6 Apr 2010

Taranaki council proposes rate rise to cover port losses

5:16 pm on 6 April 2010

The Taranaki Regional Council is proposing a rate rise of 19% to cover losses incurred by the Port of Taranaki.

However, the average rise will amount to about $19 a year, or 40 cents a week, based on just over 49,000 rateable properties.

The council-owned port company faces a major loss of revenue after dairy cooperative Fonterra decided to stop shipping about 22,000 containers out of the port to south-east Asia and the Amercias.

The port's dividend to the regional council for 2010-2011 was forecast to be just over $3 million, but has now been reduced to $1.8 million.

The council proposes to meet half the $1.5 million deficit by increasing rates and cover the other half from a reserve fund.

Council chairman David MacLeod says without the loss of revenue from the port, the regional rate rise would have been closer to the inflation rate of about 2%.