual rate amounts may vary significantly this year, which is in large part due to recent QV revaluations within the Southland District Council area.
Individual rates are determined by a number of factors, one of which is the property value.
“In setting the rates, we’ve been mindful of the challenging economic climate and have worked hard to reduce the rates impact on all Southlanders,” said Environment Southland Chairman Nicol Horrell.
He said that over the past year Environment Southland had made progress on a number of fronts, including water quality and quantity, which is the council’s biggest work priority.
“We are continuing to build on the solid research gathered from our four-year Southland science and economic projects. The data and information gathered gives us a strong platform for our community conversations about water, and for the decisions we need to make as a community.”
In the Long-term Plan, the council signalled that it would consult this year on a new ‘improving water’ rate to fund on-ground initiatives to improve water quality. However as central government is currently looking at future funding options for local councils, aside from land-based rates, it was decided to put the consultation on hold.
“As there are no significant changes to the Long-term Plan, we won’t be consulting on this Annual Plan. However councillors are always available and interested in people’s views, so please get in touch if there’s something you’d like to discuss,” said Chairman Horrell.
The Annual Plan becomes operational from 1 July 2019. Both the Annual Plan 2019/20 and an overview document are available online at www.es.govt.nz/annual-plan.