Councillors have been briefed today on Christchurch City Council’s efforts to keep 2023’s rates increase as low as possible – with the latest projected figure coming in at an average 5.58% across existing ratepayers.
Work began last year on the Council’s budget for the coming 12 months, the Draft Annual Plan 2023/24. At that stage, the initial projected rates increase was 14.6%.
“My staff have done an incredible job of getting the projected rates increase down to well under the 7% or so of inflation we’re seeing worldwide, in a very tricky economic environment we’re all very familiar with – inflation, high interest rates, and labour and supply issues,” says Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale.
“What makes it all the more impressive is that we’ve been able to do it all while keeping up the services Christchurch has come to expect, and continuing to invest in the city’s future.”
Watch the briefing or see the presentation.
This reduction has been made through a combination of proposed changes to the budget, including:
“Some of our cost-saving measures are one-off things that we won't necessarily be able to do in future years, but Christchurch residents are feeling the cost of living pressure right now, and we need to do all we can to reduce the impact that rates bills have on households,” Mrs Baxendale says.
“We need to keep an eye to the future. For example, the openings of Parakiore Recreation and Sport Centre and Matatiki: Hornby Centre have been delayed, so we don’t need to charge rates to cover those operating costs for now – but that will impact our rating when we start into the Long Term Plan 2024–34 next year. It’s something to keep in mind as this Draft Annual Plan goes out for consultation in March.”
Some of the big changes to the Council’s Long Term Plan 2021–31 that are likely to be consulted on as part of the Draft Annual Plan 2023/24 are:
Councillors and staff will continue to refine the Draft Annual Plan 2023/24 for the next month, before it’s adopted by the Council on 28 February. It will go out for public feedback from 10 March – 10 April.