The average residential household in Wellington will need to brace for more expensive taxes, as the local council approved a 6.1 per cent increase in water levy.
The increase forms part of the Wellington Regional Council’s 2017-18 Annual Plan. For those living in Hutt Valley and Porirua, the higher levy will require them to pay more than $40 for the extra charges.
The city council’s new water levy may or may not include well-driller services from pros like Carlyle Drilling, while some officials considered the increase to be lower than the expected 9.3 per cent rate hike in 2015. Despite being unattractive, residents should understand the importance of the higher levy for the advancement of large-scale projects, according to Councillor Paul Swain.
Swain said that the revenue from a higher levy will help in paying off debt from investment projects such as the Hutt Valley flood protection plan and Matangi train fleet scheme. The $143 million Hutt Valley project, for instance, represented the single largest big-ticket project of its kind in several decades.
Billions of Revenue
Aside from households, commercial companies may be affected by a proposal to impose a fee of 10 cents per litre on bottled water. The planned charges for water-bottling companies could result in almost $2.37 billion of revenues per year. This figure would account for 1 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
A total of 73 companies in New Zealand currently have permits to acquire 23.7 billion litres of water. By charging new taxes, the government can fix deteriorating water treatment infrastructure. However, some environmental supporters believe that it will take a tax rate of 25 cents per litre to address water pollution.
It remains to be seen whether or not the imposed higher levies will help in improving basic utility services in some New Zealand councils. Are you in favour of these planned rate hikes?