A forecast 23 percent rate hike, or any double digit hike for that matter, must be ruled out by Wellington City Councillors from the outset, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Union spokesman and self-identified disgruntled Wellington ratepayer Louis Houlbrooke says, “The Council can’t expect to pacify Wellington ratepayers by a scary rate hike figure, and then revising it down to something slightly less scary. Wellington ratepayers will not tolerate continued financial abuse when they’re already dealing with the economic effects of a pandemic.”
“Needless to say, the Taxpayers’ Union and its Wellington-based members will be campaigning hard for cost-cutting at Wellington City Council.”
“The Council’s disastrous record as a property owner and developer is reason enough to sell properties like the new convention centre, or even the library. These buildings can simply be leased, reducing the future liability for ratepayers.”
“Councillors also need to look closely at operating expenditure and suspend anything that is not essential. For starters, WREDA is essentially a marketing and corporate welfare agency. It’s non-essential and its funding cannot be justified at a time when rates bills are throwing gasoline on a housing crisis.”
“Finally, the 260-odd staff paid more than $100,000 should be told that if they don’t identify savings in the long-term budget, their own salaries will be on the line.”