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Wellington’s Rate Hike Is Disgraceful

Responding to Wellington City Council’s decision to increase rates by 5.1%, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:

“A 5.1% rate hike far exceeds the rate of inflation and would be painful in any year. The fact the Council has proceeded with this plan during a literal pandemic beggars belief. It’s even worse than Auckland’s 3.5% hike.”

"Unlike income taxes, council rates are levied on each household regardless of that household’s ability to pay. Wellington families that lose livelihoods as a result of the economic downturn would struggle to pay rates even at existing levels. Hiking rates adds salt to the wound.”

“The rate hike is partially the result of a series of botched property projects, from the Town Hall, to the new convention centre and the library. But there are also ongoing operational expenses that should have been subject to urgent review. For example, the Council pays 264 staff salaries higher than $100,000. Instead of making significant adjustments to staff salaries, Councillors have chosen to fob costs onto struggling ratepayers.”

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