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Rates before Covid-19 impact

Rates are spent on the day-to-day services, facilities and the running of Council. Rates also need to cover inflation in costs and the depreciation of assets.

Before Covid-19 hit New Zealand, there were already significant cost pressures on our core services and we were working on ways to reduce the impact of these on rates. The 2020/21 pre-Covid-19 budget and rates increase of 9.2% that was announced in March already assumed about $10m in budgeted risks and savings targets.

To further mitigate the 9.2% rates increase, we made the decision to propose delaying rates-funding projects such as Let’s Get Wellington Moving and Te Ngākau Civic Precinct master-planning for a further year. These projects will continue, but will be funded by borrowing in 2020/21. This brought the rates down to 7.1%, as proposed in the week before the lockdown was announced.

Once the city went into lockdown, we had to consider how to manage the above cost pressures and risks, while also needing to mitigate the significant impact of forecast lost revenue and the reality that many in our city are now struggling. Consequently, we are proposing to debt fund this revenue loss (after reviewing costs) and are recommending rates Option A of 5.1%.

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