No-one is laughing
Over the next 10 years, Tauranga's population is forecast to grow by 15%.
Over the same 10 years, Councillors are proposing to increase staff costs by 56%, increase rates by 120% and increase debt by 177%.
And they are going to build a $55 million museum.
But these headlines don’t tell the whole story.
What they don’t tell you is that Tauranga, according to the Taxpayers Union, already has the highest average residential rates of any metropolitan Council.
And that some commercial ratepayers will see rates increases of more than 70% over the next three years.
What they don’t tell you is that Tauranga is proposing to increase debt more than twice as fast as Auckland over the next 10 years.
And that the Museum’s running costs are estimated at $5 million annually.
Clearly the proposed budget is neither affordable - nor remotely funny.
The purpose of this website is to identify key issues driving the budget excess - and suggest how a more affordable budget might be delivered.
In short - how we can get real change - and it starts with the Council's 'vision' for Tauranga.
- I was elected to Council in 2013. My term (2013 to 2016), where I chaired the new Finance and Risk committee, delivered a significant increase in infrastructure investment while lowering debt and controlling rates.