The Press editorial:
Councillors were told this week that the rating base had declined by 2.3 per cent and the council faces a larger-than-forecast operating deficit. The decisions to be made will undeniably be difficult and are likely to be unpopular.
There is one option that Mayor Lianne Dalziel appears to have ruled out.
“It’s not a question of adding to the rates; it’s a question of re-allocating within budgets,” she said.
That is the right approach. Rates are already set to rise by 6.5 per cent this year and probably by similar amounts in years to come. Just adding more to property owners’ rates burden would be evading the problem not facing it.
It’s good to see Lianne Dalziel rule out further rates increases. The Council needs to adjust its expenditure to match its income – not take more money off struggling ratepayers.