Wairoa rates proposal simply outlandish

LETTER

I have been a ratepayer in Wairoa for just over 12 months, and have received an extraordinary letter from Wairoa District Council chief financial officer Gary Borg. He tells me the method of calculating rates is too complicated and there are two new alternatives proposed. One method increases my rates by 20.06 percent and the other by 27.1 percent. It’s nice to have a choice!

It goes on to say this does not take into account any estimates for the New Year’s budgets!

I understand there is a very high level of unpaid rates. The new budget should take a good look at a rate recovery policy that means everybody pays.

If the council wants to increase rates, why not say so?

Now that they know how to use it, why not retain the old system?

How about an alternative system that keeps the rates at the same level?

I suggest they work on their budget to suit their revenue, not the other way round.

Property value-based rates are inequitable. It simply means that high-value property owners are subsidising lower-value property owners.

Why not strike a rate system on three levels — commercial, rural and residential? I have just come from Auckland where years of financial incompetence within the council has created a level of debt that will never be recovered from.

It looks like Wairoa District Council is honing their skills in incompetence and unfair practices to match “big brother”.

David Clifton

Mahia Beach

Footnote response from Wairoa Mayor Craig Little:

What we are trying to do is get a fairer and equitable rating system for all. This is a proposal only.

Presently our rate system is on the three levels that this writer suggests: commercial, residential and rural, and I have to say it isn’t working as well as it should. Unfortunately, how we rate is controlled by central government legislation and the system does not allow everyone to pay the same and is designed to rate on ability to pay, otherwise the government would introduce a poll tax as it did in the United Kingdom.

What we are doing is not about collecting more rates than planned, we simply cannot keep the same rate rise yearly. This has been tried elsewhere and simply fails as you end up with a catch-up system. As I have said, rating is so complex and our costs simply are not consistent every year. There is always something unexpected that comes along, generally due to the Government changing legislation and we have to wear the burden.

I have been a ratepayer in Wairoa for just over 12 months, and have received an extraordinary letter from Wairoa District Council chief financial officer Gary Borg. He tells me the method of calculating rates is too complicated and there are two new alternatives proposed. One method increases my rates by 20.06 percent and the other by 27.1 percent. It’s nice to have a choice!

It goes on to say this does not take into account any estimates for the New Year’s budgets!

I understand there is a very high level of unpaid rates. The new budget should take a good look at a rate recovery policy that means everybody pays.

If the council wants to increase rates, why not say so?

Now that they know how to use it, why not retain the old system?

How about an alternative system that keeps the rates at the same level?

I suggest they work on their budget to suit their revenue, not the other way round.

Property value-based rates are inequitable. It simply means that high-value property owners are subsidising lower-value property owners.

Why not strike a rate system on three levels — commercial, rural and residential? I have just come from Auckland where years of financial incompetence within the council has created a level of debt that will never be recovered from.

It looks like Wairoa District Council is honing their skills in incompetence and unfair practices to match “big brother”.

David Clifton

Mahia Beach

Footnote response from Wairoa Mayor Craig Little:

What we are trying to do is get a fairer and equitable rating system for all. This is a proposal only.

Presently our rate system is on the three levels that this writer suggests: commercial, residential and rural, and I have to say it isn’t working as well as it should. Unfortunately, how we rate is controlled by central government legislation and the system does not allow everyone to pay the same and is designed to rate on ability to pay, otherwise the government would introduce a poll tax as it did in the United Kingdom.

What we are doing is not about collecting more rates than planned, we simply cannot keep the same rate rise yearly. This has been tried elsewhere and simply fails as you end up with a catch-up system. As I have said, rating is so complex and our costs simply are not consistent every year. There is always something unexpected that comes along, generally due to the Government changing legislation and we have to wear the burden.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Wilkins Micawber - 10 days ago
Dear Mr Little, the way you rate may well be controlled by central government, the way you spend is controlled by you. Wairoa is a small community, it is the job of councillors to live within their means. That means ditching esoteric and costly schemes to concentrate on necessities. Gisborne council would be well advised to follow this path as well.
Income $1 expenditure $0.99 happiness, income $1 expenditure $1.01 misery. The poll tax thing is a nonsense as you well know.

Ratepayer - 9 days ago
This is simply from poor management over the years. Gisborne is about to feel the same pain!

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Are you for or against New Zealand allowing the option of assisted dying for people with a terminal illness or a grievous and irremediable medical condition?