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Tauranga Council provides relief for businesses

Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell. Images: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

Tauranga City Council will provide relief for small and medium sized businesses and community groups facing financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor and councillors unanimously approved the fees, charges and rent relief package at a council meeting this week.

It includes:

- a funding pool of up to $100,000 for user fees and charges hardship exemptions, to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

- rent reductions of 50 per cent to 100 per cent for eligible commercial and residential organisations that lease council land, to June 30.

- a rent reduction of 100 per cent for community organisations and sports groups that lease council land, to June 30.

- rent relief of 100 per cent for community organisations and 50 per cent for commercial tenants at the Historic Village for the last three months of this financial year.

Further measures may be considered after June on a case-by-case basis.

Mayor Tenby Powell says the package recognises the hardship that many ratepayers, community groups and small to medium-sized businesses are experiencing under the COVID-19 lockdown.

“We’re talking about real people with families.

“In many cases, these people are providing jobs for other members of our community and making a valuable contribution to our economy.

“It’s crucial that we do what we can to ease their financial burden.”

The council also resolved to keep working with central government to extend its rates rebate scheme, and to consider amending its Rates Remission Policy for future emergencies.

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Zero Rates Petition

Posted on 04-05-2020 09:53 | By

I have just received an e-mail with the results from one of the online petitions concerning the rates increase. 98% for no increase! The people have spoken now Powel needs to stop DICTATING and listen.

@ Sim

Posted on 30-04-2020 13:31 | By

Again, some interesting points. But more general comments about your disrespect for the job council is doing. Fine, since everyone can have their own views of the world. I note that you didn’t actually answer the question. So again perhaps you could provide your specific answer over how this council could pay for the fresh water requirements. Or are you suggesting that the council should kick the can down the road and simply have more significant water restrictions? You seem to have a level of knowledge about the debt to rev. So you will be well aware of the lack of capital funding likely to be available given the reduction of revenue due to covid. So if the only project TCC was to understand next year was the new water treatment plant. How would you fund this?

Scaremongering

Posted on 29-04-2020 17:48 | By

A few points Mr Informed: The revenue to debt ratio is well under 250%, though higher than it needs to be. That is due to mismanagement. That said, debt has never been cheaper to service. Most of the increase in debt has been for other capital projects you don’t mention, much of it non essential pointless titivating. This Council under collects on development contributions and user fees, thus transferring the shortfall to ratepayer funded debt. This Council has mismanaged and wasted our money. They have borrowed to fund pointless pet projects and pour it into the pockets of their business buddies. They use terms like ’wastewater’, ’drinking water’ and ’growth’ to scare people into thinking huge Rates increases are necessary. They are not. What is required is a Council that is managed properly and exercises some restraint. Funding is not the problem - spending is.

@informed

Posted on 29-04-2020 12:23 | By

That’s an easy one. EXACTLY the same as they are planning to do. You seem to think that the difference between a zero Rates rise this year (and / or capped rises going forward) and the proposed % increases being touted, means these things big ticket items are off the menu. Not so. The marginal revenue raked in through greedy rises merely funds the fanciful projects. The waste. The gluttony. It’s not too long since that they wanted to blow $200m on a museum. The essential infrastructure projects are affordable. Some of the other rubbish won’t be. Solution = don’t waste money on rubbish. It’s called prioritizing. Cutting your cloth accordingly. TCC have just gotten used to funding their dreams by helping themselves to our money.

@ Sim

Posted on 29-04-2020 06:22 | By

Given your bold statement that everything can be funded. Could you explain how you specifically would do that? I believe the new water treatment plant is $500M. And the waste water upgrades are $200M. So how would you specifically fund this? Especially when keeping within the 250% debt to revenue ratio. And of course that’s before any of the normal maintenance that occurs in the city.

With Slim

Posted on 28-04-2020 11:02 | By

I agree with Slim. I thought we might of got a leader that would use some common sense with how our rates were used. We need a practical city not a fancy city

Ill informed

Posted on 27-04-2020 11:52 | By

Everything you have listed can be easily funded with capped Rates rises. Which should be set in law. This ensures Councils focus on the essential infrastructure. In New Zealand they simply help themselves to whatever they like from people’s bank accounts, and then set about wasting most of it on non essential frivolity and titivating, just for the sake of it. It is amazing how many people fall for this scam.

@ Slim

Posted on 27-04-2020 07:26 | By

There is some logic in what you are saying. As long as you are happy to like with the impact of what you ask for. That’s likely to be. - Much bigger water restrictions that last year’s (since there won’t be money for waste treatment) - No new library books - No roading improvements - Increases in housing prices - Local construction and development companies failing - Waste and storm water overflowing during heavy rain - No new motorway improvements for years - No fixing of failedend of life infrastructure And the list goes on and on and on.

