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Papamoa group want a zero rates increase

Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman Philip Brown. Image: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

A zero per cent rates increase is being sought by the Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association instead of the 7.6 per cent proposed by the Tauranga City Council.

PRRA chairman Philip Brown says having no increase to rates this year is needed, as so many people are hurting finically because of COVID-19.

“I think something like 20 per cent of Tauranga residents are on fixed incomes. They're working poor or beneficiaries or super annuitants, and when you put in even a 7.6 per cent increase that takes a big chunk of money away from them.

“Then there's all the people who have got uncertain jobs for the next six months.”

The association has set up two websites to get community feedback on the proposed rates increase that will be presented to council.

Philip says they set up the websites to make it quick and easy for people to submit feedback.     

“We thought we could collate all the information particularly the comments, the comments are quite an eye opener about how people out there are hurting at the moment financially.

“The whole idea is to get people to have an avenue to raise their objection.”

The Zero Rate Increase Tauranga site has a section where people can submit comments through an online form.

The other website Keep Tauranga City Rates Under Control has a serious of questions and an area for comments.

Philip says the questions on their site are similar to those on the online Tauranga City Council draft annual plan feedback submission form.

He says they have simplified the questions because the council website questions are quite technical.

“The council website [questions] are incredibly technical and you've got to be a real aficionado to take part and really know what you're talking about.

“It is too complex and almost too jargonish, because you have to know what the rate debate is about in order to be able to put a fair comment on the council survey.”

PRRA have put it into language that anyone can understand and relate to so people can participate without needing the technical knowledge, Philip says.

There are projects and items on the expenditure list for the next year that can be deferred or aren’t necessary that would help reduce the need for a rates rise, he says.

Originally council proposed a 12.6 per cent rates rise as part of the 2020/21 draft annual plan but on March 24 the mayor and councillors voted to reduce this to 7.6 per cent because of the impact of COVID-19.

During the meeting councillor Steve Morris said he still feels the rates rise is too high and he hopes the 7.6 per cent proposal is a ceiling rather than a floor.

He wanted the public to know this is not the final figure but still a proposal and the final figure will be decided in June.

Following the March 24 meeting Mayor Tenby Powell said the world had changed during the past three weeks, since the meeting where the 12.6 per cent increase was proposed, and the council’s top priority now was to help the people of Tauranga through the developing crisis.

“The current circumstances are unprecedented, and our focus must be on our community before all else.

“It is also extremely important that we communicate and consult with our community about this new plan before we make a firm decision.”

Public submissions on the draft Annual Plan 2020/21 are open until Sunday, May 3, at 5pm.

 

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15 Comments
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Meanwhile

Posted on 18-04-2020 07:05 | By

Many UK Councils are on the brink of financial failure and require a government bailout. Many can only provide “vital” services. TCC needs to wake up and buy a dictionary. To simply carry on with wasteful nonsense by helping themselves to our wallets is criminal.

Peanuts9

Posted on 17-04-2020 17:09 | By

I’m staggered by your lack of financial understanding and common sense. I’m not sure how, or why, you expect people to pay double digit rates increases each year when their earnings do not keep pace, if they’re lucky enough to have any earnings. Essential projects like water treatment can easily be funded without ridiculous rates increases. The huge increases are there simply to fund “nice to have” projects and pointless titivating. All self serving and grotesquely wasteful. Nothing to do with “growth”. Nothing to do with essential infrastructure. Lots of people understand this and object to it. You don’t. Fine. But there is nothing wrong with my financial understanding or sense. Which cities are you talking about if Tauranga is a dead water in comparison? I’ve been all over NZ and I think Tauranga’s amenities stack up very well in comparison. Maybe you should move out.

Seriously?

Posted on 17-04-2020 13:58 | By morepork

The Council will not wipe the Rates increase because we cannot make them do it. There are pros and cons as to whether they SHOULD do so, but, based on behaviour observed so far, I reckon the chances of this happening are about the same as the chances of all the molecules in your body aligning with all the spaces between the molecules in your wall, so you can walk through it. (Not impossible, but you would probably have to wait more than the 13.7 billion years that the Universe has existed, before it would happen...)

