Steve Morris writes:
According to her advice, released under the OIA, the Minister expects Commissioners to set a “robust” budget as councillors, chosen by you, won’t “set rates at a realistic level.” The DIA has advised her that a “realistic” level is “a rate rise of 18-20% year-on-year” over the next ten years. This is despite Tauranga already having some of the highest residential rates of any city in New Zealand.
That’s on top of a 6.5 per cent increase for rubbish disposal that commissioners will implement later this year. Taking a conservative view of compounding rates, the minister’s instruction to her commissioners will see an 80 per cent increase in TCC rates over the next three years.
Councillors need to worry about the public acceptability of rates increases. Commissioners do not. The appointment of Commissioners may have been warranted, but they should not be used to impose massive rates increases on residents.