Higher revenue from growth and flat spending has boosted the Auckland Council's operating surplus to $250 million.
The cash surplus is up sharply from last year's $80m, and will be used to reduce the need for borrowing next year.
A growing number of ratepayers helped boost income past $1.5 billion, and increased building and development has lifted revenue from charges by more than $50m.
The council said staff costs across the group rose by 1.4 percent, or $11m, mostly through projects and the operational needs of the city's agencies.
The city's total debt after taking into account its cash reserves was $324m lower than forecast, at nearly $7.5bn.