12.6% rates increase to fund Sprawl as Growth agenda

Posted on 17-04-2020 13:21 | By Sollygirl

Council’s proposed 12.6% rates increase was to cover the costs of carrying on with its big sprawl-funding projects. This excessive and unaffordable investment in sprawl is unwise in the best of times and potentially catastrophic in this time of Covid-19. By all means fund growth, but make sure that growth is sustainable when referenced against climate change and the preservation and health of our existing communities. We can have both but it requires a change in thinking by our council and a much more thoughtful and evidence-based approach.

Underpass

Posted on 17-04-2020 12:30 | By

A reply to comment about a new underpass. The campaign was to retain an underpass at the Bayfair roundabout for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. The solution is excessive and that is what happened.

Calm caring leadership lacking

Posted on 17-04-2020 12:29 | By

Unfortunately we got a mayor censured for a tantrum over some councillors opposing his ridiculous rates hike. Why isn’t council meeting daily by internet to nut the issues out and come up with solutions? I expect more from around a 160k a year mayor and 140k deputy.

Rates

Posted on 17-04-2020 12:15 | By

A 0% rates increase will put this city in an even worse condition with respect to water, waste water and other amenities which need urgent attention. This city is, compared to others, a deadwater, and this proposal will be a backward move. I agree with CommonSensePlease, and I’m staggered by the lack of financial understanding, the common sense and the parochialism of many. Tauranga is now NZ’s 5th largest city and the fastest growing but amenities are not keeping up with the growth.

Inflation

Posted on 17-04-2020 11:12 | By

Even Council budgets suffer from Inflation. While a Zero rates increase will help many ratepayers it will cause the council to cut services. The rate of inflation is as low as the rates increase can go.

Dying infrastructure

Posted on 17-04-2020 11:09 | By

Our infrastructure is so far behind we need money from somewhere. Should make homes that are rentals pay double rates!!! Since we can’t tax them

Philip

Posted on 17-04-2020 09:57 | By nerak

Of course the council website is too technical, that is quite deliberate. Many people are confounded by excessive jargon. Such things are written by people who got where they are by using jargon.

Powell says

Posted on 17-04-2020 09:48 | By nerak

"and our focus must be on our community before all else." Must have forgotten that, immediately he said it. He has a weird way of showing he’s focusing on our community. I’ve said it before, hollow words.

Confused Priorities

Posted on 17-04-2020 09:29 | By

Sorry but isn’t this the same person that was pushing so hard for a new underpass at Bayfair? A bit rich to demand the spending of taxpayer and ratepayers money and turn around and do this. Tauranga needs to move forward as a city, and all this bleating on about 0% rate rises just makes the future year rises higher. How can these people not see this? Not to mention using COVID-19 as a false flag when many of these superannuants wont be effected by the slowing economy.

Smaller

Posted on 17-04-2020 09:12 | By

I think a smaller rates increase would be more viable as TCC need the income to do the work we all aren’t happy with but they also need to a darn good look and trim the fat from unnecessary projects, uneconomical projects and over-the-top salaries. That way it’s a win-win for all. The word ’essential’ seems to be the ’go to ’ word at present so why not save the budget blowouts and do ’essential’ works only for say the next 18 months. For example we don’t need . . . well we all know . . .

??????? About Him

Posted on 17-04-2020 09:01 | By Chookymac

Do not think very much about our Mayor a big question mark hangs over his head.He came out of the blue.Army I believe Um Um.There should be a reduction in Council Members salaries definitely for a time until this all comes back to normal.And he the Mayor should sit back and consider the average Citizen of this lovely City

To the Mayor - TCC

Posted on 17-04-2020 08:55 | By Maryfaith

The proposed rate increase would be absolutely criminal! People are suffering from loss of jobs, beneficiaries and pensioners on fixed incomes etc ... When are we going to hear the mayor and councillors volunteer to have a wages cut?? When are you going to lay off all the ’dead wood’ amongst your staff? When are you going to stop wasting ratepayers money on ’nice’ to haves’ When are you going to stick to priorities? When will you use some common sense?