@ Chookymac

Posted on 27-04-2020 07:16 | By

You say council staff "must be sitting on their ass". Out of interest. Did you use running water today? Did you flush your toilet? Did the rain last week disappear down the drain? We’re the traffic lights going? If you rang the council, did they answer? Did you check something on the council website? Did some emergency flights land at the airport? Is the pound still looking after animals? Can do still access online books from the library? Are homeless people still being supported? Are council retirement villages still open? Perhaps you could show a small level of understanding and support. Instead of attacking people working to keep the city running.

In the right direction.

Posted on 26-04-2020 12:54 | By morepork

This is a move by Council in the right direction and many people will be glad of it. However, there is still no reason why Rates Rises can’t be constrained by inflation, even if zero rise is non-viable. It’s about time they did something right...

Shallow thinkers

Posted on 26-04-2020 09:00 | By

Of course there are many who simply do not have the intelligence to understand the finances so do not question or think for themselves, instead putting blind faith in ’officials’ and elected representatives. The armchair lazy abdicate all responsibility. Tauranga is not a big city. Not very complex at all. Though for some it must feel big and complex. If so, leave the debating to those who do not find it overwhelming.

Good on Tenby

Posted on 24-04-2020 20:21 | By Kancho

Businesses need all the help they can get so good on the council. Who would be a councillor or Mayor when armchair experts knock everything. Opinions are a dime a dozen, solutions are much harder to achieve. Politicians are damned if they do or damned if they don’t. Things are ever as simple as armchair critics would ever understand. Thankfully in spite of the whining the complexity of a big city still manages to function in ways unappreciated by shallow one track thinkers

Yadick

Posted on 24-04-2020 17:11 | By

Maybe the pain of a huge rates bill does not affect because you have money in the bank or a nice safe job? Maybe it’s you thinking about yourself rather than the many thousands who will be unable to pay the rates bill, even if it were a zero rise. You need to look at the big picture, which is the affordability for everyone, not just you. People will be cutting their cloth accordingly and TCC should learn to do the same.

Yadick

Posted on 24-04-2020 17:06 | By

Oh and you’d better tell all the governments around the world that the burden cannot be deferred, and must be paid for now, because I’m pretty sure that is what they are all doing right now.

Yadick

Posted on 24-04-2020 17:03 | By

..and you seem to think that “wise spending” and a zero rates rise are mutually exclusive. Not so.

Yadick

Posted on 24-04-2020 17:01 | By

So presumably you have forensically examined the numbers and decided what you deem “wise spending” from the Councils wish list, and then concluded that zero rates rises are “disastrous” but a small increase is just so! And anyone who disagrees is thinking about themselves and not a “big picture” person! Show me your workings please.

@ Yadick

Posted on 24-04-2020 09:00 | By Tga Citizen

The council is offering discounts only to the tenants of land and buildings that we, as ratepayers, own already. Also, many of these clubs and community organisations only pay "peppercorn rents". Also, I am not just thinking of myself regarding the financial hardship coming. SkyCity have already lost 200 jobs, and the executives have taken 20 - 40% pay cuts. KPMG have told staff they must take a 15% pay cut. Stuff Media staff have taken a 15% pay cut. Ngai Tahu Tourism have lost 300 workers, which is half their staff. Luckily, Tauranga does not need tourism because that industry is decimated. Oh wait, does that mean those cruise ships that used to visit, and patronise many local businesses, will no longer add to the local economy? I do not think you appreciate how much people will be hurting.

100% Correct Tga Citizen

Posted on 24-04-2020 06:10 | By Chookymac

Included in the No Rates Rise should be a Reduction in their Salaries after all there is nothing they will be doing apart from sitting on their arses till this blows over

@ Tga Citizen

Posted on 23-04-2020 22:56 | By

A zero rates rise would be disastrous for everyone as a city. What we need is a minimal rates rise coupled with wise spending. Priorities for spending needs to be set by our Council with due diligence. What they are offering is very fair and no matter what they offer, for some it will never be right, it will never be enough, it will always be wrong. I do not see how you can say that they are saying stuff you. You need to look at the big and long term picture, not just yourself. The burden will not be relieved it will only be deferred by a zero rates rise. People are hurting, we all understand that but a zero rates rise will only in many ways prolong the hurt moving forward.

Adversity shows the true nature.

Posted on 23-04-2020 14:30 | By Tga Citizen

The P M has shown to be a leader aware of the general public (and no, I did not vote for her last time, but probably will this time). She, and top level bureaucrats and mps, have taken a 10% pay reduction (20% for 6 months). The Mayor, and council have taken the other option of "let them eat cake", that is, I’m alright Jack, stuff you. The rate payers financial burden would be easier relieved by dropping the rates rise to zero at least.