Councilor Bernie Randall and Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board Deputy Chair Guy Burns are recommending Kapiti Coast District Council cut operational spending to keep rates down, in response to the Covid-19 crisis dampening our economy.

“Currently, the Council is confirming its Annual Plan. We urge Council to look at the big picture and examine operational expenditure; this is where much of our rates money is spent.

“Large numbers of locals are facing large income reductions (in some cases job losses) as the virus ravages our ability to work. There have been calls for a rates freeze. We support a freeze, but it must be based on a reduction in KCDC spending. Without such a reduction, there will big future rates rises as Council debt increases.

“Now’s the time for our elected representatives to act and reduce rates in the new Annual Plan. We urge the Mayor and Councillors to direct the Chief Executive to reduce operational expenditure by at least 3 percent.”

We’ve also received this media release from the NZ Taxpayers Union:-

One council demonstrates leadership with rates freeze

Responding to Waikato Regional Council’s preliminary decision to cancel scheduled rate hikes in light of COVID-19, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:

“Waikato Regional Council should be applauded for its urgent action on behalf of ratepayers. Councils across the country ought to observe this leadership.”

“The Government is rightly focused on easing economic pressures on struggling households during the current crisis. Local councils need to step up and do the same.”

Waikato Regional Council is the first council to signal a rates freeze after the Taxpayers’ Union wrote to every mayor and regional council chair on Friday to call for such a move.

“Obviously, a rates freeze will mean an immediate loss of revenue for councils, but this is the reality faced by businesses and families across the country. It’s only fair that councils tighten their belts to reflect the new economic reality: identify non-essential nice to haves and redirect that spending to higher priorities.”

“Providing immediate assurance of a rates freeze is something councils can do right now to provide households with certainty during this time of turmoil.”