Over the next 10 years we’re proposing to spend $3.7 billion on the ‘everyday’ costs of running the city. These include making sure your rubbish and recycling is collected, maintaining our roads and footpaths, keeping our sports parks ready to play on and lots more.
We are also proposing to invest $2.5 billion on capital projects to look after existing assets (like playgrounds and footpaths), building new infrastructure (like roads and water pipes) and new community projects (like libraries and parks).
Providing drinking water to your tap and taking away your wastewater and stormwater makes up about a third of our total budget. We expect these costs to continue to increase due to government legislation, regulations, standards, and policies around how councils deliver these services. On top of this, we need to keep expanding our networks and treatment plants to meet the increasing demand for water services as our city grows. To highlight Council’s costs to do this work, we have taken funding out of what we collect from general rates and ring-fenced it as a new targeted rate called the government compliance rate.
As a growing city, we need to plan so Hamilton develops the way our community wants, as well as meet new requirements set by central government. This means we are required to do a comprehensive review of our District Plan to make sure it provides the best outcomes. We have also highlighted these costs by including them as part of the new government compliance targeted rate.
To help pay for this, in 2021/22 we’re proposing a total average rates increase to existing ratepayers of 8.9%. This is made up of an average 4.4% general rates increase and a new targeted government compliance rate that will collect $9.6 million in the first year, the equivalent of a 4.5% average rates increase.
After the first year, the general rate and the government compliance targeted rate are proposed to increase by 4.9% every year.
Funding for development at the Hamilton Gardens is proposed to remain at the same amount but from July 2021 would be collected through the general rate rather than the current targeted rate.
A key principle of our financial strategy is to balance the books – so that everyday costs of running the city are paid for by our everyday revenues. Our draft plans will see us balance the books from 2024/25.
We’re forecasting our debt-to-revenue ratio to peak at 278% in 2025/26. This is within our debt-to-revenue ratio limit for that year.