There's just over one week left to give your feedback on the Christchurch City Council's draft budget.
The budget – called the Draft Annual Plan 2017-18 – outlines the Council’s spending plans and work programme for the next financial year. It includes proposals to:
• Increase rates by an average of 5.5 per cent. Rates are collected from property owners to cover the Council’s day-to-day operating costs. The Council had forecast a rate increase for 2017-18 of 5 per cent but it has had to raise it slightly because some forecast operational savings have not been achieved.
• Reduce spending on the capital programme from $640 million to $488 million. The capital programme outlines what the Council is going to spend on renewing, replacing and building new facilities and infrastructure. The proposed reduction in spending is due to the rescheduling of some projects and the Council getting a clearer picture of when funding needs to be made available for certain projects.
• Borrow money rather than sell assets. Last year the Council decided not to sell City Care Ltd or any other Council Controlled Organisations at this time. As a result of that decision the amount of revenue the Council can expect in 2017-18 from its investment arm, Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, has dropped from $200 million to $140 million. The Council is proposing to borrow the $60 million difference.
• Reduce new borrowing from $202 million to $85 million. The reduction in borrowing is possible because of adjustments to the capital programme.
• End earthquake-related rates remissions on June 30 of this year. From July 1 rates will be calculated using the most recent 2016 rating valuations. As those valuations take into account the impact of earthquake damage, separate rates remission for affected ratepayers should no longer be necessary.
The six week period for public submissions is due to end on April 28 so time is running out to give your feedback on what is proposed. You can make an online submission via the Council's Have Your Say website or make comments via the Council's Twitter and Facebook pages.
Find out more about the Draft Annual Plan 2017-18 and about how to make a submission.