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Good To See Q&A Feature, Says Federation Of Ratepayers NZ

The Federation of Ratepayers Association of NZ, is pleased to note that rates and Council Issues are featuring on mainstream current affair programs like Q&A, says Federation of Ratepayers Association of NZ President John Riddell.

Rates are a very important issue and the burden of paying them is falling on fewer people while more people have a say in how they are spent.

“Most ratepayers want to see fairness in how Councils rate us, and are equally happy not to pay us much in one year and save what they spend on taxes, even if it means the speed hump is not installed this year. Just collect the rubbish and ensure the kids can play in the local park”, says Mr Riddell.

It is not up to Council to get the country moving or into work, that is the role of Government. Local Government is about local neighbourhoods and local people, and if we cannot afford to paint the house this year, so to speak, we do not need to. Freezing rates for at least a year is the right thing to do.

“Many people will be without jobs, and many businesses will struggle following the lockdown”, continues Federation President, John Riddell.

The Federation encourages Councils to take the lead from the Christchurch City Council who have already advised that they will not be considering lifting their rates and they should be applauded the Association believe. Now is the time for all Councils to heed the saying, that we are all in this together, and share the financial pain many of their ratepayers will be suffering, the Association believes.

There is now clear evidence that property values will fall as a result of the economic fallout from the Covid 19 lockdown. It would be prudent for Councils to reassess how they assess rates and focus on the core services that Councils provide.

“It may even be appropriate for Council staff and elected members to show solidarity with their private sector counter parts and cut their pay rates”, suggests President John Riddell.

“If they do so, it is no good pay being diverted to someone’s favourite charity. The favourite charity right now is the ratepayer. Even at $1.83 a week (the average cost saved by ratepayers by freezing rates in Auckland), could be significant and maybe better than spending money on infrastructure projects that may not be needed”, Mr Riddell suggests.

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