Kāpiti Council focused on debt reduction in LTP

Kapiti Council adopts rates rise to reduce debt
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Kāpiti Mayor Janet Holborow says prioritising the reduction of debt was the strongest message Council received leading into the Long-term Plan 2024–34 considerations.

“A 17 percent rate rise is tough and we acknowledge that. This has been a very difficult year for the whole of local government and many councils are facing rates rises in excess of 17 percent.

“We went out with an option of having rates about five percent lower but it wasn’t supported by the majority of submitters, who told us they want us to reduce debt.” 

Kāpiti Council’s current interest payments on debt is $173,000 each week. 

“Taking the financially prudent step was the obvious but difficult choice. At present we pay ongoing interest costs, which are unsustainable,” says Mayor Holborow.

“This sets us up for a sound financial future in a time of rapid changes and economic uncertainty.”

 She says the proposed rates rise also incorporates a number of cost reductions.

“We asked our Chief Executive Darren Edwards to find savings within the organisation and he has delivered. We will be working hard over the next year to find additional savings.”

Mayor Holborow says while the first year of the LTP will be difficult Council has aimed to keep rate increases to no more than 7 percent in future years, which means debt will be significantly reduced. 

“In the end we made the tough call but I believe it is the right call. We have listened to the message of reducing debt without cutting essential services, and this LTP is designed to deliver that outcome.

“The debt reduction will mean we build resilience and create a strong foundation for our future.

“The community has put their trust in us to make the right decisions for our district’s future and I want to extend our thanks to everyone who has helped sharpen our focus on the need to tighten our belt and build a more resilient future for Kāpiti.”

The  vote at council setting the rates was 7 for, none against, and 4 abstentions.

Council will formally adopt the Long-term Plan 2024–34 on 27 June.

https://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/propertyhousingandrates/rates/paying-your-rates/help-with-your-rates