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Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says he would consider a rates rise of more than 3% next year, if the community signals it supports more spending.
Mr Cull said in The Interview the city did need to keep rates affordable.
The council has had a self-imposed 3% maximum increase for the past few years.
However, he said: ``We are already easily the cheapest city in the country and in the lower quartile of councils all around the country for rates.''
If the city wanted to ``stand still'' and maintain services, that close to 3% rise would continue, as that was the inflationary pressure on the council.
"If you want extra we're going to have to spend some more.''
Asked if he would accept a rate increase higher than 3%, Mr Cull said he would.
The community, however needed to consider the value of what it would get for the cost involved, in next year's long-term plan.