Media Release - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
At the Extraordinary Council Meeting on 14 June, Councillors listened to a number of oral submissions from ratepayers and considered in excess of 120 written submissions in relation to its Annual Plan for 2022/2023. It is fair to say that the bulk of these submissions objected to the proposed 12.5% rate increase.
The Councillors listened to the concerns of ratepayers and have responded positively by agreeing to the following:
Deputy Mayor Carruthers says, “In deciding to reduce the proposed rates increase the Councillors took into account that the present economic realities arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent dramatic and unexpected increase in the cost of living justified a significant reduction, even though the increase to 12.5 % was in line with Councils Long-Term Plan. In addition, a zero rates increase was applied in 2020 in order to assist ratepayers through the pandemic, however at time it was made clear that there had to be a catch-up in subsequent years. This reduced Council's income that year.
Council is as exposed to cost increases and inflation as ratepayers are. The reduced rates will therefore have a significant impact on Council's finances going forward and Council may not be able to maintain exiting levels of services or provision of amenities. Councillors undertook to make every effort to reduce costs where possible in order to reduce the impact of rates increases on ratepayers. Smoothing of the rates has also been undertaken to assist in the rates reduction. This will impact on future rate increases that may be higher from year 4 than proposed in our Long Term Plan.
Media enquiries to:
Emma Rae, Strategy and Communications Advisor