Mayor Andy Foster on Thursday said the plan could create a $70 million financial hole for the city, much of which would be covered by borrowing.
He said the council was proposing to defer fourth-quarter rates bills, currently due in June, for six months for commercial ratepayers, as well as residential ratepayers affected by the outbreak.
This gives the illusion of helping ratepayers, but doesn’t.
Families and businesses are suffering from a massive drop in income. For many it will not be temporary. The Council needs to freeze rates, not stick it up by 8% yet say oh you can pay it a few months down the track.
Ratepayers need a rates freeze, not a deferral.
Originally, it appeared a rates freeze was off the table. However following the workshop,12 of 15 councillors signed a letter to council chief executive Barbara McKerrow, requesting a zero rates and user charge proposal be put forward.
Good to see some signs of life from Councillors.
Every Council should be demanding that staff produce a zero rates increase option for them to consider.