Ratepayers facing hefty increases

Saturday 13 March 2004

Ratepayers are in for a series of big annual increases as Environment Waikato hikes its overall rate-take from $28.6 million in 2002 to nearly $44 million by 2007.

By The Landlord

Although yet to be endorsed by the council, it is proposing the first jolt to come later this year, when it increases its rate demand by 18.5 per cent, from $32.7 million last year to $38.8 million this year.

EW's ballooning budgets will put pressure on ratepayers across the region.

The regional council's rates are an added burden for homeowners and businesses who already pay city or district council rates.

Taupo homeowners look set to be hardest hit under the changes to regional rates.

That's because of the major Lake Taupo project, signalled last year, which aims to reduce the nitrogen inflows into the lake over the next 20 years.

The project requires the buying of many farms in the district, costing millions. Estimates put the overall cost of the project at $81.5 million. Central Government will stump up $36.5 million of that.

But the difference needs to be shared among homeowners and businesses across the Waikato, King Country, and Thames/Coromandel.

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