Napier City Council is misleading ratepayers with claims a 14 percent rates increase is required for COVID-19 and should instead be honest about its plans and look to cut costs, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers’ Union spokesperson Jordan Williams says, “Rates aren’t tied to ability to pay, so a 14 percent increase would be completely unmanageable as many residents find themselves out of a job.”
“There is no way the Council is really considering a 14 percent increase. 14 is being floated so the politicians can soften the bad PR of a milder hike.”
“Napier ratepayers expect better than slimy politicking and the Council should be upfront about its realistic options. The compassionate choice would be a zero percent increase.”
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen this kind of tricky behaviour before by Mayor Kirsten Wise. In February she tried to say her CEO had resigned, when in actual fact he’d been handed a golden ratepayer funded handshake of the better part of a million dollars which the Mayor tried to keep secret.”
“The Council needs to be frank about what kind of increases ratepayers can expect, and ruthlessly cut costs. If Christchurch City Council — which is still recovering from the 2011 earthquakes — can provide a rates freeze, why can’t Napier?”