Federated Farmers Submission for Palmerston North City Council Long Term Plan

We note that Council are consulting to increase rates by 6.4% to fund existing council services and key projects to go towards delivering on the Council’s vision. We recommend Council reduce spending where possible, to ensure that rating allocations are fair and do not pass on any unnecessary burden to its communities.

Federated Farmers also recommends that for future years, Council provides an online rates calculator where ratepayers can go online to access their proposed rates statement, as well as rate increase examples that include the percentage increased.

We support the current rating differentials for wastewater and drinking water, and recommend that the new developments proposed for these activities, should also be funded directly from those who will utilise/benefit this service.

We note that Council are proposing the inclusion on an additional targeted rate for non-residential rating units of $250 per pan (water closet or urinal) for each pan in excess of three. We support this proposal and believe it aligns with Federated Farmers user pays approach to rating allocations.

We continue to commend Council for its position on the use of differentials for the general rate. We agree that a uniform general rate based on land value does not produce a fair and equitable allocation of rates, therefore justifying why the Council operates a system of differentials based on land value.

Federated Farmers recommends that the Development Contributions Policy be amended to make rural ancillary buildings exempt, and where a demand on infrastructure is apparent, only charge for the additional size of any building upgrade.

For more information, please see full submission